The Morning Column: February 11, 2022
The Rams lost a generation of fans in L.A. No one under the age of 40 years old grew up an L.A. Rams fan, but with a win on Sunday, the Rams will take a big step towards winning over a new generation.
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1. Kevin Demoff was born and raised in Los Angeles. The Rams chief operating officer remembers when the city had two NFL teams but by the time Demoff graduated from Harvard-Westlake High School in 1995, both the Rams and Raiders had left his hometown; leaving the country’s second largest market without an NFL team.
Demoff represents the last generation that grew up in Los Angeles with an NFL team. By the time he received his bachelors’ degree from Dartmouth College in 1999, Los Angeles had squandered its only chance at an expansion franchise and would be left without a team for 21 years.
As much as Demoff wants Los Angeles to embrace the Rams, which moved back to Los Angeles in 2016, he knows you can’t undo the time the Rams were away from the city overnight. Not only were the Rams in St. Louis from 1995-2016 but they were also away from Los Angeles and playing in Anaheim from 1980-1995. The Rams lost a generation of fans in L.A. No one under the age of 40 years old grew up an L.A. Rams fan, but with a win on Sunday, the Rams will take a big step towards winning over a new generation of fans.
“I’m seeing kids in Rams jerseys everywhere and that’s power of this week and last week and these playoffs and what it can do for the Rams,” Demoff said. “This is the first generation of kids since my generation that will grow up with the Rams. I was a senior in high school when both teams left Los Angeles. So there hasn’t been a generation raised since mine to grow up with a team in Los Angeles. This will lay the ground work for our success for decades. It’s going to take a lot of work but hopefully we’re in the Super Bowl every year but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. To host the Super Bowl in our first season with fans at SoFi Stadium and to be playing in the Super Bowl at home is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I hope we take advantage of it and I hope the city feels a part of this journey as well.”
2. The last time the Super Bowl was held in Los Angeles the Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills, 52-17, in Super Bowl XXVII on Jan. 31, 1993 at the Rose Bowl, and the last time the last game the Rams played in Los Angeles before moving to Anaheim was Super Bowl XIV on Jan. 20, 1980 when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Rams, 31-19. The Rose Bowl wasn’t supposed to play a part in this week’s lead up to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium but the Rams changed that on Thursday by holding practice at the iconic stadium.
The Rams made the 52-mile drive from the team’s headquarters at Cal Lutheran University to the Rose Bowl with wind gusts forecasted in the 30-mile-an-hour range near their facility.
“No wind,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “This is what SoFi will feel like, really. It was great to come out here. Guys had a really good bounce in their step.”
3. Tickets to Super Bowl LVI went from being the most expensive average ticket price in NFL history to being cheaper than seeing Duke play North Carolina next month.
The cheapest ticket or “get-in” price to watch Coach K’s last Duke-North Carolina matchup on March 5 ($3,924) is now more expensive than a ticket to this Sunday’s Super Bowl ($3,500), according to TickPick. The average purchase price is now $6,803, which is down from $8,518 at the start of the week, which would have represented the most expensive number in Super Bowl history.
Brett Goldberg, co-founder and co-CEO of TickPick, doesn’t expect prices to dip much more than they already have going into this weekend. In fact, there could be another uptick before kickoff, with fans realizing the cheapest tickets are now half the price they were the day after the Super Bowl match-up was set.
“Come this weekend, we expect Rams fans to hit the market hard,” Goldberg said. “We could see a weekend surge in tickets as a result. So, the best deals to be had could very well be Friday.”
4. Six years ago, the Rams met for the first time as a team at a Manhattan Beach hotel after officially relocating to Southern California. Aaron Donald and Johnny Hekker talked to the L.A. media for the first time afterwards. The Rams will be staying at that same hotel before trying to win the city’s first Super Bowl in nearly 40 years and the franchise’s first in Los Angeles.
Demoff smiled when thinking about back to that first meeting at the hotel they are now returning to and where the team is today after that first 4-12 season in Los Angeles.
“I remember it was the first time we had gathered our players in Los Angeles and it was a very detail-oriented meeting about where the practice facility is going to be and where you should live and what traffic is going to be like,” Demoff said. “It also had the spirit of what we were trying to accomplish in Los Angeles long-term. Our players started to get it. There’s been so much talk within the organization about how we want to win for the guys who were here then. We want to win for Aaron Donald and I remember him being there with Johnny Hekker and Rob Havenstein and later Tyler Higbee, who we drafted a month later. It’s been quite a journey.”
5. Sunday’s Super Bowl will be the warmest Super Bowl on record with temperatures expected to hit 86 degrees on Sunday. The previous warmest was 84 degrees on Jan. 14, 1973 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum when the Miami Dolphins beat Washington to complete the NFL's only perfect season in Super Bowl VII. Why does that matter for a stadium with a roof? SoFi Stadium is the NFL’s first indoor-outdoor venue with the stadium bowl sitting under a canopy. It’s more of an awning than a fixed roof so you can still feel the wind and rain depending on where you’re sitting or standing. So, you can have a weather delay, which happened when the Raiders and Chargers played earlier this season, or feel temperatures reaching 90 degrees.
6. Eleven years ago, Casey Wasserman stood inside the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center when developer AEG and Farmers Insurance Exchange announced a naming rights deal for Farmers Field, a proposed 64,000-seat retractable-roof football stadium, which would be built on the site of the West Hall and connect to the current convention center. Wasserman smiled as he walked around the Los Angeles Convention Center this week, which was the home of the Super Bowl Experience, Media Center, Radio Row and other Super Bowl activities. “It’s amazing,” he said. “We’re thrilled to welcome the Super Bowl back to L.A. in nearly three decades.” It won’t be three decades until the Super Bowl is back in Los Angeles. There is already talk of the game coming back as early as 2027.
7. Here are some odds if you’re thinking about placing a wager today brought to you by Circa Sports.
8. Here’s the local pro sports schedule for today brought to you by Yaamava’.
7:00 p.m. Seattle Kraken at Anaheim Ducks – Hulu
9. Here are the “get in” price for a ticket on TickPick to go the Super Bowl.
Los Angeles Rams vs, Cincinnati Bengals – $3,500
10. On Thursday’s The Arash Markazi Show, we were live from Radio Row, previewing Super Bowl LVI with the Rams staying at home and at SoFi Stadium to play the Cincinnati Bengals.
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