I wasn’t too happy at first about the Rams returning to Los Angeles. It wasn’t because I didn’t like football or the Rams. I loved the Rams growing up. They were my NFL team. I loved Merlin Olsen, Rosie Grier, Roman Gabriel, Vince Ferragamo, Eric Dickerson, and all of those Youngbloods. I loved them when they wore blue-and-white and blue-and-gold. I was excited when the Rams made it to the Super Bowl in 1980. I was even excited when they finally won as the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV. Then, Georgia Frontiere said in her victory speech that she made the right choice moving the Rams to St. Louis — a final twist of the knife in the backs of Los Angeles fans who stayed loyal for years. After that, the hell with the Rams.
So, why would I give the Rams another chance after they screwed over fans in three cities? (Let’s not forget about Cleveland.)
The Rams did two things that won back my respect. The first happened long before they hit the field.
When Cleveland Charter High School in Reseda had $7,000 stolen from funds to support the football team, the Rams showed up and donated equipment to the team. I was happy to see a school from my hometown get the help they needed. It also showed me that the Rams are committed to our community. It made me feel that the Rams didn’t come back just to suck more money from LA fans and head out to whatever city offered them a better deal. They want to be a part of Southern California again.
The other happened at the first game they played back in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Rams played a preseason game with the Dallas Cowboys. The game started horribly for the Rams. Rookie quarterback Jared Goff played as well as you would expect a rookie to play. The Rams found themselves in a 24-7 hole at halftime. But the Rams came back from behind to win 28-24.
LA-area fans have a reputation of “if our team doesn’t win, we might as well go to the beach.” But we’ve stuck it out when our local teams had miserable seasons (like the one the Angels are currently having). What matters to us is if our teams play like they want to be there. The Rams played like they wanted to be there. We like victories, but we respect heart and determination.
For those reasons, Los Angeles Rams, I’m giving you another chance. Don’t let us LA-area fans down again by giving up on the field and moving somewhere else. We’re counting on you to instill in our children the love of football you gave me when I was young.