Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Column: The Familiar Taste of Victory

By Alexander Vail

IMC Student

It is nothing short of remarkable what hoisting a championship trophy can do for a city and the community. When the Los Angeles Rams won Super Bowl LVI in their home stadium, it worked magic on the city unlike any Lakers, Dodgers, or Kings championship.

I never lived through the 1980s, but I did grow up in the greater Los Angeles area and understood the importance and impact the Lakers championships had on uniting the city. Whether it’s a massive mural of Kobe Bryant standing five stories tall or someone painting their house Dodger blue for the MLB postseason, Los Angeles has a very prevalent sports fanbase.

I remember my biggest unanswered question at age 11 was why L.A. didn’t have an NFL team. I couldn’t wrap my middle school brain around why a city so big, with such dedicated fans for professional basketball, hockey, and baseball, didn’t have the biggest franchise sport at all. I remember sitting on my dad’s shoulders to see over the standing crowd at USC football games in the early 2000s, back when they were ranked. I couldn’t see where the sea of people stopped at the Coliseum, always packed full of close to a hundred thousand fans.

Following the move back to L.A., the Rams gradually showed that they were going to be the face of the future for the NFL. A complete brand reface transformed the team’s logo, colors, and uniform to show they wanted to leave their history in St. Louis in the past. This was also complimented by a complete over the top brand-new stadium to make even more waves in the industry.

After just six short years back in L.A., Sean McVay was going to march the Rams back onto the field for his second Super Bowl appearance as head coach, only this time, at home, in new colors, with a new quarterback, and unfinished business.

The halftime performance by L.A. icons Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre was another nod to the city being reborn back into the NFL in a completely new and modern way. The stage represented cultural staples around Compton and East Los Angeles, areas also known for producing prevalent NFL players.

With how much had changed in the Rams organization since their last Super Bowl appearance in Atlanta back in 2018, it almost felt right that the first NFL title in L.A. was won at their new home. For a city that has hosted five Super Bowls, including the very first one, this championship was unlike any other.


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