I became a Dodger, Laker and USC fan virtually the same time I became a Ramfan.
But, the Rams are like family.
Is it because we had season tickets to the Rams from 1966 until they moved back east?
That can't be it.
Because we went to at least 20 Dodger games and 12 Laker games every year.
I have game worn Ram jerseys from Joe Namath in 1977, Rod Perry and Cullen Bryant from 1979.
Nothing from the Dodgers, Lakers and SC.
I have only one Dodger game on video (88 world series Gibson's HR). Just one Laker game (85 finals) and one SC game (74 ND game).
Now for the Rams I have over 55 complete games from the 60's,70's and 80's.
When my Mom was losing her battle with cancer.
Our family sky was pitch black.
Except for that little blue patch that was talking about our Rams. (God, did we need that).
A big reason why the Rams are family is the Dodgers, Lakers and SC have been champions many times over.
The Dodgers sweeping the favored Yankees in the 63 World Series to Gibson's HR in the 88 Classic.
The Lakers beating the hated Celtics on their court in the 85 Finals to winning 3 straight with Shaq and Kobe. USC 1972 team (maybe the greatest ever) to coming within seconds of winning 3 straight championships last year.
USC baseball winning 5 straight championships (that won't happen ever again).
And my LA Rams in my lifetime never won it once.
My LA Rams often approached greatness, but, never attained their goal of winning the Super Bowl.
Which is a big reason I hold them so close.
Because my LA Rams invented the "if" game.
Those championship games that were lost by a crucial play.
Like the 1974 NFC Championship game. Losing 7-3 late in the 3rd quarter, my Rams drive 99 yards to the six inch line of Minnesota. Just six inches from a Super Bowl berth, only to be called for illegal procedure on the next play thus moving them back to the Minnesota 5.
The next play James Harris pass was tipped and intercepted in the endzone by Jay Hildenberg.
Watching Ron Jessie obviously break the plane of the goaline on a flanker reverse on second down early in a scoreless tie in the 1976 NFC championship game, only to see the ball spotted at the 6 inch line.
Knox decides to kick the FG, and Nate Allen blocks it, and Bobby Bryant runs it back 99 1/2 yards for a TD.
And we talk about those "what if" losses more than we do the wins.
I was sick when Texas beat USC, Boston winning game 7 in the 84 finals against my lakers and Jack Clark of the Cardinals taking out my Dodgers in the 85 playoffs.
But I didn't eat or sleep for three days after the Monday Night game against the Niners in 1989. (when we had a 17 point lead).
All I wanted was to see my Rams hugging each other and laughing in their locker room after the NFC Championship game. Instead of the Cowboys and Vikings.
That Ram defense of the 70's deserved better. Because the best defense in the decade of the 70's wasn't the steel curtain, doomsday or the purple people eaters.
It was the Rams.
The Rams Defense allowed fewest rushing yards, Allowed fewest rushing TDs, Allowed fewest total yards, Allowed the fewest points and sack the QB the most times.Basically #1 vs run, #1 in Sacks and #1 in total defense and #1 in scoring defense.
In other words, the best.
That's why one of my most cherished Ram memory is when the Ram defense is introduced to the world in Super Bowl 14.
With Jack Youngblood leading the way.
I wouldn't trade those Ram teams for no one.
The Rams are family.