Updated: May 10
On January 30, 2000, the St. Louis Rams beat the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. I was just a kid, but I remember that moment so clearly. With under two minutes left in the game, Isaac Bruce catches a 73-yard Hail Mary pass from Kurt Warner and runs like the wind into the end zone scoring the TD and clinching the championship for St. Louis. It was almost as if some supernatural force intervened, constructing the perfect play. What a glorious time that was to be a St. Louis football fan! STL was on top of the world, the Rams seemed invincible, and football was alive and well here.
Unfortunately, these past two decades since St. Louis saw its last Super Bowl win, have been nothing but disappointment, frustration, heartache, and now the loss of not one, but two football teams within five years. So, I ask you my fellow St. Louis football fans…ARE WE CURSED?
Before I go any further, I just want to clarify that I am in no way trying to spread bad mojo for STL football fans or its sports culture. I’m just trying to understand why in the past twenty years football fans in St. Louis have gotten the shaft. Now I know that some of you might say, "Well hey the KC Chiefs just won the Super Bowl." Exactly, and by no means am I trying to down play their accomplishment, but this is St. Louis damnit, not Kansas City. I feel like there is another supernatural force at play here, and this time, it is not on our side!
There have been many curses in sports history. The Curse of the Billy Goat, The Chicago
Honey Bears Curse, The Madden Cover Curse, and The Curse of the Bambino are some of the most infamous ones to name a few. According to Wikipedia, “A sports-related curse is a superstitious belief in the effective action of some power or evil, that is used to explain the failures or misfortunes of specific sports teams, players, or even cities.” Well with all that has happened to St. Louis football in the last 20 years I can’t help but think there is something sinister at work.
So, is STL football really cursed? Put it this way, before the Rams left, they had gone 12 seasons without obtaining a winning record and eleven seasons without even qualifying
for a postseason. Not even a winning season for 12 years? That is insane! Despite all that, true STL football fans held on to a glimmer of hope to one day see their beloved Rams return once again to reclaim the throne as Super Bowl Champions. However, Satan himself, had other plans.
Woops, did I say Satan? I meant Stan, as in Stan Kroenke. Yep, in 2015 that old mustache up and moved our Rams to Los Angeles. St. Louisans were torn with emotions. Even though they were on a losing streak for over a decade they were still OUR team, and this old wrinkly Mr. Burns looking guy comes and rips them away from us. Talk about kicking someone while they’re down. As a city we hated it, so much that some of us even rooted for the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII just to see the Rams lose. Football was dead in the gateway city.
Then in 2020, KaKaw became the law! A new professional football league, the XFL, had come to town, and with it our very own team, the St. Louis BattleHawks. True STL football fans rallied behind them chanting their battle cry. All around the Dome tailgaters flocked; there was a smile on every face, there was a hot dog in every bun, and the beer flowed. Football was alive again. It had felt like that same supernatural force that carried the touchdown pass into Isaac Bruce’s hands was back and breathing life into St. Louis football once again.
Chants of “KaKaw” and “Fuck You Kroenke” thundered through the stands, and the BattleHawks did not disappoint. They won both home games and were breaking attendance records. St. Louis football fans were now BattleHawk fans and proudly raised a symbolic middle finger to anyone who dared to say this was not a football town. Sadly, this would not last. On April 10, 2020 it was announced that the XFL suspended all operations and had no plans to return.
Now there is some slight possibility that the XFL returns and St. Louis gets to KaKaw one more time (even though Vince McMahon has filed for bankruptcy and they will not return for a 2021 season). I am still somewhat hopeful, but this is the second pro football team we've lost in five years and third overall! Some young people, like myself, forget we lost the St. Louis Cardinals in 1987. Big Red was in STL for 28 years and in that time made it just 3 playoffs with a total record of 187 wins 202 losses and 13 ties. Not bad but not great. When St. Louis refused to work with owner Bill Bidwill on building a new stadium for the team Bidwill set his sights on Arizona and moved the team stating that St. Louis would never be able to keep another team here. After the losses of the Rams and BattleHawks his words have never rang more true.
So, I ask you again…ARE WE CURSED? St. Louis has lost two pro football teams in five years and three in total. Why? Has it just been a string of bad luck? A string of bad owners? Is the stadium cursed? Injured players? Or is there something more supernatural at play here? I didn’t see anyone try to bring a goat to a Rams game or Steve Bartman show up to a BattleHawks tailgate. Perhaps it is karma for the “Fuck you Kroenke” chants and Satan has once again hexed us with losing another team. Maybe Bill Bidwill put the kibosh on us when he said we wouldn't be able to keep another team. Who knows, maybe us STL football fans are meant to go on some sort of sports exodus until we find another pro team to toss around the pigskin.
I honestly don’t know if we are cursed or not, it’s a hard thing to prove, but if we are, I do know that if those cry baby Cubs can break their losing streak, we can too. We just need to find a pro football team. How hard could that be?