Doug Vaughn: My take on the Rams sale

Doug Vaughn: My take on the Rams sale

Credit: AP

St. Louis Rams defensive end LaJuan Ramsey (99) and defensive tackle Clifton Ryan (95) sit on the bench with teammates late in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009, in St. Louis. Minnesota won 38-10. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

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by Doug Vaughn, News 4 Sports

KMOV.com

Posted on February 11, 2010 at 3:09 PM

It would probably make us all more comfortable if the Dave Checketts group had been the winning bidder for the Rams. Checketts has become very popular as the Blues owner, and has many close ties with influential (and rich) St. Louisans. But Checketts appears to be somewhat under-funded with the Blues. The hockey team hasn't yet sold out all of its premium suites, and while attendance has been good this season, the Blues aren't exactly flush with cash. So it should come as no surprise that Checketts and his partners came up short in the bidding for an NFL franchise. Too bad. That would have been the popular choice.

Shahid Khan appears to be the next best option. His name may be unfamaliar to Rams fans, but he is himself a big fan of the team. He's from nearby Urbana, Illinois with no apparent reason to want to move the franchise. A self-made billionaire, and true American success story. But this may not be a done deal yet. Khan will need the approval of 3/4ths of the NFL owners before his bid to buy the Rams can be finalized. NFL owners have a very tight knit fraternity. They're picky about who they allow into the club. If the other owners are looking for a reason to question Khan, they can point to the fact that Khan and his wife are being investigated for allegedly sheltering hundreds of millions of dollars from income tax. Maybe that will become a big issue, maybe not. The sale of the team will go thru Goldman-Sachs, which gave their stamp of approval to Khan as a buyer.

Hopefully the sale to Khan will work out. It would be a devastating loss for the city of St. Louis if the Rams were to move. Khan appears to have the resources and the desire to keep the team here. Maybe he can also figure out how to improve the dreadful atmosphere at the dome, draft decent players, and keep Alex Barron from jumping offsides.
 
-Doug Vaughn

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