Rams history is packed with lots of fun facts and major firsts. Did you know that legendary comedian Bob Hope and musician Gene Autry were once part owners of the team? Or that in 1946, the Rams signed African-American players Kenny Washington and Woody Strode a year before baseball’s Jackie Robinson joined the Dodgers? In 1948, they were even the first professional sports franchise to put a team logo or insignia on their helmets.
Before settling in St. Louis in 1995, the Rams previously played in Cleveland and Los Angeles. Today, thousands of fans head to Edward Jones Dome on game day to cheer on their beloved team, and they’re sure to spot Rampage, the official mascot. He has a special place in their hearts, since they were entrusted with choosing his name.
In 1945, the Cleveland Rams really got going when future Hall of Famer Bob Waterfield joined them as quarterback. During their last appearance before moving to California, they defeated the Redskins to win the NFL championship. They snagged another title in ‘51 thanks to a 73-yard pass from Norm Van Brocklin to Tom Fears; this time, the team was based in Los Angeles. And how’s this for a coincidence? The Cleveland Browns were their opponent! They didn’t score another championship until the end of the 1999 season, when they defeated Tennessee in Super Bowl XXXIV. Similar to the game in ’51, quarterback Kurt Warner threw a 73-yard pass to Isaac Bruce with only 1:54 remaining. A touchdown-saving tackle by Mike Jones on the one-yard line clinched the game.
Even though the Rams have just a few titles to their name, they’ve still managed a slew of impressive seasons, including consecutive playoff appearances and division titles. In ‘94, they were the first team ever to shut out Joe Montana with a 16-0 win over Kansas City. One year later, Jackie Slater became the first player in NFL history to stay twenty seasons with one team and set a record for offensive linemen with 259 games played. They also were the first team in the league to score at least 500 points in three straight seasons.
But no look into the Rams’ past is complete without the inclusion of the "Fearsome Foursome." In 1963, Rosey Grier was acquired from the Giants and joined Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen and Lamar Lundy to form the original unstoppable defensive line. In fact, Jones established the unofficial record for sacks in 1967 with a spectacular total of twenty-six. Sacks weren’t officially recorded by the league until 1982, but Jones is credited with coining the term. Jones and Olsen are both enshrined in the Hall of Fame, joining Fears, Slater and many others. Running back Marshall Faulk was the first Ram inductee from the St. Louis era and the second player in NFL history with at least 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.
So while the Rams can certainly lay claim to dominating players and championship titles, that’s only part of their rich and extraordinary legacy in the sport.