This is just about as good as Stan Kroenke could have planned it. Build a swanky stadium that screams L.A. sizzle. Book a Super Bowl that really christens the NFL’s return to La-La Land. Beat Tom Brady to earn the right to host the NFC title game. Win one more game with your souped-up team and you’ve got a Roman Numeral home game at SoFi Stadium.
“I don’t know if you can plan for all of that,” Kroenke, the Los Angeles Rams owner, told USA TODAY Sports. “But you try to do what you can for your organization, so that you might be able to achieve that.
“It’s great for L.A.”
Kroenke’s nerves were tossed and tested on Sunday in Tampa, when the Rams blew a 24-point lead and had to sweat to the finish as they committed one self-inflicted blunder after another. By then, Kroenke had done his part. He bankrolled the big contracts and gave the green light to GM Les Snead and coach Sean McVay to aggressively add high-impact players through trades and free agency – see newcomers Matthew Stafford, Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr., who all showed up big in the divisional playoff win – that reflected an “all-in” approach.
Then Kroenke bit his nails and watched the drama unfold like everybody else.
“These games are all hard,” Kroenke said. “You don’t get to play. You don’t get to coach. You can’t do anything. So, you’ve got to have confidence in them.”
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Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) celebrates during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Inglewood, Calif., Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.
Still, Kroenke had to have vision in the first place, as much as people in the abandoned St. Louis market would detest. The Rams swung for the fences to land…