By Jackie Walsh
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Rams fans gathered Wednesday for a parade and rally in celebration of their Super Bowl win outside of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the team’s former home stadium.
After the 1-mile parade that began at the Shrine Auditorium, the players and coaches took the stage in Exposition Park. Highlights included Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford drinking from a bottle of Don Julio 1942, head coach Sean McVay yelling every word into the microphone and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald standing shirtless front and center on stage for the entirety of the rally.
The celebration concludes the festivities in LA that began on Sunday when the Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 at SoFi Stadium, the team’s current home, in Inglewood.
Double-decker buses carried the team through the streets packed with fans relishing in their team’s victory. Shouts from players above asking “Whose house?” were responded with a resounding “Rams house!”
Despite the passion for the team in their journey to the Super Bowl, record-high ticket prices negated the close proximity of the game for local Rams fans. The parade and rally served as a way for fans from across the city to celebrate their team together.
According to the LA Times, there was speculation the Rams parade would also celebrate the Lakers and Dodgers 2020 championships, which were not formally commemorated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, on Wednesday one of the only attendees not wearing Rams attire or colors was Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, who wore a Kobe Bryant jersey.
Ventura County resident Eva Cardenas came to the event with her husband, both wearing Rams gear from head to toe. Because Cardenas could not buy tickets to watch the game in SoFi, she said she was grateful for the opportunity to celebrate with the city.
“I couldn’t buy tickets to the Super Bowl, but we were at every single home game this year,” Cardenas said. “It means the world to everybody.”
A Los Angeles resident who referred to himself as “Sam the Ram” made waves in Exposition Park with his Rams mask and Super Bowl heavyweight belt.
Sam has been supporting the Rams since 2008, when they were still in St. Louis. He said he would save up money to travel to four games every season to watch his team.
Yet Sam watched the Super Bowl with his family at home, a few miles away from the game.
“I would rather be with my immediate family than be at the Super Bowl because it did cost a lot of money,” Sam said. “I could have gone by myself, but I am not like that. It is a better feeling to be with your family.”
Inland Empire resident Joe Plaza attended Wednesday’s celebration wearing St. Louis and Los Angeles Rams gear.
Although Plaza supported the Rams from a distance when they were in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, he also did not watch the game on Sunday from SoFi.
“I had season tickets the first season they came back,” Plaza said. “Tickets are a little more expensive now with the new stadium, but hopefully one day I will get back in there.”
Amid the sea of blue and gold, Plaza saw diversity in the crowd that he said was essential to the Rams’ continued success in capturing the city.
“You have the older crowd already, and that is the people who are willing to spend the money, buy the tickets,” Plaza said. “You need to bring the younger crowd in to keep the ticket sales going. That is what I think is going to be the future of this organization.”
Jackie Walsh is a sports media graduate student at Medill.