Stadium issues for the Rams in St. Louis which could render their lease at the Edward Jones Dome null and void by 2014 which could return the franchise back to Los Angeles where it called home for 49 years prior to moving to the midwest in 1995.
Owner Stan Kroenke committing one regular season Rams home game each of the next three seasons away from the Gateway City and heading across the pond to Wembley Stadium in London beginning next season.
They made their presence felt at Saturday’s inaugural AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
Amongst a cozy crowd of some 1500 football fans, about 75 to 100 Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams members sat in a section directly behind the National conference bench who were led by ex-St. Louis Rams head coach Dick Vermeil.
Listening to non-stop chants of “L.A. Rams…L.A. Rams!” and “Bring them back!…..Bring them back!” throughout the contest, both Vermeil and Bruce, who both got their NFL roots with the Los Angeles Rams, couldn’t ignore them.
After the game, hearing their chants of “Bruuuuuuuce”, he went over to their section to greet the fans and sign some autographs.
“I played my rookie year with the Los Angeles Rams and played my junior college ball at Santa Monica College.” said Bruce. “I wouldn’t change anything in my career but I sure did miss playing in L.A. during winter when it’s 70 degrees outside.”
Bruce even asked me who the last Los Angeles Ram was to catch a touchdown pass. It happened on Christmas Eve 1994 at Anaheim Stadium. I couldn’t answer it.
We weren’t sure. I checked and guessed right. It was Miller.
As for the NFL returning to L.A., Bruce believes it’s inevitable.
“Surprising it’s been 17 years. This is a great place to play. These fans deserve a team. They’ll have a team here as soon as a new stadium’s built.”
When asked about a possible return by the Rams, it’s all speculation to him.
“I wouldn’t know. That’s business. We have loyal fans in St. Louis. Was a lot of fun playing there especially during the ‘Greatest Show On Turf‘ years.”
Vermeil’s National Conference squad got the best of Tom Flores’ American Conference squad, 20-14.
After the game I asked the coach about those loud L.A. Rams fans in the stands.
Soon, a brand new state-of-the-art stadium will be built in the City of Angels and at that time, we’ll all know if the Rams were brought back to it.