LA’s Mayor Garcetti at the LA Rams first Coliseum game
(Eric Garcetti / Flickr.com)
The Los Angeles Rams play in the National Football League’s (NFL) National Football Conference (West) division. Based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, they are the only franchise to have won championships whilst representing three different cities (St Louis in 1999, Los Angeles in 1951, and Cleveland in 1945.
Originally formed in 1936, the Rams play their games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and are headquartered at the California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. In 2015, Forbes estimated that the Ram’s worth was $1.45 billion, making them the 28th most valuable NFL team and the 44th most valuable sports team in the world. However, it was recently reported that since the Rams relocation back to Los Angeles, the Rams’ value has now shot up to $2.9 billion making them third in the NFL behind the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots.
- Full Name: Los Angeles Rams
- Conference: National Football Conference
- Division: West
- Location: Los Angeles, California
- Stadium Name: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
- Year Established: 1936
- Owner: Stan Kroenke
- Head Coach: Jeff Fisher
- Manager: Les Snead
- Nickname: The Rams
- Mascot: Rampage
- Team Colours: Millennium Blue, New Century Gold, White
Jack Youngblood, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech, 2001
(Howdythere / Wikipedia.org)
The Rams history begins in 1936 as a member of the American Football League, joining the National League a year later. Originally located in Cleveland, the team lost every game but one in its first season and failed to post a winning season in the next five. Their first successful season came in 1945, posting a 9-1 record and winning the NFL championship game against the Washington Redskins. This would prove to the their last game in Cleveland as Dan Reeves, the team’s owner, decided to move the franchise to Los Angeles in 1946 rather than compete with a new franchise that had been founded in the area known as the Cleveland Browns.
The 1950s saw the Rams set several attendance records, mainly due to their winning seasons that stretched from 1950-1955, winning conference championships in 1950, 1951 and 1955. The team had a particularly excellent offense, including Norm Van Brocklin, Elroy Hirsch, and Tom Fears.
In contrast, it was for their defensive line that the Rams were known in the 1960s. Known as the ‘Fearsome Foursome’, it consisted of Roosevelt Grier, Deacon Jones, Lamar Lundy and Merlin Olsen. Unfortunately, as good and as dominant this defensive line was, the 1960s were not particularly successful for the Rams, as they never advanced further than the divisional playoff round in the decade.
Defense continued to be a strength in the 1970s, thanks largely to the defensive end, Jack Youngblood, making a club record eight consecutive playoff appearances from 1973-1980. The 70s also saw seven division championships but just one conference championship in 1979. Success continued into the 1980s and they qualified for the playoffs seven times during the decade but, sadly, failed to make a return to the Super Bowl.
There was a loss of form in the 1990s, winning no more than six games in each season between 1990 and 1994. This resulted in a decline in attendance, which was one of the reasons cited for their eventual move to St Louis, Missouri in 1995 becoming the first ever professional football team to leave the West Coast. Their initial seasons were poor and culminated in a disastrous 1998 campaign that saw the Rams go 4-12. In one of the most remarkable turnarounds of form though, led by Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce and, Torry Holt they made an appearance in their second ever Super Bowl, beating the Tennessee Titans 23-16.
The Rams form continued into the early 21st century but sadly the team has failed to qualify for the playoffs since 2005. 2015 was the Rams’ last season in St Louis as they have now announced their intention to return to Los Angeles for the 2016 season.
Super Bowl Appearances
2001 Super Bowl XXXVI St Lous Rams 17 – New England Patriots 20
Played on February 3, 2002 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. The first ever Super Bowl to be played in February, this was due to the September 11 attacks which meant that there was a week’s games suspended in September. Thanks also to the September 11 attacks, it was also the first Super Bowl to be classed as a National Special Security Event. Every Super Bowl has been classed in the same way. The game was close and the Rams outgained the New England Patriots 427-277 in yards. However, ultimately, they were outplayed and lost the match 20-17.
1999 Super Bowl XXXIV St Louis Rams 23 Tennessee Titans 16
Super Bowl XXXIV was played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia on January 30, 2000. The Rams were National Football Conference and their opponents were the Tennessee Titans, American Football Conference champions. The Rams’ second ever Super Bowl, it saw them beat the Titans by 23-16, the Rams leading throughout the game, seeing off a late fightback by the Titans. The match was watched by over 70,000 in the stadium and by nearly 90 million viewers who were treated to the National Anthem by Faith Hill and a halftime show featuring Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, and Toni Braxton.
1979 Super Bowl XIV Los Angeles Rams 19 – Pittsburgh Steelers 31
With the Rams taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers from the National Football Conference, Super Bowl XIV was played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on January 20, 1980. Watched by a record 103,985 spectators and 76 million viewers, the Rams were leading 13-10 at halftime. However, they were unable to sustain this and the Pittsburgh Steelers eventually ran out 31-19 winners.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – temporary home until 2019
(Gerry Boughan / Shutterstock.com)
The home of the Los Angeles Rams is the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which is situated in the University Park area of Los Angeles. As well as housing the Rams, it is also home to the University of Southern California Trojan football team. It has been home to the Rams since 2016 and their return to Los Angeles from St Louis, Missouri, but it has previously been home to them when basked in L.A. between 1946 and 1979. Jointly owned by the state of California, the Los Angeles County and the city of Los Angeles, it will remain the Rams’ home until their City of Champions Stadium is completed, which is expected to open in August of 2019.
The Coliseum is one of the oldest in the USA having been commissioned in 1921 and finally finished in 1923. The stadium has been through numerous renovations over the years, the latest being a new 6000 square foot high definition scoreboard with more renovations planned for the future including replacing all the seats, and the addition of new box suites and premium lounges.
The Rams will move away from the Coliseum in 2019 when their City of Champions Stadium is fully built. Based in Inglewood, California, it will have a capacity of 70,000 for Rams games and up to 100,000 for other events. Construction costs estimated are $2.66 billion. It is also the planned location for Super Bowl XL (55th), which will be played on February 7th, 2021.
Jack Youngblood (1971-1984)
Jack Youngblood is the very essence of the Rams and is undoubtedly their best ever player. Terrorising opposing quarterbacks, he was a true warrior who even managed to play on in a Super Bowl despite breaking his leg. Known as the ‘John Wayne of the NFL’ he really is one of the all-time greats of both the Rams and football in general.
David Jones (1961-1971)
It was David Jones who coined the term ‘quarterback sack’ and if that statistic was kept back when he was playing, he would undoubtedly be known as the all-time sac leader to this day. A fearsome player, he remains one of the Rams most popular ever players.
Isaac Bruce (1994-2007)
Isaac Bruce is one of the best ever wide receivers to play the game and he was popular with Rams fans and fans in general of football. Quick, dynamic, and intelligent, he remains a popularity with Rams fans who remember his as a master craftsman.
Did You Know?
- The Rams are the only franchise to win championships whilst representing three different cities (Cleveland, St Louis, and Los Angeles.)
- In 1995, the Rams almost moved to Baltimore before the move to St Louis was given the go-ahead.
- The Rams new City of Champions Stadium will cost an estimated $2.6 billion to build.
- Celebrity Los Angeles Rams fans include Ryan Seacrest, Josh Gad and Nelly.
- The Rams are classed as the third most valuable franchise behind the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys.