By Ashton Edmunds
LOS ANGELES – “Whose House? Rams house!”
“Whose house? Rams house!”
Los Angeles Rams fans repeated the chant in a crowd that was flooded with blue-and-yellow Los Angeles Aaron Donald and St. Louis Torry Holt Rams jerseys, hats and towels as the Super Bowl LVI championship parade celebration took place in South Los Angeles.
The parade started at Shrine Auditorium at 11 a.m. and ended at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Rams first played their games when the team moved from Cleveland in 1947. Rams fans savored the moment as the team celebrated its first Super Bowl victory in Los Angeles.
“For the city of LA from an NFL standpoint, it is huge because this is our first Super Bowl victory in LA,” said Robert Nunez, a longtime Rams fan and Los Angeles native. “Rams in general, second one, but for LA this is huge.”
In a region with two teams in every major professional league, which has at times produced multiple champions in the same year, Nunez said he believes the city needs a central location for celebrations moving forward.
Over the years, Los Angeles sports teams have held championship parades in various locations. After the Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers to win the NBA championship title in 2000, the team held its parade downtown, beginning at the Department of Water and Power and concluding at the plaza right across from what is now known as Crypto.com Arena. Both the Dodgers and Lakers parades throughout the 1980s typically started on Broadway and concluded at City Hall for a rally, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Nunez said he still feels like the city has no central location for parades.
“I’ve been to Dodger championship parades, Laker championship parades, and they’ve all been in different spots,” Nunez said. “But they need to pick a central location because, you know what? Going forward, this is the city of champions.
“I think this (location) is OK because this is where the Rams started, the LA Coliseum. It’s in the middle of Los Angeles,” Nunez added.
The Rams held their celebration at the Coliseum and not in Inglewood because SoFi Stadium, site of Super Bowl LVI, was still fenced off for security reasons and the fences will not be down until late next week.
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. presented Rams owner Stan Kroenke with the key to Inglewood at the Rams rally. Kroenke became only the second person to receive a key to Inglewood in the city’s 114-year history, joining actress and Golden Globe nominee Issa Rae.
“I was born and raised in Los Angeles anyway so it’s just a great marriage between the two cities,” Butts said. “We brought back football to the LA region, and we are the host to the Rams, Chargers and Clippers so now we’re kind of intertwined with Los Angeles.”
As the Rams parade bus turned right on Figueroa Street toward the Coliseum, fans rushed into the grassy area known as Christmas Tree Lane to hear from Rams stars such as Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and Los Angeles native Robert Woods.
“I’m standing here in this city that knows nothing but championships,” Kupp said. “We’re out here celebrating this championship. Kobe (Bryant) is a part of this. He belongs here. And I’ll tell you what: He set the standard. All I know, get back to work. Let’s run it back.”
With iconic Los Angeles rap songs such as “California Love” and “Checc Me Out” vibrating through the air as the players were heading to the stage, fans in the crowd were dancing along with the tunes. This parade brought out the entire city of Los Angeles — Black, Hispanic, white, old and young — showing how much the Rams mean to the “City of Champions.”
“This right here is special,” said Ken Nelson, a die-hard Los Angeles sports fan.
Ashton Edmunds is a sports media graduate student at Medill. You can follow him on Twitter at @ae11__