To celebrate the Rams' Super Bowl LVI Championship, the team hosted a special celebration for fans prior to the kickoff of the Rams-Bills season opener. The members of the Watts Rams joined Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff, General Manager Les Snead, 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Andrew Whitworth and former wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on-field at SoFi Stadium, for the celebration and Super Bowl LVI Champions banner reveal.
"Not a lot of people can experience an event like this. Just to be a part of it was mind-blowing," said Watts Rams player Xavier Wyche. "My favorite moment was being able to meet and shake hands with OBJ. It was cool because I have never had an interaction with an NFL player before, which was amazing."
Following the ceremony, the Rams hosted a private watch party for the Watts Rams at NFL Los Angeles – the league's West Coast headquarters at Hollywood Park.
"This experience was crazy because I have never stepped foot onto an NFL field a day in my life," said Watts Ram player Kyle Haven. "My favorite part of this moment was watching everything on the jumbotron and meeting OBJ. I am just happy that I was able to be inside of an NFL stadium."
Marc Maye, the Watts Rams General Manager, expressed how excited the team was to attend the Rams first game of the season and be included in the banner reveal festivities.
"The kids were singing the wheels on the bus go round and round on the way to the stadium, they were so excited and energized," said Maye. "They were living in the moment. You would've thought they won the Super Bowl. This experience meant so much to them. Them being on the field and sharing that moment... It was a life-changing moment."
Last season, the Rams and Nike hosted Watts Rams youth football players for a special surprise at Dymally High School. Odell Beckham Jr. virtually joined the event to present 19 Watts Rams players with tickets to Super Bowl LVI. The Super Bowl ticket surprise, provided by the NFL, was a part of a season-long incentive program for Watts Rams players who participated in the NFL's We Run as One kickoff commercial and showcased academic excellence and strong character on and off the field throughout the season.
"Some of our kids in Watts, believe it or not, haven't been to the other side of the 110 freeway," explained Maye. "It's almost like if you take a plant and you put it in a small vase... it's only going to grow to that potential, and I think that's the same for our kids and their mindset. If they haven't been exposed to something, then they don't realize there's something on the other side of those walls... they never realize, they never feel like they can get there. This is one of those examples where the Rams are sharing this experience and this moment is giving them hope. They are going to go back and dream bigger in their community and at home. It gives them hope that everything is achievable. 'Hope' is a word we emphasize a lot because that's what happens when a kid gets that opportunity."
Entering the 2019 season, the Rams formalized their support of the Watts Rams (formerly known as the Watts Bears) and the LAPD's efforts to bridge community and police relations through the game of football. As part of the partnership, the Rams fund all components of the Watts Rams program, including uniforms and equipment. Throughout the year, the Rams provide engagement opportunities with current players, alumni, coaches, scouts, football operations, and front office staff to help expand their knowledge and ignite their passions beyond the playing field.
To learn more about Rams' community efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.