SBD/21/Franchises

RAMS WANING POPULARITY IN L.A. EXAMINED ON ESPN

     ESPN's Mark Schwarz examined the Rams' troubles in Orange
County as well as their declining popularity among fans.  L.A.
TIMES reporter T.J. Simers: "It's a bad team, it's not attracting
anybody, there's no excitement.  What do you get excited about
with this team? -- Which quarter Chris Miller is going to get his
concussion in?"  Leigh Steinberg, who has organized a group to
keep the Rams in Anaheim, said rumors of a move has exaggerated
the team's lack of appeal:  "The worst thing to do in Southern
California, which is an area that appreciates the concept of
something is hot, exciting, and the place to be, is to do what
the Rams have done for the last two years, which is to say we
really, probably won't be here."  Another issue discussed was the
declining amount of Rams merchandise being sold.  Rams safety
Anthony Newman spoke of how he once needed a couple of Rams caps
for his football camp:  "I went to every mall in Orange County
almost, and I couldn't find a Rams hat.  I couldn't believe it.
I think you have to take some responsibility to do something like
to market the Los Angeles Rams" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 12/20).
     SHAW PROFILED:  Rams President John Shaw, the architect of
the Rams move, is the focus of an extensive profile in this
morning's ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH.  Shaw, who was put in charge
of the organization at the age 31, is praised for "his shrewd,
indefatigable negotiating skills" (Bernie Miklasz, ST. LOUIS
POST-DISPATCH, 12/21).
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