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The Rams Story

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The Rams' story began on Feb. 13, 1937 when the National Football League granted Cleveland a franchise to Homer Marshman and Associates.

After failing to muster a winning percentage higher than .500 in their first six seasons, the team found its magic in 1945. Adam Walsh was named head coach that year and his Rams posted a 9-1 record. The team's first winning season was capped with a 15-14 win over the Washington Redskins in the NFL championship game and NFL Player of the Year honors for rookie quarterback Bob Waterfield.

Despite the Rams' groundbreaking season, that championship game was the team's last game in Cleveland. Daniel F. Reeves – the Rams newest owner who bought the team in 1941 for $100,000 with then-partner Fred Levy, Jr. – moved his Rams from the Midwest to sunny Los Angeles, Calif. Upon purchasing the team, the young New Yorker's intent had been to move the Rams to Los Angeles when the Coliseum, the home of college powers USC and UCLA, was opened to pro football. World War II, however, delayed those plans until 1946.

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The Rams played Philadelphia for the 1949 championship, losing 14-0 in a Coliseum downpour. It was also the last game as head coach for Clark Shaughnessy, the seventh in a line of Rams coaches that had included Hugo Bezdek, Art Lewis, Dutch Clark, Aldo Donelli, Adam Walsh and Bob Snyder since the days in Cleveland. Joe Stydahar became the new head coach in 1950.

The 1950 Rams were one of the finest offensive teams in the history of the league at that time. The Rams gained over 5,000 total yards – more than 3,000 on the passing of Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin. Tom Fears caught a then-record 84 passes, which included 18 in one game. The Rams scored 466 points, 70 in one game and 41 in a quarter. All were records. Los Angeles, though, lost the championship game to the Cleveland Browns, celebrating their first year in the NFL, 30-28.

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Equally as powerful in 1951, the Rams won their only world championship in Los Angeles. They defeated the Browns, 24-17, when Van Brocklin completed a 73-yard pass to Fears for the game- winning touchdown.

Over the next two and a half decades, Los Angeles went on to win 191 games, including 108 in the Coliseum, before the Rams hired George Allen in 1977. His five years in Los Angeles resulted in a 49- 17-4 record, but were also years of controversy. In five seasons, Allen's teams tied for the Western Conference title twice (losing in the playoffs to Green Bay and Minnesota) and were second every other year. The Fearsome Foursome, with Olsen, Deacon Jones, Roosevelt Grier (later Roger Brown) and Lamar Lundy on the defensive line, Jack Pardee at linebacker and Ed Meador in the secondary, highlighted a stubborn defense. Despite the team's success, Reeves dismissed Allen after the 1968 season, only to rehire him two weeks later in light of the players' solidarity in protest of his firing. But the gap between owner and coach remained. Allen's contract was not renewed after the 1970 season. One of Reeves' last acts as president was to hire Tommy Prothro of UCLA as the Rams' coach for 1971.

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On April 15, 1971, Reeves died of Hodgkin's disease, leaving behind 25 years of service and achievement in pro football. In 1972, Robert Irsay purchased the Rams from the Reeves' estate. In a history-making move, Baltimore Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom traded his Baltimore franchise to Irsay in exchange for the Rams. The transaction was completed and announced on July 13 of that year. Rosenbloom maintained control of the team until he passed away in 1979. Under his watch, the Rams won seven consecutive NFC West championships (1973-79). His wife, Georgia, assumed majority ownership of the team upon his death.

Following the 1994 season, the Rams moved to St. Louis and delivered a Super Bowl Championship to the Gateway City in 1999, making the Rams the first and only NFL franchise to win a World Championship in three different cities.

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On Jan. 12, 2016 in the Azalea Ballroom of the Westin Houston- Memorial City hotel, the National Football League's 32 owners returned from lunch to hear from a six-man committee on Los Angeles opportunities. On the table was a state-of-the-art stadium complex proposed by Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke, who was unanimously approved by NFL owners to become principal owner of the franchise in 2010. After intense deliberations and lengthy discussions, the Rams were officially approved to return home to Southern California.

Exactly one year after the NFL approved the Rams to relocate to Los Angeles, the franchise named Sean McVay as their next head coach. At 30 years of age, McVay became the youngest head coach in NFL history. In his first season at the helm, McVay orchestrated one of the greatest offensive turnarounds in league history and propelled the Rams to an 11-5 record and the franchise's first playoff berth since 2004. Following the season, he became the youngest head coach to win The Associated Press Coach of the Year award, while RB Todd Gurley II and DT Aaron Donald won Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively.

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As McVay and his staff seek to capitalize off last year's momentum, construction continues nearly 50 miles south on the Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park. Developers previously broke ground on the world-class stadium and district envisioned by Kroenke on Nov. 17, 2016 and it is set to open in 2020.

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