Peabody Opera House, 10/27/2015, 7:22 P.M.
An 81-year-old man known as “Pops” is given the microphone, but quickly becomes too emotional to speak and hands it over to his wife so that she can read a statement he has prepared. Pops went to his first Rams game in 1946 when, as a child in Los Angeles, he sold newspapers outside of the LA Coliseum in order to make a buck, sure, but more importantly to earn free entry to each home contest after the first quarter. For the past 7 decades there is very little, besides his family, that Pops has cared about more than his team. Soon after the Rams moved to St. Louis Pops’ wife got a job offer in Illinois and he enthusiastically encouraged her to take it so he could have the chance to once again watch the Rams in person. Now, some 20 years later and unable to relocate back to LA due to age and cost concerns, Pops was begging and pleading with the NFL to keep his team here, to not take them away from him again. “Owners are the caretakers of the franchises,” his wife read off of her husband's notes, “but the teams ultimately belong to the fans.”