Normally, preseason games don’t generate much hype.
The Los Angeles Rams’ preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys at the Los Angeles Coliseum is not a normal game.
The National Football League is touting the Rams’ return to Los Angeles after 21 years in St. Louis. More than 90,000 fans are expected for Saturday night’s game.
This is the first time since 1983 that the Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams have met in the preseason. Their most recent matchup in the regular season, while the Rams were in Los Angeles, was Nov. 18, 1990.
Overall, the Rams lead the preseason series 14-11 and the Cowboys lead the regular-season series 13-11.
The Rams return to Los Angeles has created a lot of excitement. However, the franchise has actually moved three times.
The Rams joined the NFL in 1937 as the Cleveland Rams and stayed through the 1945 season. They moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles (1946-1994) then Los Angeles to St. Louis (1995-2015).
Now they’re back in L.A.
Here are five things to know about the Rams:
The starters won’t see much action while some players get no playing time. After all, it's the preseason. It's worth noting that the Rams selected quarterback Jared Goff of California with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. They have three returning Pro Bowlers in Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald and Johnny Hekker. Gurley needs no introduction.
Jeff Fisher is the 22nd head coach in franchise history. This is his fifth season with the Rams. He's building something with a lot of young players. When they become contenders, they will be contenders for a long time. Before joining the Rams, Fisher was head coach of the Tennessee Titans for 16 seasons. The Titans made the playoffs six times, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV.
The Rams are being featured on the Hard Knocks training camp special on HBO. It's the 11th season that Hard Knocks has featured a team. The Dallas Cowboys were featured twice, in 2002 and 2008. The other teams featured were: Baltimore (2001), Kansas City (2007), Cincinnati (2009 and 2013), New York Jets (2010), Miami (2012), Atlanta (2014) and Houston (2015).
The Rams’ colorful fan base is a blend of Midwest charm and California cool. The franchise has generations of fans in California. Nostalgia aside, no team plays in the massive Los Angeles Coliseum, even for a preseason game, unless you expect a lot of fans to show up. Goff is currently No. 14 in jersey sales and Gurley is No. 16.
A few names of note: Bob Waterfield, Jackie Slater, Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson, Jack Youngblood, Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones, Woody Strode, Kenny Washington, the Fearsome Foursome and many others. There’s also three Super Bowl appearances and the Super Bowl XXXIV title. For the true, old school fans, the Rams won two NFL Championships in the pre-Super Bowl era.