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NFL

How did the Los Angeles Rams get their name? Origin and meaning

The Steelers found their name in the history of Pennsylvania’s primary industry, the Packers something similar, but where did Los Angeles get theirs?

Update:
The Steelers found their name in the history of Pennsylvania’s primary industry, the Packers something similar, but where did Los Angeles get theirs?
FREDERIC J. BROWNAFP

There are some team names in the NFL that have a direct connection with their past like the Green Bay Packers for example, whose roots are in a meatpacking company. There are others where the link isn’t so clear.

Where did the Los Angeles Rams get their name?

Was management into farming? Was it purely based on what would look good on a helmet? Maybe it was zodiac related? These are some of the questions one could ask when considering the name of the Los Angeles Rams. Just where did they get their name? As it stands, however, none of those questions are close to the mark. Indeed the story is actually much simpler. The name of the team actually comes from college football history and their life before relocation to sunny Los Angeles.

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The origin of the Rams’ name

As most NFL fans are aware, the Rams spent time in Los Angeles before moving temporarily to St. Louis in 1994. What they may not know, however, is that the Rams didn’t start their life in Californa. In fact the Rams were first born in Cleveland in 1936 and played their fledgling seasons in the American Football League before the league’s failure which subsequently led to the team joining the NFL. As the Cleveland Rams, the team found life difficult in those early times. It wasn’t until 1945 after going 9-1 on the season, they beat the Washington Redskins to claim a championship. They would relocate to Los Angeles during the offseason.

With regards to their name, that was down to Damon “Buzz” Wetzel who was general manager at the time. According to history, Wetzel’s favorite college team was the Fordham Rams which incidentally was the home of league legend Vince Lombardi. With his allegiance to Fordham’s team, Wetzel implemented the moniker and it’s stuck to this day.

From then till now: A look at the Rams’ evolution

During the 50s the Rams seemed to enjoy their time in California. The franchise played in four championship games - winning one - while playing what would be referred to as “an exciting, glamorous brand of football.” By the 70s, however, things started to change as the Rams made the post season less and less. Once the 90s rolled around they were without doubt one of the worst teams in the league and consistently so. As fan presence waned and revenue dropped, it was clear something had to be done. What did they do? They moved. Owner Georgia Frontiere relocated the team to St. Louis. Though it took some time, the Rams definitely announced themselves in 1999 when a relatively unknown Kurt Warner became a house hold name as he led the Rams to a Super Bowl title.

Unfortunately for St. Louis, the party didn’t last long. With the advent of the Patriots dynasty and a changing league landscape, the team once again found itself at the mercy of dropping attendance numbers and the knock on economic effect. Owner Stan Kronke didn’t hesitate deciding to take the team back to Los Angeles in 2016 where they remain to this day.

Apparently another relocation was just what they needed. The Rams won their second Super Bowl trophy as the LA Rams in Los Angeles in the 2021-22 season, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, 23-20.

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