ST. LOUIS -- The speculation surrounding the St. Louis Rams and their current stadium situation is about as emotionally charged an issue as you'll find surrounding any professional franchise.
Fans in St. Louis are simultaneously protective and fearful of the long-term future of football in St. Louis. Los Angeles fans desperately want their team to return to the west coast where they believe the team belongs.
Both sides certainly come from understandable points of view. Although all parties share a common love for the team, it's a shame there is plenty of fighting between the two sides on social media and elsewhere online.
On Tuesday morning, stltoday.com columnist Bryan Burwell wrote a column discussing the role of the fans in the on-going stadium situation. Burwell writes that fans can have a positive impact in determining whether the team sets up shop in St. Louis or not. He points out that one of the guidelines for a team to relocate is that there must be proof of a community that hasn't supported the franchise.
Burwell points out that one way for fans to prove the Rams should stay is to buy up tickets and show commissioner Roger Goodell that St. Louis wants the Rams to stay.
Burwell also points out the flip side of that argument; that it's hard for any fan to willingly put more dollars in the pockets of the Rams until they know what the future of the team is. Uncertainty creates fear, and it's understandably hard for anyone to invest in something that might only be around for the short term. It's a double-edged sword facing many of the fans in town who simply want to hear something from owner Stan Kroenke one way or the other.
Until or if that happens, it's going to be awfully difficult to see fans or local companies spending big bucks to support the team.
Of course, the simplest solution of all is the one that fans would most like to see: a winner. There's no doubt the city would support a team that consistently wins football games. Success remains the surest path to guaranteeing the longterm viability of the team in St. Louis.
A roundup of Tuesday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we discussed ESPN senior writer John Clayton's list of five Super Bowl contenders in 2014 in which he included the Rams as a sleeper. ... Next, we ventured to answer what ESPN Insider labeled as the top offseason question for the Rams. ... Next, we began looking at the potential for the next Hall of Fame class to include more Rams, starting with left tackle Orlando Pace.
Here's the top question for the Rams this offseason from ESPN Insider.
This is the complete rundown from ESPN Insider with all 50 questions.
Rotoworld ranked the top 25 fantasy football letdowns of 2013, with plenty of current and former Rams making an appearance.
Staying at Rotoworld, Evan Silva provides four team needs for every NFL franchise.
Also at stltoday.com, Jim Thomas participated in his weekly chat.
The Post-Dispatch also chronicled many of the ups and downs of football in St. Louis.