St. Louis Rams
|St. Louis Rams|
Play in Edward Jones Dome
St. Louis, Missouri
Headquartered in Rams Park
Earth City, Missouri
|General manager||Les Snead|
|Head coach||Jeff Fisher|
Conference championships (6)
Division championships (15)
|Playoff appearances (27)|
In Los Angeles
In St. Louis
The St. Louis Rams are a professional American football team based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams are members of the West division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Rams have won three NFL championships and are the only team to win championships in three different cities.
The franchise began as the Cleveland Rams in 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio. The club was owned by Homer Marshman and featured players such as William "Bud" Cooper, Harry "The Horse" Mattos, Stan Pincura, and Mike Sebastian. Damon "Buzz" Wetzel joined as general manager.
After winning the 1945 NFL Championship Game, the team moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1946 to become the Los Angeles Rams. The club played their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum from 1946 until 1979, making way for Paul Brown's Cleveland Browns of the All-America Football Conference and becoming the only NFL champion to play the following season in another city.
- 1 Franchise history
- 1.1 Cleveland Rams (1936–1945)
- 1.2 Los Angeles Rams (1946–1994)
- 1.2.1 Los Angeles Rams: Los Angeles era (1946–1979)
- 1.2.2 Los Angeles Rams: Anaheim era (1980–1994)
- 1.3 St. Louis Rams (1995–present)
- 2 Team value
- 3 Season-by-season records
- 4 Logo and uniforms
- 5 Players of note
- 6 See also
- 7 Coaches of note
- 8 Radio and television
- 9 In popular culture
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Cleveland Rams (1936–1945)
The Cleveland Rams were founded in 1936 by attorney Homer Marshman and player-coach Damon Wetzel, a former Ohio State star who also played briefly for the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Pirates (now the Pittsburgh Steelers). 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 13, 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 three stadiums over several losing seasons. However, the team did feature the MVP of the 1939 season, rookie halfback Parker Hall 
In June 1941, the Rams were bought by Dan Reeves and Fred Levy, Jr. Reeves, an heir to his family's grocery-chain business that had been purchased by A&P, used some of his inheritance to buy his share of the team. Levy's family owned the Levy Brothers department store chain in Kentucky and he also came to own the Riverside International Raceway. Levy owned part of the Rams, with Bob Hope another of the owners, until Reeves bought out his partners in 1962.
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 bounced off of the goal post, then backward, through his team's own end zone. The next season, NFL rules were changed to prevent this from ever again resulting in scoring; instead, it would result in merely an incomplete pass.
Los Angeles Rams (1946–1994)
Los Angeles Rams: Los Angeles era (1946–1979)
1946–1948: Starting over in Los Angeles
On January 12, 1946, Reeves obtained the consent of the NFL to allow his team to relocate to Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which had a seating capacity at the time of 105,000—far greater than their Cleveland venue's. This placed the Rams more than 2,000 miles (3,200 km) away from the nearest NFL team, at the time (in Chicago). At the time, the last African-American to play in the NFL played in the early 1930s. The commissioners of the Los Angeles Coliseum approved the deal on the condition that the team be racially integrated. As a result, the Rams signed UCLA players Kenny Washington and Woody Strode, who became the first two black men to play in the NFL, post-World War II.
The Rams were the second NFL team to represent Los Angeles, but the first to actually play there: The Los Angeles Buccaneers, a traveling team stocked with Southern California natives, played there in 1926. The Rams played their first pre-season game against the Washington Redskins in front of a crowd of 95,000 fans. The team finished their first season in L.A. with a 6–4–1 record (2nd place behind the Chicago Bears). At the end of the season Walsh was fired as head coach.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, built in 1922 and used in the 1932 Summer Olympics, was the home of the Rams for more than thirty years. In 1948, halfback Fred Gehrke painted horns on the Rams' helmets, making the first modern helmet emblem in pro football. The next year, the Rams merged with fellow Coliseum tenants, the Los Angeles Dons.
1949–1955: Three-end formation
Between 1949 and 1955, the Rams played in the NFL championship game four times, winning once (in 1951). During this period, they had the best offense in the NFL, led by quarterbacks Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin (from 1951). Wide receiver Elroy Hirsch, teamed with fellow Hall-of-Famer Tom Fears, helped create the style of Rams football as one of the first big play receivers. During the 1951 Championship season, Hirsch posted 1,495 receiving yards with 17 touchdowns. The popularity of this wide-open offense enabled the Los Angeles Rams to become the first pro football team to have all its games televised (in 1950).
1956–1962: Tanking out
The Rams posted losing records in all but two seasons between 1956 and 1966. In those two seasons, the club finished with a 6 and 6 record in 1957 followed by an 8 and 4 mark and a strong second place showing the next year. Led by business executive Pete Rozelle's shrewd understanding of how to use television as a revolutionary promotional device, the Rams remained a business success despite the team's poor record. In a 1957 game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Rams set a record for attendance for a regular-season NFL game (102,368 people). The Rams drew over 100,000 fans twice the following year.
1963–1969: The Fearsome Foursome
The 1960s were defined by the Rams great defensive line of Rosey Grier, Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones, and Lamar Lundy, dubbed the "Fearsome Foursome". This group was put together by then head coach Harland Svare. It was this group of players who restored the on-field luster of the franchise in 1967 when the Rams reached (but lost) the conference championship under legendary coach George Allen. That 1967 squad would become the first NFL team to surpass one million spectators in a season, a feat the Rams would repeat the following year. In each of those two years, the L.A. Rams drew roughly double the number of fans that could be accommodated by their current stadium for a full season.
George Allen led the Rams from 1966 to 1970 and introduced many innovations. These included hiring a young Dick Vermeil as one of the first special teams coaches. Though Allen would enjoy five straight winning seasons and win two divisional titles in his time with the Rams he never won a playoff game with the team, losing in 1967 to Green Bay 28–7 and in 1969 23–20 to Minnesota. Allen would leave after the 1970 season to take the head coaching job for the Washington Redskins.
Quarterback Roman Gabriel played 11 seasons for the Rams dating from 1962 to 1972. From 1967 to 1971, Gabriel led the Rams to either a first- or second-place finish in their division every year. He was voted the MVP of the entire NFL in 1969, for a season in which he threw for 2,549 yards and 24 TDs while leading the Rams to the playoffs. During the 1970 season, Gabriel combined with his primary receiver Jack Snow for 51 receptions totaling 859 yards. This would prove to be the best season of their eight seasons as teammates.
Coach George Allen favored veteran squads, reflecting an "I want to win now, not build now" attitude, and habitually traded draft picks to other teams for veteran players. When Allen left after the 1970 season, he left behind an aging Rams squad. He was replaced in 1971 as Rams coach by former UCLA head coach Tommy Prothro. Prothro began rebuilding the Rams in the 1971 NFL college draft, laying the foundation for the Rams 1970s success by picking Isiah Robertson, Dave Elmendorf, and Jack Youngblood in that draft. In the 1972 draft Prothro continued his rebuilding of the Rams by drafting future pro-bowlers Lawrence McCutcheon and Jim Bertelsen.
In 1972 Chicago industrialist Robert Irsay purchased the Rams for $19 million and then traded the franchise to Carroll Rosenbloom for his Baltimore Colts and cash. The Rams remained solid contenders in the 1970s, winning seven straight NFC West championships between 1973 and 1979. Though they clearly were the class of the NFC in the 1970s along with the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings, they lost the first 4 conference championship games they played in that decade, losing twice each to Minnesota (1974, 1976) and Dallas (1975, 1978).
1973–1979: NFC West Champions
The Rams' coach for this run was Chuck Knox, who led the team through the 1977 season. The Chuck Knox-coached Rams featured an average offense, supported by an elite defense and special teams. The defining player of the 1970s L.A. Rams was Jack Youngblood. Youngblood was called the 'Perfect Defensive End' by fellow Hall-of-Famer Merlin Olsen. His toughness was legendary—notably, playing on a broken leg during the Rams' run to the 1980 Super Bowl. His blue-collar work ethic stood in stark contrast to the public perception that the Rams were a soft, "Hollywood" team. Coincidentally, though, several Rams players from this era took advantage of their proximity to Hollywood, dabbling in TV and/or film acting after their playing careers ended. Perhaps the most notable of these were Merlin Olsen (Little House on the Prairie and commercials for FTD florists) and Fred Dryer (star of NBC's hit, "Dirty Harry"-inspired police drama Hunter).
Ironically, it was the Rams' weakest divisional winner (an aging 1979 team that achieved only a 9–7 record, one game better than the New Orleans Saints) that would achieve the team's greatest success in that period. Led by third-year quarterback Vince Ferragamo, the Rams shocked the heavily favored and two-time defending NFC champion Dallas Cowboys 21–19 in the Divisional Playoffs, then shut out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9–0 in the conference championship game to win the NFC title and reach their first Super Bowl. Along with Ferragamo, key players for the Rams were halfback Wendell Tyler, offensive lineman Jackie Slater, and Pro Bowl defenders Jack Youngblood and Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds.
The Rams' opponent in their first Super Bowl was the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The game would be a virtual home game for the Rams, as it was played in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl. Although some oddsmakers set the Rams as a 10½ point underdog, the Rams were tightly competitive with Pittsburgh (forcing multiple turnovers; leading at halftime [13–10], and at the end of the 3rd quarter [19–17]). In the end, however, the Steelers scored two touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Despite a valiant effort by the Rams defense that stifled long yardage gains, the Steelers offense managed to "run out the clock" on the Rams offense, winning their 4th Super Bowl, 31–19.
Los Angeles Rams: Anaheim era (1980–1994)
|This section does not cite any references (sources). (September 2006)|
1979–1981: Starting over in Anaheim
Prior to their 1979 Super Bowl season, owner Carroll Rosenbloom drowned in an accident; his widow, Georgia Frontiere, inherited 70% ownership of the team. Frontiere fired her step-son, Steve Rosenbloom, to assume total control of the franchise. As had been planned prior to Carroll Rosenbloom's death, the Rams moved from their longtime home at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to Anaheim Stadium in nearby Orange County, in 1980. The reason for the move was twofold; first, attendance. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was more difficult to sell out than stadiums in other NFL cities because of its abnormally large seating capacity (100,000); and, Pete Rozelle—who had since become NFL Commissioner—created a 'black-out rule' preventing any home game that wasn't sold out 72 hours before kickoff from being broadcast in its local TV market. Second, Southern California's population patterns were changing: there was rapid growth in L.A.'s affluent suburbs (e.g., greater Orange County), and a decline in the city of Los Angeles' citizenship and earning power. Anaheim Stadium was originally built in 1965 as the home of the California Angels Major League Baseball franchise. To accommodate the Rams' move, the ballpark was re-configured with luxury suites, and enclosed to accommodate crowds 69,008 for football.
In 1982, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was occupied by the erstwhile Oakland Raiders. The combined effect of these two factors was to force the Rams' traditional fan base to be split between two teams. Making matters even worse, at this time the Rams were unsuccessful on the field, while the Raiders were thriving—even winning Super Bowl XVIII in 1983.
1983–1991: Robinson takes over the Rams
The hiring of coach John Robinson in 1983 provided a needed boost for pro football in Orange County. The former University of Southern California coach led the Rams to the playoffs six times in his nine seasons. They made the NFC Championship Game in 1985, where they would lose to the eventual Champion Chicago Bears. The most notable player for the Rams during that period was running back Eric Dickerson, who was drafted in 1983 out of SMU and won Rookie of the Year. In 1984, Dickerson rushed for 2,105 yards, setting a new NFL record, which still stands to this day. In the 1985 Divisional Playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys, Dickerson rushed for 248 yards setting an NFL Playoff Game record which also still stands. Dickerson would end his five years for the Rams in 1987, by being traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a number of players and draft picks. The trade occurred after a bitter contract dispute, shortly after the players' strike that year ended. Dickerson would remain as the Rams' career rushing leader with 7,245 yards until the 2010 season.
Despite the Dickerson trade, the Rams remained contenders due to the arrival of the innovative offensive leadership of Ernie Zampese. Zampese employed the intricate timing routes he had used to turn the San Diego Chargers into a state-of-the-art offense. Under Zampese, the Rams rose steadily from 28th-rated offense in 1986 to 3rd in 1990. In the late 1980s the Rams featured a gifted young QB in Jim Everett, a solid rushing attack, and a fleet of talented WRs. After an 11–5 record during the 1989 regular season, they were a team that seemed destined for greater things until a crushing 30–3 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1989 NFC Championship game.
1990–1994: Georgia's end game for the Rams in Southern California
The first half of the 1990s featured losing records, no playoff appearances, and waning fan interest. The return of Chuck Knox as head coach (after his successful stints as head coach of the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks), did not boost the Rams' fortunes. His run-oriented offense brought the end of Zampese's tenure, in 1993. John Shaw, the team's general manager, was perceived by some to continually squander NFL Draft picks on sub-standard talent. The offensive scheme was unsteady and unspectacular to watch — further alienating fans. One bright spot for the offense during this time was running back Jerome Bettis, although he was later traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers (after he became expendable when the team drafted highly touted running back Lawrence Phillips; this ultimately became one of the most lopsided trades in NFL history, strongly favoring the Steelers).
Team management traded quarterback Jim Everett, and released All-Pro linebacker Kevin Greene, which only widened the chasm between success and the Rams organization. The losing seasons increased. At this point, Georgia Frontiere blamed the poor front office decisions on their stadium situation. Neither Orange County nor the city of Los Angeles were prepared to build a taxpayer-financed stadium just for the Rams; after all, there were at least three perfectly suitable stadiums already in the Greater L.A. area.
Georgia Frontiere attempted to relocate the Rams to Baltimore, Maryland, but that deal was eventually stopped. Mrs. Frontiere then sought to re-locate the team to the city of her birth, St. Louis. NFL owners (of the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Giants, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, and the Minnesota Vikings, specifically) voted to oppose the move, arguing that Frontiere (who was claiming that, without the extra revenues from a new stadium, the L.A. market was so unprofitable that it risked bankrupting the Rams) had badly mismanaged the team. Nevertheless, she threatened to sue the NFL itself; ultimately, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue acquiesced to Frontiere's demands.
As part of the relocation deal, the city of St. Louis agreed to and guaranteed that the stadium's amenities would be maintained in the top 25% of all stadiums in the National Football League. After having lost the Cardinals to Arizona after the 1987 season (due in large part to the city's refusal to build them a new stadium), St. Louis had already begun construction on the Edward Jones Dome (originally the Trans World Dome) in an attempt to lure a new franchise. Frontiere waived the clause after a 10-year threshold period had passed, though, as the city implemented a later plan to improve the stadium.
The move left many in the Los Angeles area embittered toward the NFL. That sentiment was expressed by Fred Dryer, who at the time said, "I hate these people [the organization and its owner] for what they did, taking the Rams logo with them when they moved to St. Louis. That logo belonged to Southern California." Steve Rosenbloom, the general manager of the team during Carroll Rosenbloom's tenure, opined that teams come and go, but for a team to leave Los Angeles—the second largest media market in America—for St. Louis—approximately the 18th-largest—was simply irresponsible and foolish. With the Raiders moving from L.A. back to Oakland only a few months later, the NFL would have no franchise in Los Angeles. As of 2015 the league has yet to return.
St. Louis Rams (1995–present)
1995–1999: Starting over in St. Louis
The 1995 and 1996 seasons the Rams were under the direction of head coach Rich Brooks. Their most prolific player from their first two seasons was the fan-favorite Isaac Bruce. Then in 1997, Dick Vermeil was hired as the head coach. In 1997, the Rams traded up in the draft to select future All-Pro offensive tackle Orlando Pace. The Rams were very well known for their high powered offense in 1999. The season started with Trent Green injuring his leg in preseason play, which would leave him sidelined for the entire season. Vermeil told the public that the Rams would "Rally around Kurt Warner, and play good football." Warner, who had played QB for the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League just a few years prior, synced up with Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce to lead the Rams to one of the most historic Super Bowl offenses in history, posting 526 points for the season. This was the beginning of what would later become known around the league as The Greatest Show on Turf.
1999–2005: Greatest Show on Turf
In 1999, Kurt Warner shocked the league by throwing for 41 touchdowns. This got the Rams to Super Bowl XXXIV, where they beat the Tennessee Titans, 23–16. Warner was named the MVP. Following the Rams win, Dick Vermeil retired and Vermeil's Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz was hired as head coach. He managed to take the Rams to Super Bowl XXXVI, losing to the New England Patriots. Mike Martz helped the Rams establish a pass-first identity that would post an NFL record number of points forged over the course of 3 seasons (1999–2001). However, in the first round in the 2004 draft, the Rams chose Oregon State running back Steven Jackson as the 24th pick of the draft. Jackson has been one of the Rams' most successful running backs since the Rams' arrival in St. Louis.
Martz was criticized by many as careless with game management. He often feuded with several players as well as team president and general manager, Jay Zygmunt. However, most of his players respected him and went on record saying that they enjoyed him as a coach. In 2005, Mike Martz was ill and hospitalized for several games, allowing assistant head coach Joe Vitt to coach the remainder of the season, although Martz was cleared later in the season, team president John Shaw would not allow him to come back to coach the team.
After the Rams fired Martz, former Minnesota offensive coordinator Scott Linehan took control of an 8–8 team in 2006. In 2007, Linehan led the Rams to 3–13. Following the 2007 season, Georgia Frontiere died January 18, 2008 after a 28-year ownership commencing in 1979. Ownership of the team passed to her son Dale "Chip" Rosenbloom and daughter Lucia Rodriguez. Chip Rosenbloom was named the new Rams majority owner. Linehan was already faced with scrutiny from several players in the locker room, including Torry Holt and Steven Jackson. Linehan was then fired on September 29, 2008, after the team started the season 0–4. Jim Haslett, Defensive Coordinator under Linehan, was interim head coach for the rest of the 2008 season.
John Shaw then resigned as president, and personnel chief Billy Devaney was promoted to general manager on December 24, 2008, after the resignation of former president of football operations and general manager Jay Zygmunt on December 22.
On January 17, 2009 Steve Spagnuolo was named the new head coach of the franchise. In his previous post as Defensive Coordinator with the New York Giants, Spagnuolo masterminded a defensive scheme that shut down the potent offense of the previously undefeated and untied New England Patriots, the odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl that year. In one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history, the New York Giants defeated the Patriots 17–14. In spite of his success as Defensive Coordinator with the New York Giants, Spagnuolo's first season as Head Coach of the Rams was terribly disappointing as the team won only once in 16 attempts.
On May 31, 2009, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the majority owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez officially offered their majority share of Rams for sale. They retained the services of Goldman Sachs, a prominent investment banking firm, to help facilitate the sale of the Rams by evaluating bids and soliciting potential buyers. The sale price was unknown, but at the time Forbes magazine's most recent estimate listed the Rams' value at $929 million. One of the early contenders for the team was a group led by Dave Checketts and Rush Limbaugh; however, opposition to Limbaugh's potential ownership led to the group's dissolution. In February 2010 it was reported that Shahid Khan, a businessman from Urbana, Illinois, had signed an agreement to acquire the 60% ownership interest of Rosenbloom and Rodriguez, subject to approval by NFL owners. However, a month later, on the final day to do so, then-minority owner Stan Kroenke invoked his right of first refusal to buy the 60% of the team that he did not already own. (Khan would later acquire the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2011 season.)
Pursuant to NFL rules, owners are prohibited from owning other sports teams in markets where there is already an NFL team. At the time of purchase, Kroenke (d/b/a Kroenke Sports Enterprises), owned the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Rapids, and the Pepsi Center (home to the Nuggets and the Avalanche). Kroenke, a real estate and sports mogul as well as married to a Wal-Mart heir, also owned Altitude Sports and Entertainment. These interests violated the NFL's cross-ownership rule.
Nevertheless, on August 25, 2010, NFL owners unanimously approved Stan Kroenke as the owner of the franchise contingent upon his eventual divestment of his Colorado sports interests. Kroenke complied with the rule when he transferred ownership of the Nuggets, Avalanche, the Pepsi Center, and the Altitude to his son Josh Kroenke.
The Rams received the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft after finishing the 2009 season with a 1–15 record. The team used the pick to select quarterback Sam Bradford from the University of Oklahoma. The Rams finished the 2010 season second in the NFC West with a record of 7–9. Bradford started all 16 games for the Rams after earning the starting QB position during the preseason. On October 24, 2010, running back Steven Jackson passed Eric Dickerson as the franchise's career rushing leader.
On January 18, 2011 the Rams hired Josh McDaniels, former head coach of the Denver Broncos. Coincidentally, McDaniels was the Offensive Coordinator of the New England Patriots team that went undefeated and untied until it faced the stout defense led by Steve Spagnuolo of the New York Giants. McDaniels replaced Pat Shurmur as Offensive Coordinator.
On February 4, 2011, Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year. Sam Bradford received 44 of the 50 possible from the nationwide panel of media members. Bradford finished the 2010 season off with a 60% completion percentage, 18 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. The last three quarterbacks to win this award were Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers (2004), Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans (2006), and Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons (2008).
After a solid rookie campaign by starting quarterback Sam Bradford and strong 7–9 finish to the 2010 season, the team and fans held high expectations for the upcoming season. Unfortunately for the team, due to injuries to starters and poor execution, the Rams fell to a 2–14 record and poor finish to the 2011 season. Their non respectable record and production led to coach firings across the board including head coach Steve Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, as well front office changes including the general manager position immediately following the season. Their poor 2–14 record awarded the Rams the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
2012–present: Jeff Fisher era
On January 2, 2012, one day after the Rams finished 2–14, head coach Steve Spagnuolo and GM Billy Devaney were fired.  McDaniels also left the team and returned to New England to become offensive coordinator for the 2012 season.
The organization did not appear to be interested in any other candidates when Jeff Fisher was hired. Fisher was being courted by the Rams and the Miami Dolphins and his stock had risen after being out of football for one season having parted ways with the Tennessee Titans the year before. Of note, Fisher was asked during the interview process about his experience in coaching during the relocation of the Houston Oilers relocation to Tennessee. Initially, the Oilers relocated to Memphis, Tennessee for one season before moving to their current home in Nashville and changing their name to the Tennessee Titans. It was implied that Fisher would not be interested in such a move and this tended to suggest that he would ultimately choose the Dolphins due to the continued uncertainty regarding the Rams and St. Louis. Nevertheless, on January 13, 2012, Jeff Fisher officially announced his decision to assume the duties of head coach for the Rams.
On January 20, 2012, it was announced that the Rams would play one home game a season at Wembley Stadium, London, for the next 3 seasons. The first game was played against the New England Patriots on October 28, 2012. The Patriots would beat the Rams badly 45–7. However, on August 13, 2012, it was announced that the Rams have withdrawn from the 2013 and 2014 games (the Jacksonville Jaguars would later take up those spots and more).
On January 23, 2012, it was officially announced that Brian Schottenheimer had been hired to be the new offensive coordinator, making him the third offensive coordinator that Sam Bradford has had in as many seasons. Brian Schottenheimer had previously been the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets. During that time, the Jets had gone to back-to-back AFC Championship Games.
The Rams would make a quiet turn around from their 2011 season under new head coach Jeff Fisher and their new coaching staff. The team went on to finish with a 7–8–1 record on the season, recording the first tie game in a season since 2008. The Rams showed a new level of competitiveness with improved player personnel and positive attitude. Important players like Sam Bradford, Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Robert Quinn would record career high numbers helping the Rams' to an improved season. Almost immediately following the season, the Rams let go of recently suspended defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and his son, linebacker coach Blake Williams. Overall, the Rams were able to show their strive and potential for a bright future during their 2012 campaign.
In the 2013 season, the Rams started out 3–3 before a season ending ACL injury to starting quarterback Sam Bradford on a run out of bounds in week 7 against the Carolina Panthers. Backup quarterback Kellen Clemens started the last 9 games of the season and with help from a solid defense and playmakers on offense like rookie Tavon Austin, the Rams finished the season 7–9.
Going into the 2014 season, the Rams rehired Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator and Sam Bradford seemed to have recovered well from his ACL injury. However, during a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, Bradford was again injured and it was later discovered he had torn his ACL for the second consecutive year. Backups Shaun Hill and Austin Davis both played during the season and even with the emergence of rookie running back Tre Mason and rookie defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who would go on to win the 2014 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, the Rams would finish 6–10.
On March 10, 2015, the Rams were involved in a rare trade of starting quarterbacks as they traded quarterback Sam Bradford along with a fifth-round pick in 2015 to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the Eagles' quarterback Nick Foles along with a fourth-round pick in 2015 and a second round pick in 2016. Foles had a 14-4 record as starter of the Eagles and an impressive TD-INT ratio of 46-17, while Bradford had an 18-30-1 record with the Rams. May 2, on the date of the 2015 draft the Rams traded Zac Stacy for a 7th round pick to the Jets. Stacy led the team in rushing in 2013.
The Rams and the St. Louis CVC began negotiating deals to get the Rams home stadium, the Edward Jones Dome into the top 25 percent of stadiums in the league (i.e., top eight teams of the thirty two NFL teams in reference to luxury boxes, amenities and overall fan experience). Under the terms of the lease agreement, the St. Louis CVC was required to make modifications to the Edward Jones Dome in 2005. However, then-owner, Georgia Frontiere, waived the provision in exchange for cash that served as a penalty for the city's noncompliance. The City of St. Louis, in subsequent years, made changes to the score board and increased the natural lighting by replacing panels with windows, although the overall feel remains dark. The minor renovations which totaled about $70 million did not bring the stadium within the specifications required under the lease agreement, thus keeping the Dome in a state of uncertainty. On February 1, 2013, an Arbitrator (3 panel) selected to preside over the arbitration process found that the Edward Jones Dome was not in the top 25% of all NFL venues as required under the terms of the lease agreement between the Rams and the CVC. The Arbitrator (3 panel) further found that the estimated $700 million in proposed renovations by the Rams was not unreasonable given the terms of the lease agreement. Finally, the City of St. Louis was ordered to pay the Rams attorneys' fees which totaled a reported $2 million.
Publicly, city, county and state officials have expressed no interest in providing further funding to the Edward Jones Dome in light of those entities, as well as taxpayers, continuing to owe approximately $300 million more on that facility. As such, if a resolution is not reached by the end of the 2014 NFL season and the City of St. Louis remains non-compliant in its obligations under the lease agreement, the Rams would be free to nullify their lease and go to a year-to-year lease. At this time the city of St. Louis and the State of Missouri are in the process of creating a new stadium deal to present the Rams Ownership.
On January 31, 2014, both the Los Angeles Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Stan Kroenke purchased approximately 60 acres of land adjacent to the Forum in Inglewood, California. It would be, by the most conservative estimates, sufficient land on which an NFL-proper stadium may be constructed. The purchase price was rumored to have been between $90 million - $100 million. Commissioner Roger Goodell represented that Mr. Kroenke informed the league of the purchase. As an NFL owner, any purchase of land in which a stadium could potentially be built must be disclosed to the league. This development has further fueled rumors that the Rams intend to return its management and football operations to Southern California. The land was initially targeted for a Walmart Supercenter but Walmart could not get the necessary permits to build the center. Kroenke is married to Ann Walton Kroenke who is a member of the Walton family and many of Kroenke's real estate deals have involved Walmart properties.
Potential new stadium in St. Louis and possible relocation to Los Angeles
On January 5, 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that Stan Kroenke and Stockbridge Capital Group are partnering up in developing a new NFL stadium on the Inglewood property owned by Kroenke. The project would include an 80,000-seat stadium and a 6,000-seat performance venue while reconfiguring the previously approved Hollywood Park plan for up to 890,000 square feet of retail, 780,000 square feet of office space, 2,500 new residential units, a 300-room hotel and 25 acres of public parks, playgrounds, open space and pedestrian and bicycle access. The stadium would likely be ready by 2018. In lieu of this, St. Louis countered with a stadium plan for the north riverfront area of downtown, with the hope of keeping the Rams in the city. On February 24, 2015, the Inglewood City Council approved the stadium and the initiative with construction on the stadium planned to begin in December 2015. As it currently stands, it is believed Kroenke is intent on moving the Rams back to Los Angeles , but that is still up to the NFL owners, and what the Stadium task force in St. Louis get done including the Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities (which consists of John Mara, Clark Hunt, Art Rooney II, Robert Kraft, Bob McNair and Jerry Richardson). Kroenke has not commented publicly regarding the future of the team in St. Louis, or otherwise, since the hiring of coach Jeff Fisher in January 2012.
Forbes estimated the worth of the team in 2013 as $775 million, the 44th most valuable team in the world. The team's value was estimated at $780 million in August 2012. In 2015 the team worth was $1.45 billion, the 22nd most valuable NFL team.
Logo and uniforms
The Rams were the first NFL team to have a logo on their helmets. Ever since halfback Fred Gehrke, who worked as a commercial artist in off-seasons, painted ram horns on the team's leather helmets in 1948, the logo has been the club's trademark.
When the team debuted in 1937, the Rams' colors were red and black, featuring red helmets, black uniforms with red shoulders and sleeves, tan pants, and red socks with black and white stripes. One year later they would switch their team colors to gold and royal blue, with gold helmets, white pants, royal blue uniforms with gold numbers and gold shoulders, white pants with a royal stripe, and solid royal blue socks. By the mid-1940s the Rams had adopted gold jerseys (with navy blue serif numerals, navy blue shoulders, gold helmets, white pants with a gold-navy-gold stripe, and gold socks with two navy stripes). The uniforms were unchanged as the team moved to Los Angeles. The helmets were changed to navy in 1947. When Gehrke introduced the horns, they were painted yellow-gold on navy blue helmets. In 1949 the team adopted plastic helmets, and the Rams' horns were rendered by the Riddell company of Des Plaines, Illinois, which baked a painted design into the helmet at its factory. Also in 1949 the serif jersey numerals gave way to more standard block numbers. Wider, bolder horns joined at the helmet center front and curving around the earhole appeared in 1950; this design was somewhat tapered in 1954–1955. Also in 1950 a blue-gold-blue tri-stripe appeared on the pants and "Northwestern University-style" royal blue stripes were added to jersey sleeves. A white border was added to the blue jersey numerals in 1953. So-called "TV numbers" were added on jersey sleeves in 1956. In accordance with a 1957 NFL rule dictating that the home team wear dark, primary-colored jerseys and the road team light shirts, the Rams hurriedly readied for the regular season new royal-blue home jerseys with golden striping and golden front and back numerals with a white border. The white border was removed in 1958. The Rams continued to wear their golden jerseys for 1957 road games, but the following year adopted a white jersey with blue numerals and stripes. In 1962–63 the team's road white jersey featured a UCLA-style blue-gold-blue crescent shoulder tri-stripe.
In 1964, concurrent with a major remodeling of the team's Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum home, the colors were changed to a simpler blue and white. The new helmet horns were white, wider, and separated at the helmet center front. The blue jersey had white numerals with two white sleeve stripes. The white jersey featured blue numerals and a wide blue crescent shoulder stripe. A 1964 league rule allowed teams to wear white jerseys for home games and the Rams were among several teams to do so (the Dallas Cowboys, who introduced their blue-white-silverblue uniform that season, have worn white at home ever since), as owner Dan Reeves felt it would be more enjoyable for fans to see the various colors of the rest of the league as opposed to always having the Rams in blue and the visiting team in white. The pants were white with a thick blue stripe. In 1970, in keeping with the standards of the fully merged NFL and AFL, names appeared on the jersey backs for the first time. The sleeve "TV numbers," quite large compared to those of other teams, were made smaller in 1965. From 1964 to early 1972 the Rams wore white jerseys for every home league game and exhibition, at one point not wearing their blue jerseys at all from the 10th game of 1967 through the 1971 opener, a stretch of 48 games; it was a tradition that continued under coaches Harland Svare, George Allen, and Tommy Prothro. But new owner Carroll Rosenbloom did not particularly like the Rams' uniforms, so in pursuit of a new look the team wore its seldom-used blue jerseys for most home games in 1972. During that season Rosenbloom's Rams also announced an intention to revive the old blue and gold colors for 1973, and asked fans to send in design ideas.
The colors returned to yellow-gold and blue in 1973. The new uniform design consisted of yellow-gold pants and curling rams horns on the sleeves – yellow gold horns curving from the shoulders to the arms on the blue jerseys, which featured golden numerals (a white border around the numerals, similar to the 1957 style, appeared for two exhibitions and was then removed). Players' names were in contrasting white. The white jersey had similarly shaped blue horns, blue numerals and names. The white jerseys also had yellow gold sleeves. The gold pants included a blue-white-blue tri-stripe, which was gradually widened through the 1970s and early 1980s. The blue socks initially featured two thin golden stripes, but these were rarely visible. From 1973 to 1976 the Rams were the only team to wear white cleats on the road and royal blue cleats at home. The new golden helmet horns were of identical shape, but for the first time the horn was not factory-painted but instead a decal applied to the helmet. The decal was cut in sections and affixed to accommodate spaces for face-mask and chin-strap attachments, and so the horn curved farther around the ear hole. Jersey numerals were made thicker and blunter in 1975. The Rams primarily wore blue at home with this combination, but after 1977 would wear white on occasion at home, notably for games against the Dallas Cowboys (who usually do not wear their blue jerseys due to a superstition that the Cowboys' blue jerseys are jinxed) and selected AFC teams. The team wore its white jerseys for most of its 1978 home dates, including its post-season games with the Minnesota Vikings and Cowboys – though the latter is the only postseason game Dallas has ever won while outfitted in their blue jerseys. Standard gray face masks became dark blue in 1981. The Rams wore white jerseys exclusively in the 1982 and 1993 seasons, as well as other selected occasions throughout their 15 seasons in Anaheim.
The team's colors were changed from yellow gold and blue to Vegas Gold and navy blue in 2000 following the Super Bowl win. A new logo of a charging ram's head was added to the sleeves and gold stripes were added to the sides of the jerseys. The new gold pants no longer featured any stripes. Blue pants and White pants with a small gold stripe (an extension off the jersey stripe that ended in a point) were also an option with the Rams only electing to wear the white set in a pre-season game in San Diego in 2001. The helmet design essentially remains the same as it was in 1948, except for updates to the coloring, navy blue field with gold horns. The 2000 rams'-horn design features a slightly wider separation at the helmet's center. Both home and away jerseys had a gold stripe that ran down each side, but that only lasted for the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
In 2003, the Rams wore blue pants with their white jerseys for a pair of early-season games, but after losses to the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks, the Rams reverted to gold pants with their white jerseys. In 2005, the Rams wore the blue pants again at home against Arizona and on the road against Dallas. In 2007, the Rams wore all possible combinations of their uniforms. They wore the Blue Tops and Gold Pants at home against Carolina, San Francisco, Cleveland, Seattle, and on the road against Dallas. They wore the Blue Tops and Blue Pants at home against Arizona, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh on Marshall Faulk night. They wore the Blue Tops and White Pants on the road in Tampa Bay and at home against Green Bay. They wore White Tops and Gold Pants at New Orleans and San Francisco. They wore White Tops and White Pants at Seattle and Arizona. And they wore White Tops and Blue Pants at Baltimore and Cincinnati. In 2008, the Rams went away with the gold pants. The gold pants were used for only one regular season game at Seattle. The blue jerseys with white pants and white jerseys with blue pants combination were used most of the time. For the 2009 season, the Rams elected to wear the white pants with both jerseys for the majority of the time except the games against the Vikings and Texans (see below) where they wore the throwback jerseys from the 1999 season, week 2 in Washington when they wore gold pants with the blue jersey, and week 12 against Seattle when the wore blue pants with the blue jersey.
Since moving to St. Louis, the Rams have always worn blue at home. Like most other teams playing in a dome, the Rams do not need to wear white to gain an advantage with the heat despite the team's midwestern geographic location. The Rams wore their white jerseys and blue pants in St. Louis against the Dallas Cowboys, on October 19, 2008, forcing the Cowboys to wear their "unlucky" blue uniforms, and won the game 34–14. On October 21, 2012, the Rams wore white jerseys and white pants against the Green Bay Packers.
The NFL approved the use of throwback uniforms for the club during the 2009 season to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 1999 Super Bowl Championship Team. The Rams wore the throwback uniforms for two home games in 2009 – October 11 against the Minnesota Vikings and December 20 against the Houston Texans. The Rams wore their 1999 throwbacks again on October 31, 2010, when they beat the Carolina Panthers 20–10. In 1994, the team's last season in Southern California, the Rams wore jerseys and pants replicating those of their 1951 championship season for their September games with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Players of note
Numbers that have been retired by the Rams:
|St. Louis Rams retired numbers|
Pro Football Hall of Famers
Former Rams in the Pro Football Hall of Fame include Joe Namath (12), Ollie Matson (33), Andy Robustelli (84), Dick "Night Train" Lane (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/Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams Hall of Famers|
|40||Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch||1968||RB, WR||1949–1957|
|67, 48||Les Richter||2011||LB, K||1954–1962|
|25||Norm Van Brocklin||1971||QB, P||1949–1957|
|7||Bob Waterfield||1965||QB, DB, K, P||1945–1952|
St. Louis Football Ring Of Fame
|25||Norm Van Brocklin||1949–1957||1999|
|40||Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch||1949–1957||1999|
|75||David Deacon Jones||1961–1971||1999|
|84*||Jack Snow||1964–1975, Broadcaster||2006|
|*Jack Snow is not a Hall of Famer, but is honored due to his death in 2006|
|Coaches and Executives|
|Head Coach||Dick Vermeil||1997–1999||2008|
Coaches of note
St. Louis Rams staff
Radio and television
The Rams were the first NFL team to televise their home games; in a sponsorship arrangement with Admiral television, all home games of the 1950 NFL season were shown locally. The Rams also televised games in the early 1950s. The 1951 NFL Championship Game was the first championship game televised coast-to-coast (via the DuMont Network). During the team's years in Los Angeles all games were broadcast on KMPC radio (710 AM); play-by-play announcers were Bob Kelley (who accompanied the team from Cleveland and worked until his death in 1966), Dick Enberg (1966–77), Al Wisk (1978–79), Bob Starr (1980–89, 1993), Eddie Doucette (1990), Paul Olden (1991–92), and Steve Physioc (1994). Analysts included Gil Stratton, Steve Bailey, Dave Niehaus (1968–72), Don Drysdale (1973–76), Dick Bass (1977–86), Jack Youngblood (1987–91), Jack Snow (1992–94), and Deacon Jones (1994).
The Rams' flagship radio station is 101.1 FM WXOS, a sports station in St. Louis with ESPN Radio Affiliation. Steve Savard, is the play-by-play man with D'Marco Farr in the color spot and Brian Stull reporting from the field. From 2000 to 2008 KLOU FM 103.3 was the Rams' flagship station with Savard as the play-by-play announcer. Until October 2005, Jack Snow had been the color analyst since 1992, dating back to the team's days in the Los Angeles area. Snow left the booth after suffering an illness and died in January 2006. Former Rams offensive line coach Jim Hanifan joined KLOU as the color analyst the year after Jack Snow's departure. Before the Rams moved to KLOU, from 1995 to 1999 the Rams games were broadcast on KSD 93.7 FM. On Television, games are either broadcast on Fox, CBS, ESPN, or NFL Network. Preseason games not shown on a national broadcast network are seen on KTVI in St. Louis; preseason games are produced by Altitude, a regional sports network in Denver that shares common ownership with the Rams.
|St. Louis||WXOS-FM||101.1 FM|
|Osage Beach||KMYK-FM||93.5 FM|
|Bonne Terre||KDBB-FM||104.3 FM|
|Bowling Green||KPVR-FM||94.1 FM|
|Mount Vernon||WMIX-AM||940 AM|
In popular culture
- In the 1978 film Heaven Can Wait, Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty), a fictional quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, is looking forward to leading his team to the Super Bowl.
- In the 2000 film Cast Away, Tom Hanks' character returns from being stranded on an island for four years to his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. His former fiancée, Kelly, tells him that the Houston Oilers have folded and the Titans formed. She adds that the Titans came close to winning a Super Bowl, losing on the last play and separated from overtime by one yard. The last play is known as The Tackle.
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- 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.
- Joe F. Carr, ed., Official Guide of the National Football League: 1937 [New York: American Sports Publishing Co., 1937], 43.
- National Football League. "NFL Champions." http://www.profootballhof.com/history/general/champions.aspx
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- "Fred Levy Jr.; Football Team Owner, 89 – New York Times". Nytimes.com. 1991-04-24. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
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- NFL History, 1945. Official Site of the NFL. Retrieved 13 September 2006.
- McGowen, Roscoe (January 13, 1946). "Cleveland Rams Transfer Eleven to Los Angeles" (PDF). The New York Times. p. 7. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at Ballparks.com (accessed 15 June 2012).
- Rams Fun Facts: Rams Famous Firsts[dead link]. Official Website of the St. Louis Rams. Retrieved 13 September 2006.
- Rams Fun Facts: The Rams Horns[dead link]. Official Website of the St. Louis Rams. Retrieved 13 September 2006.
- Rader, Benjamin. American Sports. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1983, pp. 254–5.
- "102,000 Watch Rams Upset Frisco, 37–24", Milwaukee Journal, November 11, 1957, p12; Jonathan Rand, The Year That Changed the Game: The Memorable Months That Shaped Pro Football (Potomac Books, 2008) p157
- MSNBC.com Sports[dead link] "Former Rams owner Frontiere dies." Retrieved on 20 January 2008.
- [dead link] "Future ownership of Rams in doubt." Retrieved 20 January 2008.
- Gordon, Jeff (2008-03-25). "Core must carry Rams through season of change". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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- "NFL Team Valuations: #23 St Louis Rams". Forbes. September 10, 2008.
- "Dave Checketts' statement regarding Rush Limbaugh". Sporting News staff reports.[dead link]
- "Report: Rams sale agreement in place". ESPN.com. February 11, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
- "Kroenke opts to try to buy Rams". ESPN.com. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- "Rams clean house by firing coach Spagnuolo, GM Devaney". Nfl.com. 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Patriots officially announce McDaniels' hiring as assistant". NFL.com. 2012-01-08. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- Adam SchefterNFLFollowArchive (2012-01-08). "New England Patriots rehire Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator, source says – ESPN Boston". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- StLouisRams.com (2012-08-30). "Rams to Play Patriots in London". Stlouisrams.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- Wagoner, Nick (February 1, 2014). "Stan Kroenke buys 60 acres in L.A.". ESPN. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Piper, Brandie (January 31, 2014). "Report: Rams owner bought 60 acres of land in Calif.". KSDK. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Farmer, Sam; Vincent, Roger (5 January 2015). "Owner of St. Louis Rams plans to build NFL stadium in Inglewood". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Breer, Albert (January 26, 2015). "Rams owner's stadium plan pushes NFL closer to L.A. return". National Football League. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "#44 St. Louis Rams". Forbes.com. January 27, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
- "Manchester United Becomes First Team Valued At $3 Billion". Forbes.com. January 27, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
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- "San Diego Chargers on the Forbes NFL Team Valuations List". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
- Lukas, Paul (2011-05-17). "Uni Watch » Uni Watch Profiles: Todd Hewitt". Uniwatchblog.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- "Uni Watch » White at Home in the NFL". Uniwatchblog.com. 2010-06-23. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- "Romo-less Cowboys lose to Rams". Yahoo!.
- Rams will wear 1999 'throwbacks' in '09[dead link]
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