What looked like a sketchy and controversial deal has suddenly petered out and become a no-brainer. Some 535 reports published in the past 24 hours all state that Stan Kroenke is not seeking a waiver to the NFL's cross-ownership rules. He will comply with the league's policy on cross-ownership.
Of course, this would force him to surrender majority control of both the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche.
Does he plan to sell? No, not really. Word has it that he plans to give control to his son, Josh, the 29-year-old Director of Operations for the Denver Nuggets.
Don't laugh. Eddie DeBartolo owned the Pittsburgh Penguins through his sister in much the same fashion. He did so straight through the peak of the 49er dynasty and Super Mario time. This scheme works from the NFL's point of view.
With the cross-ownership rule out of the way, there is literally nothing to stop Kroenke from purchasing 100 percent control of the Rams.
He is already 40 percent owner of the Rams.
He is already an NFL insider. He is already buddy-buddy with powerful and influential owners such as Pat Bowlen.
His family is worth something like three-times as much money as Shahid Khan is. Having already flagged financial devices in Khan's bid, it is unlikely the NFL will leave the Rams orphaned by saying no to Kroenke.
Frankly, I am overjoyed to hear this news.
Protracted legal squabbles have been avoided. The Rams will have a presumptive owner come draft day. There will be financial direction from the top. There will be a clear boss who signs the checks. Further, he is a major sports mogul.
There is more than that.
Kroenke's announcement officially brings the Rosenbloom-Frontiere epoch to a close. The era began well enough in the 1970s, but petered out with Carrol Rosenbloom's untoward death in 1979.
In most Ram circles, Georgia was not well regarded, and in some, she was outright hated. For better or for worse, Georgia was held personally responsible for the Rams' impotence throughout the 1990s and their rapid decline after the Greatest Show on Turf ended.
Some 17 years ago, many Ram fans in SoCal pinned their hopes for better, more competitive ownership to Kroenke's suit jacket. Let us hope that Kroenke will be the kind of owner that will make league historians forget about Eddie DeBartolo.