I really wanted to put out this blog sooner. Since Super Bowl Sunday ten days ago, my personal schedule has been really busy. February has always been a miserable month for me, and this tradition has continued into 2022. After celebrating the Super Bowl with a few too many beers, I went back to my ten hour a day work shift, including a one-hour commute in each direction, and after the week was complete, I hightailed it out to Arizona to spend four days with my mother. Having lived in Arizona for eight years, it is the only other state in the union besides my native California that I am completely familiar with from the Grand Canyon all the way down to Bisbee. Now that my mind is clear from the alcohol, my busy work week, and a few days with the family, I can finally blog about the events that occurred on February 13, 2022, a day that will be remembered fondly until my body has inhaled its final, life-giving breath.
NERD ALERT: ** Once again if statistics do not interest you, please stop reading now. You have been warned. A bunch of information is about to be presented to you that means nothing to anybody’s life in the long run. But I still love talking about it. **
With the warning out of the way, let’s get down to business discussing my beloved Los Angeles Rams.
A quick tidbit: As a L.A. Rams fan since 1979, I have met MANY RAM fans throughout my lifetime. Many of these people suffered in silence and dealt with over twenty years of consistent losing (From 1990-1998 including a move to St. Louis in 1995 and from 2005-2016 when getting to .500 was considered a successful season). Many of these old-time Ram fans have died off. Personally, I am aware of at least a half a dozen that never saw the team win its first title in St. Louis and a handful more that did not get to enjoy this 2021 Super Bowl LVI Los Angeles title. And while that first championship in 1999 finally brought some recognition to the franchise, it was never “perfect” as the title occurred in a city foreign to many of the teams’ fans. With the Los Angeles Rams defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 on February 13, many of the long-suffering RAM fans finally got to celebrate a legitimate Los Angeles Super Bowl with the added bonus of winning the title inside the Rams own home stadium.
When discussing the greatest teams of all-time, the Rams are usually not discussed. Because the team has never had one era where they established any sort of dynasty. Even though the team has a rich and vibrant history, it is often overshadowed by a large number of seasons of pure misery. Going back to their pre-Super Bowl championships, the Rams have moved into the top 10 (Tied for 9th with Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia) for most championships with four. The Rams have managed to do this in three cities (Cleveland in 1945, Los Angeles in 1951 and during the Super Bowl era, St. Louis in 1999 and Los Angeles in 2021). Like the Atlanta Braves who just won their 4th World Series in 2021, the Rams and Braves are the only two teams to win a championship in three different cities (For the Braves, it is Boston, Milwaukee, and 2 in Atlanta). To show the inconsistency of the Rams franchise, each championship has been won by a different starting quarterback (Bob Waterfield in 1945, Norm Van Brocklin in 1951, Kurt Warner in 1999, and now Matthew Stafford in 2021). When looking at the records that were set in Super Bowl LVI, all of them are very unique. The most bizarre one is this.
The Rams become the first team in the Super Bowl era to play in the Super Bowl during five different decades. Since the team only has five appearances, here they are by decade and in order.
1960s: Did not Play (Only 4 Super Bowls total this decade)
1970s: Super Bowl XIV (1979) – Pittsburgh 31 L.A. Rams 19
1980s: Did not Play (But the fucking 49ers did in four separate games)
1990s: Super Bowl XXXIV (1999) – St. Louis 23 Tennessee 16 (First Super Bowl Title)
2000s: Super Bowl XXXVI (2001) – New England 20 St. Louis 17
2010s: Super Bowl LIII (2018) – New England 13 L.A. Rams 3 (YAAWWWNNN!!!!)
2020s: Super Bowl LVI (2021) – L.A. Rams 23 Cincinnati 20 (Second Super Bowl Title and First in LA)
The Rams became the third team to win a Super Bowl in two different cities (St. Louis in 1999, Los Angeles in 2021) joining the Indianapolis Colts (Baltimore in 1970 and Indianapolis in 2006) and the Las Vegas Raiders (Oakland in 1976 & 1980 and Los Angeles in 1983). The Raiders become the first franchise that has a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl in a third city with their relocation to Las Vegas in 2020.
Sean McVay becomes the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl at 36 dethroning Mike Tomlin who was 37 in 2008 when the Steelers beat the Cardinals.
The Rams tied the Super Bowl record for most sacks with seven tying the 2015 Carolina Panthers, 1985 Chicago Bears, and 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Rams became the second team in a row to win a Super Bowl in their home stadium (Tampa Bay did it in 2020). Until last year, this had never happened in NFL history.
Matt Stafford became the 4th quarterback to win a Super Bowl despite throwing two interceptions. Only Terry Bradshaw in Super Bowl XIV, Ben Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XL, and Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLIX have accomplished this.
The Rams became the 3rd team to be negative two in the turnover battle and win the Super Bowl joining the aforementioned Pittsburgh Steelers (Against the Rams) in Super Bowl XIV and the Baltimore Colts (Against the Dallas Cowboys) in Super Bowl V.
Copper Kupp became the 8th wide receiver to win the Super Bowl MVP. The last one was Julian Edelman against the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
Now that fifty-six Super Bowls have been played, an interesting statistic came to my attention. If we just count the Super Bowls since 1966, fifteen teams have now won at least 2 Super Bowls which is almost half the league. If we add all the NFL Championships won since 1920, the number of teams with multiple championships increases to 21. Counting pre-Super Bowl championships, four teams have won multiple NFL titles but no Super Bowls (Cleveland 4, Detroit 4, Arizona (As Chicago) 2, and the defunct Canton Bulldogs 2). Chicago has 8 pre-Super Bowl titles but only 1 Super Bowl win (1985). Philadelphia has 3 pre-Super Bowl titles but only 1 Super Bowl win (2017). Nine teams have won at least 3 Super Bowls.
New England 6
San Francisco 5
Green Bay 4
N.Y. Giants 4
Las Vegas 3 (As Los Angeles and Oakland)
Six teams have won 2 Super Bowls. Since 2006, the number of teams with multiple Super Bowl titles has jumped from 10 to 15. Joining the Miami Dolphins with 2 Super Bowl wins in 1972 and 1973 are:
Indianapolis in 2006 (First as Baltimore in 1970), 2 Pre-Super Bowl Titles in Baltimore in 1958 & 1959
Baltimore Ravens in 2012 (First in 2000)
And over the last three Super Bowls, three new teams have joined the multiple Super Bowl winner’s club
Kansas City in 2019 (First in 1969)
Tampa Bay in 2020 (First in 2002)
Los Angeles Rams in 2021 (First in 1999), 2 Pre-Super Bowl Titles in Cleveland in 1945 and Los Angeles in 1951.
There are five teams with 1 Super Bowl win. And the chances of this multiple Super Bowl winning list growing may hit a snag in the next few years. The closest of these teams to join this multi-winner list is likely the Philadelphia Eagles. Seattle, New Orleans, New York Jets, and Chicago have a lot of questions to answer before they become championship contenders again.
So how does this compare to the other professional sports? The NBA and MLS are much newer leagues. Are the number of championships comparable between the different leagues? Like any sport, the NFL has some franchises that are more successful and others that never seem like they will ever hold the trophy. Eliminating the defunct Canton Bulldogs, 23 of the 32 current NFL franchises have won a championship. Since the Super Bowl era, this number is 20. Four teams have never even appeared in any of the fifty-six Super Bowls. This is consistent with all the other major sports.
The oldest sport, baseball, has been having World Series since 1903 (Skipping only 1904 and 1994). 20 Baseball teams out of 30 have won at least two World Series. 24 Teams have won at least 1 World Series (Including my beloved Anaheim Angels in 2002). Only 1 team, the Seattle Mariners, have never appeared in a World Series. These championship stats are pretty consistent with the NFL.
The second oldest trophy is the Stanley Cup which has been fought over since 1915. Hockey has been a little more centralized since the NHL had only six teams for a large portion of its history. But with 32 teams now playing, the NHL now has 14 teams with at least two championships (My beloved Los Angeles Kings got me two in 2012 and 2014). Counting solo titles, the NHL has had 20 teams hold the Stanley Cup. 5 of the 32 teams have never played in the Stanley Cup Final. Since the NHL started expanding rapidly much later than the NFL and MLB, the number of championships spread out among the teams is very consistent with these other leagues.
Jumping to the newest league, the MLS, which has only existed since 1996, the teams that have won the championships is nicely spread out. The league has expanded rapidly over the past dozen years to 28 teams as of the 2021 season. My Los Angeles Galaxy lead with 5 (2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014). Counting the Galaxy, seven teams have won at least two MLS Cups. Counting teams with only one MLS Cup, the number of champions doubles to 14. In its 25-year existence, half the teams in the MLS already have at least one title. This is consistent with the early years of the other leagues also.
Now comes the outlier, the NBA. The championships are top heavy with the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers actually winning almost half of them (Each team has 17). Because of this distortion, the Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors are in 3rd place with 6 and the San Antonio Spurs have 5. If you count the teams that have more than two NBA titles, there are only 11 teams which have reached this accomplishment (In order: Philadelphia, Detroit, and Miami have 3, New York, Houston and Milwaukee have 2). Only 19 teams have won at least one championship. The large distortions in the NBA seem to be adjusting to a more typical norm but this is the one sport that does not seem to hold to the pattern of the other major professional sports leagues.
Anyway, if you have made it this far, I deserve to buy you a beer the next time I see you. Part 2 and Part 3 of this post will be coming soon. Spoilers: Part 3 will be a revelation about myself that may surprise some of my readers and closest friends. Until next time!
EXPERT OF SOME