Brady Poppinga won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, but he also spent a season playing for the St. Louis Rams, in 2011. While Poppinga enjoyed his time in St. Louis, he isn’t too unhappy that the Rams are moving to Los Angeles – nor does he think the fan base will lose too much sleep over it.
“I loved the fans there in St. Louis, don’t get me wrong,” the former NFL linebacker said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think they’re great fans. They’re great sports fans. But the reality is – and I know guys like Kurt Warner will say differently because he was on a Super Bowl-winning team there – but those fans are baseball fans. Honestly, if you don’t win like the Rams did at the turn of the century where they’re the Greatest Show on Turf, (the fans aren’t) showing up. They don’t care. They’re only going to the games because there’s not a Cardinals game going on. They don’t care about the Rams. I think it’s poetic justice at its best. Move them to a city to where, you know what? LA, do they love the Rams? Maybe, maybe not. There’s obviously a lot of other competing teams like the Lakers and such in Los Angeles. But at the very least, you do have, I would say, an underrated fan base in the Los Angeles area with football. Just go and peruse a lot of different rosters in the college football ranks and see how many guys come from the Los Angeles area as football players. It’s unbelievable. It competes with Texas (and other football states).
The bottom line is this,” Poppinga continued. The Los Angeles area has a group of fans and a group of football people that are so excited right now because they actually have a professional team to represent them. It’s a team that the older generation has history with. They still have Rams paraphernalia. They see Eric Dickerson walking the streets in the area. He’s probably the greatest Ram to ever play. I think this is a heck of a move. This is where it should be.”
Despite playing just one season for the Rams, Poppinga remembers hearing whispers – fairly frequently, he might add – about the team moving to Los Angeles.
“Put this in perspective,” he said. “The headquarters of the office of the St. Louis Rams: guess where they’re at? Anaheim, California. We’re calling back to Anaheim to talk to the accountant and the pay lady. It’s like, ‘No this isn’t meant to be here. It’s a fish out of water.’ It’s a fan base that’s fantastic and (they’re) great people, but they just weren’t football fans. So I do believe the NFL made the right decision and Los Angels is going to embrace this team. This team is going to be team that has a totally different brand recognition to it now. The stadium is going to be phenomenal, and the team is going to have a standard that’s going to create a higher following for it across the NFL. It’s a move that enhances the NFL even from its current very enhanced state.”