||It has been suggested that this article be merged with St. Louis Rams. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2012.|
|Relocated||1946 (Los Angeles Rams)|
|Based in||Cleveland, Ohio|
|Team History||Rams History|
|Team Colors||Dark blue, Red (1937), Dark blue, Yellow (1938-1945)
|Head coaches||Adam Walsh|
|Home field(s)||Cleveland Municipal Stadium (1936–1937, 1939–1941, 1945)
League Park (1937, 1942, 1944–1945)
Rubber Bowl (1941, 1942)
Shaw Stadium (1938)
The Cleveland Rams were a professional American football team based in Cleveland, Ohio, and progenitor of the NFL's St. Louis Rams. The Rams began playing in 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio. The NFL considers the franchise as a second incarnation of the previous Cleveland Rams team that was a charter member of the second American Football League. Although the NFL granted membership to the same owner, the NFL considers it a separate entity since only four of the players (William "Bud" Cooper, Harry "The Horse" Mattos, Stan Pincura, and Mike Sebastian) and none of the team's management joined the new NFL team.
Cleveland Rams (1936–1945)
The Cleveland Rams were founded by attorney Homer Marshman in 1936. Their name, the Rams, comes from the nickname of Fordham University. "Rams" was selected to honor the hard work of the football players that came out of that university. They were part of the newly formed American Football League and finished the 1936 regular season in second place with a 5–2–2 record, trailing only the 8–3 record of league champion Boston Shamrocks.
The following year the Rams joined the National Football League on February 12, 1937, and were assigned to the Western division to replace the St. Louis Gunners, who had left the league after a three-game stint in the 1934 season. From the beginning, they were a team marked by frequent moves, playing in four stadiums over several losing seasons.
In June 1941, the Rams were bought by Dan Reeves and Fred Levy, Jr.; Reeves, the principal owner, was an heir to his family's grocery-chain business; when the company was purchased by A&P, he used some of his inheritance to buy the team. in April 1943, Reeves bought out Levy (who later rejoined Reeves in the ownership of the Rams). The franchise suspended operations and sat out the 1943 season because of a shortage of players during World War II and resumed playing in 1944. The team finally achieved success in 1945, which proved to be their last season in Ohio. Quarterback Bob Waterfield, a rookie from UCLA, passed, ran, and place-kicked his way to the league's Most Valuable Player award and helped the Rams achieve a 9–1 record and winning their first NFL Championship, a 15–14 home field victory over the Washington Redskins on December 16. The victory was provided by a safety; Redskins great Sammy Baugh's pass caromed off the goal post and bounded through his own end zone. The next year rules were changed that made this a mere incomplete pass.
Pro Football Hall of Famers
Former Rams in the Pro Football Hall of Fame include Ollie Matson (33), Andy Robustelli (81), Dick "Night Train" Lane (also 81), coach Earl "Dutch" Clark, and general manager Tex Schramm. GM and later NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle and coach Sid Gillman are also members of the Hall of Fame, but were elected on the basis of their performances with other teams or (in the case of Rozelle) NFL administration.
|Cleveland Rams Hall of Famers|
|7||Bob Waterfield||1965||QB, DB, K, P||1945–1952|
Coaches of note
- Braunwart, Bob. "ALL THOSE A.F.L.'s: N.F.L. COMPETITORS, 1935-41". Professional Football Researchers Association. Retrieved 2006-11-13. "In 1937 the N.F.L. admitted the Cleveland Rams. Four of the players (according to Treat) were the same."
- "St. Louis Rams History: Chronology". Archived from the original on 2006-09-09. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- NFL History, 1945. Official Site of the NFL. Retrieved 13 September 2006.