There are two kinds of divorce lawyers. The first will get you as good a deal as he or she can. The second will make your spouse’s life hell. You need to be clear-headed when you decide which kind you want.
This is something to consider as we continue our contentious divorce with the Rams.
In retrospect, the marriage was never going to work. Our soul mate was our first wife, the football Cardinals. Big Red, we called her. We were well-suited. Nothing fancy about either of us. In all the years we were married, we never had a home playoff game. Mediocrity was fine with us. We weren’t exactly New York ourselves.
Eventually, she wanted her own place. She said she was tired of playing in a baseball stadium. No way, we said, but as long as you’re up, could you get us a beer? She walked out and moved to Arizona.
We went to Los Angeles to find somebody younger. We acted like high-rollers. We got our girl, but even then, even in the beginning, she didn’t quite trust us. We had to sign a prenuptial agreement. She could leave us in 20 years if the house we built her wasn’t top-tier.
Had we had our wits about us, we’d have been more careful about what we signed. But we felt good about ourselves, and we figured St. Louis was an acquired taste. She’d learn to like us, if not love us.
Wrong. Twenty years in, she left. We spent millions of dollars we didn’t have to try to keep her. We showed her plans for a stadium next to the junkyards just north of downtown. She laughed at us.
She went back to Los Angeles. We sued. We have won the first couple of rounds in what is going to be a long, expensive case. That is, we have won the right to have the case heard in a St. Louis courtroom.
This past week, Stan Kroenke, the arch-villain who owns the Rams, said he was going to appeal this latest decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
That got me thinking. Do we really want to keep doing this? Are we just throwing good money after bad?
That led me to another thought. Who makes decisions in a Banana Republic?
Don’t look to Jefferson City for moral authority. Last year, we had a coup and the elected governor was forced to step down. So now we have an unelected governor. Insiders say he is likely to be challenged in the Republican primary by our unelected Attorney General.
Things are even worse in St. Louis County. Our elected county executive is preparing to head to prison. He was replaced by a member of the County Council, whose first official act was to pay off his chief rival. He gave her a $121,000 job as diversity chief. The news story said her “job description is still being shaped.”
On the surface, things seem more stable in the city, which actually has an elected mayor. But her moral authority has been greatly undermined by her support of Better Together, which would have made the elected county executive the unelected mayor of our new Super City.
Is there no one to turn to for sage advice when we most need it? Apparently not. So let me ask the question. Are we doing the smart thing by pursuing Kroenke in court?
We are not going to embarrass him. Forget that. He is beyond embarrassment. And actually, why should he be embarrassed? He made a great business decision moving the team to Los Angeles. He’s happy with it. The NFL is happy with it. The networks are happy with it. The rest of the country doesn’t care.
Even more to the point, will we win? A victory is not likely if it gets to the Supreme Court. Those people admire great wealth. Just read Citizens United.
If the Supreme Court decides not to hear the case and it goes to trial in St. Louis, maybe we have a shot. But the lease is the lease, and the relocation rules are basically whatever the league says they are. But sure, maybe a hometown decision goes our way.
If so, there will be years of appeals. Expensive appeals. Money is not a problem for Kroenke. It is for St. Louis.
Plus, there is a chance, maybe even a likelihood, that we lose. After all, we have sued the NFL in St. Louis and lost before.
Imagine how this loss would feel. Welcome to St. Loserville. We’re the old guy who can’t get over the fact that his young wife left him. Kroenke, of course, would demand we pay his legal fees.
We’d slink out of that courtroom wondering why we didn’t just let Kroenke leave when he wanted to leave. For that matter, why were we so cruel to Big Red, the only woman who ever really loved us?
Before we keep going, just remember that nobody goes to court thinking they’re going to lose, but somebody always does.