Profession Football in St.Louis return on July 13th when 140 potential players tried at the XFL Summer Showcase at Lou Fusz Training Facility in Earth City Missouri. While there is still the buzz of the return of Professional football to the Gateway City, the local media are still questioning whether League will last and whether it will compete against the always popular St.Louis Cardinals and the recently Hockey Stanley Cup Champion St.Louis. There could also be competeton if city is awarded a Major League Soccer team sometime this year. St. Louis have always supported Pro Football whether it’s the Football Cardinals or The Rams, but both of those teams left a very sour taste that either broke our hearts or angered us with greedy owners who wouldn’t play ball with local leaders who wanted to have fancy shiny stadiums.
The Football Cardinals first came to St.Louis in 1960 and played at Sportsmans Park, then move to Busch stadium in 1966. During the Mid-70’s The Cardinals displayed some of the most exciting moments during that time period that was lead by legendary coach Don Coryell. Nicknamed the Cardiac Cardinals because their last minute victories lead by quarterback Jim Hart, his receiving core of Hall of Fame tight end Jackie Smith, Wide Receivers Mel Gray, Pat Tilley, Running Backs Terry Metcalf and Jim Otis. All of the offensive skilled position players were also led by Hall of Fame Offensive line Dan Dierdoft, and is supporting cast of Tom Banks and Conrad Dobler. On the Defense they had Hall of Famers like cornerback Roger Werhrli and Larry Wilson. Despite these great individual performance by these players the team never hosted a playoff during their 27 years in St.Louis. The team performance declined back in the late 70’s and 1980’s in which the team moved to Arizona after 1987 season when both St.Louis City and St.Louis County couldn’t come up with a stadium solution to keep the team in St.Louis.
In 1993, the St.Louis lost its bid for an NFL expansion team to Jacksonville and Charlotte but two years later the Rams moved to St.Louis after 46 years in Los Angeles. During their tenore the Rams won the city it’s first Super Bowl during the 1999 season. Lead by Hall of Fame Quarterback Kurt Warner, Runningback Marshall Faulk, Offensive Tackle Orlando Pace and Wide Receivers Isaac Bruce, Tory Holt and Ricky Proehl the team and the city enjoyed their greatest period of success from 1999 to 2006. But things went downhill in which the team went 12 seasons without a winning record and 11 season without making it to the postseason. Despite all efforts by former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and the city of St.Louis’s effort in keeping the team by building a new stadium, owner Stan Kroenke wanted to move the team back to Los Angeles and was approved by 30 owners in January of 2016 making St.Louis as the only city to have lost two NFL teams that relocated to the Western Cities.
When the St.Louis XFL team begins their play at The Dome at America’s Center, it will be the first time the city will have their very own football that isn’t from another market and first time the city will be introduced to spring football which has seen little success going back to the United States Football League in the 1980’s, World League of American Football/NFL Europe of the 90’s and 00’s and most recently the Alliance of American Football which didn’t complete the 2019 season after 7 games. Vince McMahon is resurrecting the XFL after league folded in their only season 2001 and he awarded St.Louis a team because despite the past bad football history the city had endured he saw it as a football city and he saw fans and local leaders who wanted to support the team. While the Major Sports media in St.Louis like the Post Dispatch or Foxsport STL will pay little attention of the team, it will be supported by grassroots sports media outlets like N the Zone Networks and The Alliance 2 XFL that covers the XFL and weekly updates of the League. Already they have had interviews with newly head coach Jonathan Hayes and commissioner Oliver Luck. There are fans of the St.Louis XFL team that are starting their weekly podcast to give updates on the progress team and rumors of future names and upcoming XFL draft that will take place after the NFL preseason cuts down to their 53 man roster. While it’s not the NFL it’s still Pro Football and it’s coming to St.Louis for the 3rd time since 1960. I don’t really count the Arena Football League team that played briefly in 1995-1996 because it was an Indoor 50 yards team. This is traditional football with different gimmicks and that it should be an exciting time for Football fans in St.Louis. Can’t wait until February 2020.