Super Bowl XIII (53) will kick off this Sunday in Atlanta, and it’s gearing up to be a battle of old and new. Five-time champion, the New England Patriots, will compete for the title against the Los Angeles Rams, a team that relocated to LA only three seasons ago.
The team’s speedy success took nearly everyone by surprise,and many believe this is the start of a bright future for the NFL in the City of Angels. CGTN’s May Lee reports.
Ralph Valdez can hardly believe a life-long dream is about to come true, to see the LA Rams in the Super Bowl.
“I’ve been a Rams fan since 1967, ” says Valdez. “My grandfather took me to my first game. I was about 7 or 8, and I saw the horns and I fell in love with the horns.”
The love is everywhere you look in Ralph’s Rams room.
“I’m gonna show you some of my autographed pictures. This is Jackie Slater hall of fame over here.”
“And then I have an autographed bowling pin… I got this from Vince Ferragamo.”
But Ralph’s deep love for the Rams was shattered back in 1995 when the team moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis in the state of Missouri.
Valdez recalls, “I burned everything I had that was Rams. That’s how heartbroken, frustrated and mad I was.”
So you can imagine how he and so many life-long fans felt in 2016 when the team returned to LA, which had been without an NFL franchise after more than two decades.
Even sports business experts are amazed by the rapid success of LA’s newly revived football market.
Courtney Brunious of the USC Sports Business Institute says, “Not only do they have the Rams in this market, but they also have the Chargers in this market at this point. They have a new stadium that’s going to be coming online in the next couple of years and the Rams are in the Super Bowl. You have one of your top markets that has a team in the Super Bowl, that’s good news for the league.”
But let’s get back to the fans, who are celebrating in all kinds of ways. Actor Danny Trejo is serving up Rams donuts at his coffeeshop.
And Ralph Valdez has more decorating plans.
“I still gotta fill up some more for my room cuz I still gotta little bit more room” says Valdez. “I got some open spots. My wife says, that’s enough, and I say no, I have a little bit more white I gotta cover up.”