Louis Ascencio
Staff Writer

On Feb. 13, the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. The Rams overcame a second half deficit late in the fourth quarter with a 75-yard drive, resulting in a touchdown to give them the lead in the final two minutes. 

The Bengals had one last chance to tie or win the game with a final drive. The Bengals had a few good passes for some yards and a couple first downs, getting as close as to the Rams’ forty-nine yard line. However the Rams responded with a defensive line that was too much for the Bengals to handle. The Rams wanted this badly, and you could tell by the amount of pressure they put on the Bengals’ offensive line and their quarterback, Joe Burrow. Their defense was so eruptive that Burrow barely had any time to even make a play or pass the ball. Aaron Donald got the pressure on Burrow on a fourth and one down to secure their Super Bowl win.

Ultimately, the Rams won, with the final score being 23 20 in a one possession game — much closer than what most anticipated. Rams’ Wide Receiver Cooper Kupp won the Super Bowl MVP with 92 yards and two touchdowns. With only one other Super Bowl win in 2000 as the St. Louis Rams, the organization continues, added its second Lombardi trophy.

Having the Super Bowl an hour away from campus was huge in itself; the media, well-known celebrities, and athletes themselves make up for the hype that fuels a city and its fans. However, this was different. The Los Angeles Rams played in their home stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, with nothing less than the support of the local fan base, including the city of L.A. and most of Southern California. 

For the Rams, this Super Bowl win was well deserved; they are a hard-working team that performed great throughout the season. A franchise that sacrificed their future for a chance to win it all, they were all in and succeeded. The Rams gave up multiple draft picks in order to acquire high-level players such as Matthew Stafford, Jalen Ramsey, and a former Super Bowl MVP, Von Miller. 

The Super Bowl Halftime show was equally star-studded, with performances by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem, with a special guest appearance by 50 Cent. These iconic artists  collaborated to deliver a performance for the ages. The impact that these individuals have on music, as well as other areas in our society, is significant to the culmination of all of them performing together at the Super Bowl. This halftime show was deemed one of, if not the best, in Super Bowl history by fans and celebrities across social media. 

Through all the media, hype, and money impacting the importance of Super Bowl Sunday, there were multiple stories within the Rams’ 53-man roster. Safety Taylor Rapp proposed to his long time girlfriend, Dani Johnson, after his Super Bowl win with the Rams — no better way to top off a successful and memorable night than to ask the love of your life to marry you. In addition, Van Jefferson got news that his wife was in labor and having a baby moments after he and the Rams won the Super Bowl. He was in shock and left as soon as he was able to. Just over two hours later, Jefferson posted the announcement of his baby boy on Instagram for fans to see. 

It was a great night for another receiver, Cooper Kupp. Kupp had a historical season that concluded with Super Bowl MVP.  He was spectacular this season, with 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards, and 16 touchdowns, leading the league in all of these categories. These statistics earned him the triple crown, being only the fourth player in NFL History to achieve this accolade. The hard work and effort paid off in the end for Kupp and his family. Kupp’s wife, Anna Croskrey, worked full time to support both of them financially while Kupp was on his journey to make it to the NFL. This was a successful breakout season for Kupp; there is a lot to look forward to going into next season. 

Lastly, there was Odell Beckham Jr., a player that most football fans admire for his authenticity and drive to win. Bekcham Jr. signed with the Rams in November of 2021. He took a one-year, $4.25 million contract in order to sign with the Rams. Before doing so, Beckham Jr. played for the Cleveland Browns, starting in 2019. While playing for the Browns, there was much speculation as to why their team wasn’t as successful given their talent. The blame was put on Beckham Jr. who was framed by the media as a distraction to the potential that the Browns could achieve. Beckham Jr. did not appreciate this blame and controversy, so he wanted a fresh new start with the chance at success with another team. Additionally, he was frustrated with the lack of targets he was receiving through the season by Browns’ Quarterback Baker Mayfield. Eventually, he was released by the Browns.

Beckham Jr. signing with the Rams came as a surprise due to the depth this team had at the receiver position, but many people underestimated this move because of Beckham Jr.’s apparent decline. However, he found his way and was able to fit in with the Rams. In his first game with the Rams, he scored a touchdown on a 54-yard pass from Quarterback Matthew Stafford. In his three-year stint with the Browns, Beckham Jr. only caught seven receiving touchdowns, but, in his couple months’ stint with the Rams, he matched that number in the regular season and playoffs altogether.

It seems as if Beckham Jr. got the last laugh, as he and his team were able to win it all, while his former team, the Browns, did not even make the playoffs. Odell Beckham Jr. had an unfortunate knee injury that occurred in just the second quarter of the Super Bowl game. It was hard to fathom because he was having a great start to the game with 52 yards and the first touchdown. After Beckam Jr. got injured, he was ruled out for the rest of the game with an apparent injury, but nothing else had been revealed at the time.

Soon, the public found out that Beckam Jr. tore the same ACL he had torn nearly two years ago. It was an emotional night for him; he came back on the field to support his team, and seemed to be crying, knowing he could not be out there to help his team while competing in the biggest game of the year. His future remains uncertain as he was ready to receive a big contract in the offseason. Tearing the same ACL twice in two years, there is no telling whether he will come back to be as great as he had been playing.

Chaos ensued in the city of L.A. after their hometown team won the Super Bowl, being the second team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Fans of the Rams turned a celebration into a chaotic event when they took things too far while trying to enjoy their hometown team’s Super Bowl win. This destructive behavior occurred all over the city; vandalism, looting, and public drunkenness were just some factors that these fans brought upon this major city. Police were called in to do their best to stop those who flooded the city. There is nothing wrong with celebrating a team’s win, especially after winning the Super Bowl. However, there are certain limits when things are taken too far and it takes a wrong turn. 

The Rams’ parade took place on Wednesday, Feb. 16, down Figueroa Street in South L.A. ending off at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Rams’ former home. This capped off another memorable weekend for the city of L.A. — a city of championship teams, adding yet another championship to what has been a historically successful sports city.

It was an emotional night, overall, for a team that worked hard to earn their spot at the top. Depending on who you ask, L.A. may very well be the capital of successful sport franchises in the USA. The city of angels should consider another name: the city of champions.

Featured Image: Courtesy of Forbes.com

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