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Moving Is an Option, but Rams Not for Sale : Pro football: In her first extensive interview in years, Frontiere talks about Baltimore, Knox, Everett and the suffering fans.

December 24, 1993|T.J. SIMERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"As far as I'm concerned," she said. "That's why we signed him for as many years as we did. He's still got a few years to go."

There have also been reports that the Rams are interested in talking with Bill Polian, former Buffalo general manager, about joining the team in that capacity next season.

"What for?" Frontiere asked. "That's what (Knox) wanted to do; that was part of our negotiations when we hired him. He would have full control in that area.

"I think at the end of the year, we'll evaluate things and see what he thinks. He may prefer to have some help along those lines that you are suggesting."

Many of the Rams' problems in 1993 can be attributed to Jim Everett's belly-flop. Frontiere, a longtime admirer of the quarterback, also remains a staunch defender, although she hinted that he might have to play elsewhere next season.

"I think he has a future in football," she said. "He's a really fine player. He's a good person, and I like him alot. I always have from Day 1. Besides, his mother always sends me a box of candy; what are you going to say?

"I think sometimes he tries to do the whole thing by himself. It's hard. But a lot of premier quarterbacks are that way. Why wouldn't (the fans) let him come back? Because of the booing?

"I think he was just going through a slump, that's my personal opinion. I think he will come out of it, and I would hope it would be to our benefit. But if he would choose to not be where there's a problem for him, and he would feel better with a new place, then someone else will really get the benefit from his coming out of it. He probably will do well someplace--quite often that happens."

The Rams have an 18-44 record the past four seasons; what assurances are there that they will not continue to struggle?

"I wish I could be the doctor of happiness for the fans and give them what will make them happy," she said. "I wish that."

Frontiere alluded to the musical "Damn Yankees," where the principal character sells his soul to the devil in exchange for on-field success.

"I would like to be able . . . to win every game but wouldn't go quite that far to do it," she said. "But I'd love to be able to be in the same position and give my fans what the 49ers give theirs. I'd love it."

But will Southland fans have a Ram team to root for in the coming years, or will it move elsewhere first?

"I really don't know," she said. "I have a gut feeling, yeah, but I can't tell you what it is at this time."

PROFILE

Georgia Frontiere

* POSITION: Owner and president, Los Angeles Rams.

* OWNERSHIP PATH: Became majority owner after the drowning death of her husband, Carroll Rosenbloom, on April 2, 1979.

* TEAM RECORD: Under Frontiere, the Rams have reached the playoffs eight times, the National Football Conference Championship game three times and the Super Bowl once. The Rams are 18-44 since their last play off appearance.

* FAMILY: Two children, four grandchildren.

Source: Rams

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