A lot can happen in one year. January 12th, 2016 three NFL franchises were awaiting their fate in regards to their current market and the Los Angeles market. Later that evening the owners made their votes and the announcement was made, The Rams would return to Los Angeles. Within the next few hours we started seeing promotional videos hyping the Rams move, Rams fans in Los Angeles flocked to the Hollywood park site to celebrate, thousands upon thousands tweeting and emailing about season tickets. The excitement of the NFL returning to Los Angeles was really buzzing around the league.
That buzz continued through the summer as fans made their way to UC Irvine on the first few days, Hard Knocks was grabbing attention of fans; even the L.A. Memorial Coliseum was sold out for the first pre-season game against the Dallas Cowboys. Many believed the Rams/L.A. marriage would turn out pretty ideally, so they thought.
As the season went, the Rams faced more drama on and off the field. Games became borderline unbearable as the team struggled through the season. Offensively the Rams struggled to move the ball and score points, ranking Los Angeles dead last in the league in multiple offensive categories. Even making the switch to their prized rookie quarterback Jared Goff didn’t help matters. The defense didn’t perform to their top 10 form; however they did win a couple of games for them. Former players weren’t happy with the product on the field during the first year back in Los Angeles. Eric Dickerson was the most vocal out of anyone when it came to the Rams. That led to drama between Dickerson and Jeff Fisher which ultimately led to Eric Dickerson stating that he would no longer attend Rams games as long as Fisher is coaching the team. A few weeks later head coach Jeff Fisher was fired from the Rams and it didn’t sit well with the players at all. Running back Todd Gurley sharing his displeasure after the firing was announced made things apparent that the team was a mess on and off the field. Not to mention the team’s poor performance saw a little drop in their attendance at the Coliseum and opposing fans making more noise in the Coliseum than Rams fans.
So much has changed over the past 12 months. The excitement was buzzing around L.A. as the Rams made their way into town. Fast forward to today, the Rams finished 4-12 and hired a 30-year old head coach, the youngest in NFL history. The Chargers are moving to LA and will be a tenant in the new Inglewood stadium in 2019. It certainly feels like that initial excitement of the Rams moving back home is long gone, but can a rookie head coach and young gun QB bring it back?
What a difference a year makes.
Matthew Lowry is journalism major at Santa Monica College. You can follow him on Twitter @MattALowry
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