St. Louis Rams, professional football team and one
of four teams in the Western Division of the National
Football Conference (NFC) of the National Football
League (NFL). Formerly based in Cleveland, Ohio, and
Los Angeles, California, the Rams now play in the
Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, and wear
uniforms of royal blue, gold, and white.
The Rams built powerful squads during the 1940s and
1950s, winning an NFL championship and six Western
Division titles. Starring during the era were wide
receiver Tom Fears and quarterback-punter Norm Van
Brocklin, both eventual Hall of Fame members. The
Rams were one of the NFC’s most consistent teams
during the 1970s and 1980s, reaching the playoffs
14 times from 1973 to 1989 and capturing a league-record
seven consecutive division titles from 1973 to 1979.
Led by quarterback Kurt Warner, the Rams won the franchise’s
first Super Bowl in 2000, defeating the Tennessee
Titans. St. Louis returned to the title game two years
later but lost to the New England Patriots on a last-second
The Cleveland Rams were founded in 1936 as a member
of the American Football League (a different league
than the AFL that later merged with the NFL). A year
later the team joined the NFL. The Rams moved frequently,
playing in three different stadiums over several losing
seasons. In 1945 a remarkable turnaround occurred
as rookie quarterback Bob Waterfield led the Rams
to a 9-1 win-loss record and a 15-14 victory over
the Washington Redskins in the NFL Championship Game.
Despite the Rams’ successful season, the franchise
remained unprofitable. Following the season the team
moved to Los Angeles.
From 1949 to 1951 Waterfield and fellow quarterback
Norm Van Brocklin guided the Rams to three consecutive
Western Division championships. Los Angeles won the
NFL crown in 1951, defeating the Cleveland Browns
24-17 in the championship game. The winning play was
a 73-yard pass from Van Brocklin to Tom Fears. Wide
receiver Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch led
the league that season with 1,495 yards, and he also
scored 17 touchdowns. The Rams’ next conference
title, in 1955, was their last playoff appearance
Former Chicago Bears assistant George Allen was named
head coach in 1966. He steered Los Angeles to Western
Division titles in 1967 and 1969 with lineups featuring
quarterback Roman Gabriel, wide receiver Jack Snow,
and defensive linemen Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen.
Allen earned top coaching honors in 1967, and two
years later Gabriel was named player of the year.
The Rams’ dominance in the Western Division
continued under Chuck Knox, who became the team’s
head coach in 1973. Knox led the Rams to five consecutive
division crowns, recording a 54-15-1 regular-season
win-loss-tie record from 1973 to 1977. His many stars
included quarterback Pat Haden, offensive guard Tom
Mack, running back Lawrence McCutcheon, linebacker
Jack “Hacksaw” Reynolds, and defensive
end Jack Youngblood, who was named the league’s
top defensive player in 1975.
Ray Malavasi became the Rams’ head coach in
1978. A former defensive coordinator for the Rams,
Malavasi extended the team’s streak of division
titles in 1978 and 1979, for a total of seven straight.
The Rams, however, lost the NFC Championship Game
to the Dallas Cowboys following the 1978 season and
Super Bowl XIV to the Pittsburgh Steelers following
the 1979 season.
Superstar running back Eric Dickerson powered Los
Angeles to four consecutive playoff appearances from
1983 to 1986. In 1983 he broke the NFL rookie rushing
record with a league-best 1,808 yards. The record
had been held by Earl Campbell of the Houston Oilers
(now Tennessee Titans), who amassed 1,450 yards in
1978. Head coach John Robinson was named NFC coach
of the year in 1983. The next year Dickerson was named
player of the year, and he won his second rushing
title with 2,105 yards. He won a third rushing title
in 1986 with 1,821 yards.
In 1988 the passing combination of quarterback Jim
Everett and wide receiver Henry Ellard led the Rams
to a wild card playoff berth. Both players led their
respective positions in yardage that year. Los Angeles
reached the NFC Championship Game in 1989 but lost
to the San Francisco 49ers, 30-3.
Knox returned as head coach in 1992 and posted a
15-33 record over three seasons. Running back Jerome
Bettis was named the league’s top rookie in
1993. With dwindling fan support in Los Angeles, the
Rams moved to St. Louis following the 1994 season.
There, wide receiver Isaac Bruce amassed 1,781 receiving
yards in 1995, the second-highest total in NFL history.
In 1999 the Rams posted a 13-3 record and won their
division. Quarterback Kurt Warner, who threw for 41
touchdowns, was named the NFL player of the year.
In the Super Bowl, held in January after the end of
the regular season, the Rams defeated the Tennessee
Titans, 23-16. After losing in the first round of
the playoffs the next season, the Rams went 14-2 in
2001 and returned to the Super Bowl, where they lost
to the New England Patriots. Warner won his second
player of the year award.
1980 Super Bowl XIV Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers,
2000 Super Bowl XXXIV Defeated Tennessee Titans,
2002 Super Bowl XXXVI Lost to New England Patriots,
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