Daily 49er

Los Angeles is ready to welcome the Rams with open arms

Matthew Simon, Sports Editor

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Breaking news: Los Angeles is ready for the NFL.

Although it’s been 22 years since the team headed to St. Louis, Sunday was an example of what football can be in Los Angeles.

91,000 roaring spectators had the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum rocking with excitement as they welcomed back the Rams as they took on the Seattle Seahawks.

It was a spectacle. It was a city answering the call to prove why the team came back. It was everything you’d expect with celebrities scattered throughout the stadium and Hollywood just drive up the 405.

The timing couldn’t have been better for the return – with Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar Kobe Bryant retiring this past season, the city had a void to fill.

NBA star Lebron James was greeted with Kobe chants as he paced the Rams’ sideline – which was should come as no surprise for a city who rooted for Kobe, who won five championships with the Lakers in his 20 year career.

It’s a transitional period for Los Angeles, as the city has become used to winning championships. While the Kings and Galaxy have each won multiple championships as well, nothing gets the city rocking like the Lakers when won championships.

Figueroa Avenue in front of Staples Center was filled with people during championship parades, and no team has come close to the Lakers when they win a title.

With the Lakers’ roster full a young talent, a championship isn’t in the near future, but the Rams are in the perfect position to give Los Angeles a team to cheer for.

In their 9-3 win against the Seahawks, fans were introduced to the Rams defense that is filled with talent worthy of public admiration.

Aaron Donald, a rising star in the league, leads L.A.’s tenacious defense that frustrated Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson all afternoon. Along with Donald, the Rams offense is highlighted by 2015 NFL Rookie of the Year Todd Gurley, who is sure to electrify the crowd with his shifty running and breakaway speed.

It was the first game, but after the preseason and home opener the sample size makes it safe to say that the team is ready to fill the Coliseum.
As the Rams new stadium is being built in Inglewood, fans can hope it’s only a matter of time until the team brings relevance to the City of Champions.

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