The Super Bowl Report: Game has familiar ring to it for these two Rams
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
Gary Klein on the Rams: Most players on the Rams roster will be chasing their first Super Bowl title when they play the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.
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But two already own Super Bowl championship rings.
Outside linebacker Von Miller was the MVP of Super Bowl 50 after leading the Denver Broncos to victory over the Carolina Panthers at the end of 2015 season. Three years later, then-rookie running back Sony Michel produced a big performance for the New England Patriots in a victory over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
“Sony, he told me that he won a Super Bowl so early that it kind of spoiled him,” Miller said Thursday during a videoconference with reporters. “He said he felt like it was going to be like that each and every year, and that’s a similar experience I had too.”
But Miller, 32, experienced long droughts of missing the playoffs before he was traded to the Rams in November.
Now, Miller said he and Michel are letting teammates know they must seize the opportunity on Feb. 13 when they play the Bengals at SoFi Stadium.
“These opportunities, they don’t come often, I’m here to tell you that,” Miller said. “That’s just been my message to everybody. ... ‘We’re here, man.’ And that’s been my message to everybody, and that’s what me and Sony talk about: Being here and taking advantage of this opportunity.”
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SUPER BOWL POLLS
Two Super Bowl polls for you to vote in: Which team will win, and who will be named the game’s MVP? Click here to vote. Results will be announced on Super Bowl Sunday.
From Dan Woike: The football field at Archmere Academy is just off the banks of the Delaware River, perfectly green artificial turf surrounded by the yellows and browns that dominate the color palette in winter when everything isn’t covered by snow. When the wind blows just right in the afternoon, the air fills with the smell of grilled onions from the local steak shop.
Up a small hill, a converted mansion called “The Patio” — complete with marble floors, a stained-glass roof, a central fountain and classically detailed fixtures — has a perfect view of the field right on the edge of the woods, the home of Archmere’s undefeated, Delaware Class 2A champion football team.
At an assembly in December on the idyllic campus to honor that group, a football star from an undefeated Archmere team six decades prior surprised the team with an invitation to his place of residence — the White House.
The Rams or the Bengals? They’ll have to get in line.
“I’m so darn proud of you,” President Joe Biden said to the students at his alma mater.“… Fellas, it’s a tradition for the president of the United States to host championship teams. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers came to celebrate the Super Bowl at the White House. I had them here. And I think it’s only right I host all of you to celebrate your title as well.
“Consider this an invite.”
Biden certainly is not the first president to celebrate a football team’s success. After Super Bowl IV, Richard Nixon called the winning locker room to speak to Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Len Dawson (there’s official record of the call, though it’s one that Nixon did not record).
Since then, a trip to the White House has become part of the spoils of victory and under Biden’s administration, the practice seems to be normalizing after contentious spats between former President Donald Trump and championship teams such as the 2017-18 Philadelphia Eagles.
Football’s relationship with the White House extends far beyond visits and phone calls. There might not be anything like mainstream modern football if it weren’t for Theodore Roosevelt.
KAPERNICK DOCUMENTARY ON WAY
From Nardine Saad: Oscar winner Spike Lee and ESPN have begun production on a multipart documentary focused on athlete-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick.
The project, one of many focused on the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, was announced last year as part of the Walt Disney Co.’soverall first-look deal with Kaepernick’s production company, Ra Vision Media. That partnership pledged to tell scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity.
Although he ignited a firestorm about police brutality in 2016 by taking a knee during performances of the national anthem, Kaepernick has never given a full, first-person account of his journey, according to a Wednesday statement from ESPN.
QUESTIONS ABOUT BEATING
From Harriet Ryan: Officials faced mounting questions Thursday about why they didn’t inform the public about the apparent beating of a San Francisco 49ers fan outside SoFi Stadium on Sunday and whether more security measures are needed before the Super Bowl.
It took three days and an inquiry from The Times before authorities in Inglewood confirmed the incident, which left 40-year-old restaurant owner Daniel Luna in a medically induced coma.
Luna was found bleeding in a stadium parking lot just after 4 p.m. Sunday, about half an hour into the NFC championship showdown against the Rams, yet it remains unclear who made the 911 call that ultimately resulted in his transport to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
It’s also not been established why it took hours for authorities to be informed of the incident. Inglewood police launched their investigation around 7 p.m. after being notified by emergency room personnel who noted wounds suggesting Luna had been attacked.
Some experts said the timing of the incident — weeks before the nation’s attention turns to the stadium for the Super Bowl — created a “PR nightmare.” Others said it raises important questions about safety and security protocols during big games, noting that it’s not the first such assault in the highly charged Los Angeles-San Francisco sports rivalry.
ENTERTAIN YOUR GUESTS
If you have friends, family or other guests coming to Los Angeles for the Super Bowl, they may be planning to spend all their pregame hours at the Convention Center at the NFL’s official Super Bowl Experience activities. But how about helping them discover some of the locales, attractions, eateries and nightspots that make L.A. special?
We’ve organized our recommendations by proximity to SoFi Stadium: Inglewood, the Westside, the South Bay and the rest of L.A.
This is obviously not a comprehensive list of things to do in L.A., so send us your own recommendations for where visitors should go! And follow our complete Super Bowl coverage.
Click here for our recommendations.
HOW TO FIND PARKING
SoFi Stadium is hosting the Super Bowl. Tickets are selling fast, and so is the on-site parking. We have all the information on how to get to the big game in this video.
SUPER BOWL: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Super Bowl Sunday
at SoFi Stadium, Inglewood
Rams vs. Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m. PT, Rams favored by 4 1/2 points
TV: NBC and Telemundo.
Radio: Westwood One radio (AM 570 in Los Angeles), SiriusXM NFL Radio, NFL GamePass.
Streaming: NFL app (iOS, Android), Peacock app (iOS, Android), Telemundo app (iOS, Android), Yahoo Sports
To buy tickets (after mortgaging your house to afford them): Ticketmaster, OnLocation, HOFExperiences, VividSeats, SeatGeek
Halftime show: Recording artists Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar are scheduled to perform in the Super Bowl halftime show. The NFL has yet to announce who will sing the national anthem before the game.
Coronavirus guidelines if you attend: Under Los Angeles County’s coronavirus health and safety guidelines, all fans in attendance must be vaccinated. Fans attending the game will be required to wear masks and will be given KN95 masks. For further coronavirus rules and guidelines, click here.
BEST PRO FOOTBALL TEAM TOURNAMENT
Just for fun, over the next two weeks we will be running a tournament to determine the best Super Bowl/NFL/AFL champion of all time. The teams have been seeded 1-64 (using a combination of regular season record, regular season point differential and playoff point differential) and put into four regions, just like the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Using the Second And Ten computer game, we will run the games to determine the best team of them all. Since there are only 55 Super Bowl winning teams, we chose nine teams from before the Super Bowl era to compete, all champions of either the NFL or the AFL. They are: 1950 Cleveland Browns, 1951 Los Angeles Rams, 1953 Detroit Lions, 1960 Philadelphia Eagles, 1961 Houston Oilers, 1962 Green Bay Packers, 1963 San Diego Chargers, 1963 Chicago Bears and the 1964 Buffalo Bills.
We continue with the first-round results from the John Madden Region:
No. 1 1976 Oakland Raiders d. No. 16 1988 San Francisco 49ers, 28-23
The 49ers led 14-0 after one quarter, but Ken Stabler then threw four touchdown passes to lead a Raiders’ comeback.
No. 2 2016 New England Patriots d. No. 15 1980 Oakland Raiders, 35-17
Tom Brady passed for 232 yards and three touchdowns and Julian Edelman had 113 receiving yards. Raiders QB Jim Plunkett threw four interceptions.
No. 3 1989 San Francisco 49ers d. No. 14 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 38-23
Steve Young racked up 446 yards through the air, including five touchdowns as Jerry Rice and John Taylor combined for 342 yards and three TDs.
No. 13 1983 Los Angeles Raiders d. No. 4 1982 Washington Redskins, 37-34
Jim Plunkett threw touchdown passes to three different receivers and Chris Bahr kicked a 45-yard field goal as time expired for the win.
No. 12 1995 Dallas Cowboys d. No. 5 1966 Green Bay Packers, 17-14 (OT)
A defensive struggle, with the Cowboys tying it with 29 seconds to go in regulation on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Troy Aikman to Michael Irvin and winning on Chris Boniol‘s 25-yard field goal.
No. 6 1950 Cleveland Browns d. No. 11 2014 New England Patriots, 23-0
The Browns defense held Tom Brady to 13-of-28 passing for 70 yards and got three field goals from Lou Groza.
No. 7 1999 St. Louis Rams d. No. 10 1968 New York Jets, 34-31 (OT)
No Cinderella story for Joe Namath here . He had two touchdown passes, but Kurt Warner passed for 393 yards and the Rams won on Jeff Wilkins’ 18-yard field goal with 6:29 to go in overtime.
No. 9 1981 San Francisco 49ers d No. 8 2009 New Orleans Saints, 38-16
A rout, as Joe Montana went 24-of-29 for 307 yards and three touchdowns, two to Dwight Clark, who had 155 yards receiving.
Tomorrow: Second-round results from the Jim Brown Region. The teams:
No. 1 1972 Miami Dolphins vs. No. 9 1963 San Diego Chargers
No. 2 1962 Green Bay Packers vs. No. 10 2000 Baltimore Ravens
No. 3 1986 New York Giants vs. No. 11 1993 Dallas Cowboys
No. 4 1973 Miami Dolphins vs. No. 5 1977 Dallas Cowboys
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOTBALL PLAYER?
I asked you to send me the name of you favorite football player and why, and I was deluged with answers. Answers will be printed starting today. Keep sending them in by emailing me at email@example.com. Include a couple of sentences explaining why that player is your favorite. It’s your chance to be read by the tens of thousands of people who subscribe.
James Mitchell: Walter Payton was a smallish back who could run over tacklers as well as elude them. He was also perhaps the best blocking back ever. Known as Sweetness to his teammates, he had a puckish sense of humor as a practical joker. No.1 back on any team!
Doug Scott of Palm Desert: Tony Parrish, formerly with the Bears and the 49ers. In the 39 years I taught high school social studies, Tony was my favorite student. An unflappably positive attitude and pure honesty made him stand out from all the others.
Rick Porter: Deacon Jones. He started a long relationship with the Rams, and the fun of sacking the quarterback. And yes, the head slap would not be permitted today
Bill Francis of Pasadena: Norm Van Brocklin threw a 73-yard pass to Tom Fears in the fourth quarter to win the 1951 NFL championship over the Paul Brown-coached Cleveland Browns in the Coliseum. The touchdown broke a 17-17 tie as Rams won 24-17. The Browns had beaten the Rams the year before in the title game in Cleveland on a last-second field goal by Lou Groza. Fears called it the best pass ever thrown to him.
Highlights from Super Bowl XIII. Watch and listen here.
Highlights from Super Bowl XIV (Rams-Steelers). Watch and listen here.
Highlights from Super Bowl XV. Watch and listen here.
Highlights from Super Bowl XVI. Watch and listen here.
Until next time...
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