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Hollywood Ending! Matthew Stafford and the Super Bowl champion Rams toast NFL title with parade

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Tens of thousands of Rams fans celebrated Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and the rest of the Super Bowl LVI champions for a curiously short victory parade in Los Angeles on Wednesday.  

Spectators lined up for the parade route that started at 11am local time and ran only a mile through the city, culminating in a noon rally just outside LA Memorial Coliseum, the club’s former home. 

Stafford, seated atop a double-decker bus with wife Kelly, was seen enjoying a cigar and a beer during the parade. At one point, retiree Tom Brady shared a word of advice for the Rams quarterback on Twitter. 

‘Mix in a water Matt…trust me,’ tweeted Brady, who was famously inebriated during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ victory parade a year ago. 

Also appearing with Stafford were his favorite target, Kupp, the Super Bowl MVP, and left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who appeared with his children atop the double-decker bus. 

“It’s a testament to this team and the guys that are standing up here, the work that we put in, that we were able to bring this back to this city that demands nothing less than a world championship,” said game MVP Kupp, who wore a Kobe Bryant Lakers jersey. 

To mark the occasion, the city altered one of its most recognizable landmarks: The famed ‘Hollywood’ sign at Mount Lee in the Santa Monica Mountains. 

With the help of some large tarps, the sign was altered to read ‘Rams House,’ which has never really been a fitting description for a city that has always seemed to prefer the NBA‘s Lakers and Major League Baseball’s Dodgers. 

Even the Raiders, who played in LA from 1982 until 1994 and won the city’s only other Super Bowl title in 1983, have traditionally boasted more fans in Southern California than the Rams. 

LA was famously indifferent to the club for much of the club’s first stint in the city from 1946 until 1994. The Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995 and shocked the NFL by winning a Super Bowl four seasons later, but returned back to LA in 2016 with the promise of a new stadium. 

Since then, coach Sean McVay’s club has reached two Super Bowls, including Sunday’s 23-20 win over the AFC-champion Cincinnati Bengals, and the city is no longer indifferent to the Rams.  

‘What a day in Los Angeles, the Rams are Super Bowl Champions,’ Mayor Eric Garcetti said after announcing the alterations to the ‘Hollywood’ sign earlier in the week. ‘This town has the best teams and fans in the world, and we can’t wait to show off our LA pride with a display that only Hollywood could deliver. Go Rams.’

Aaron Donald celebrates with teammates at the LA Rams' Super Bowl parade at Memorial Coliseum

Aaron Donald celebrates with teammates at the LA Rams’ Super Bowl parade at Memorial Coliseum

The Los Angeles Rams celebrate at the Super Bowl parade at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, U.S. February

The Los Angeles Rams celebrate at the Super Bowl parade at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, U.S. February

Los Angeles Rams' Matthew Stafford reacts as Andrew Whitworth holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy

Los Angeles Rams’ Matthew Stafford reacts as Andrew Whitworth holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy

Rams head coach Sean McVay, center, reacts with players at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum following the parade

Rams head coach Sean McVay, center, reacts with players at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum following the parade

Matthew Stafford puffs on a cigar alongside his wife Kelly during Wednesday's victory parade in Los Angeles

Matthew Stafford puffs on a cigar alongside his wife Kelly during Wednesday’s victory parade in Los Angeles 

To mark the occasion, the city altered one of its most recognizable landmarks: The famed 'Hollywood' sign at Mount Lee in the Santa Monica Mountains was tweaked so that it now reads 'RAMS HOUSE'

To mark the occasion, the city altered one of its most recognizable landmarks: The famed ‘Hollywood’ sign at Mount Lee in the Santa Monica Mountains was tweaked so that it now reads ‘RAMS HOUSE’

Stafford, seated atop a double-decker bus with wife Kelly, was seen enjoying a cigar and a beer during the parade. At one point, retiree Tom Brady shared a word of advice for the Rams quarterback on Twitter

Stafford, seated atop a double-decker bus with wife Kelly, was seen enjoying a cigar and a beer during the parade. At one point, retiree Tom Brady shared a word of advice for the Rams quarterback on Twitter

Tom Brady warned Matthew Stafford to 'mix in water' one year after his own drunken victory parade through Tampa Bay

Tom Brady warned Matthew Stafford to ‘mix in water’ one year after his own drunken victory parade through Tampa Bay

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, considered by many to be the premiere defensive lineman in football, hoists the Lombardi Trophy in his right hand while holding onto a beer and a bottle with his left during Wednesday's parade

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, considered by many to be the premiere defensive lineman in football, hoists the Lombardi Trophy in his right hand while holding onto a beer and a bottle with his left during Wednesday’s parade

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, right, tosses a football to a fan as he rides on a bus during the team's victory parade

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, right, tosses a football to a fan as he rides on a bus during the team’s victory parade

Los Angeles Rams players celebrate during the team's victory parade on Wednesday

Los Angeles Rams players celebrate during the team’s victory parade on Wednesday 

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford holds up a bottle as offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, right, holds the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford holds up a bottle as offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, right, holds the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy

Thousands were expected to line the parade route that started at 11am and ran about a mile through the city, culminating in a noon rally outside LA Memorial Coliseum, the club's home from 1949 until 1979 and again from 2016 to 2019

Thousands were expected to line the parade route that started at 11am and ran about a mile through the city, culminating in a noon rally outside LA Memorial Coliseum, the club’s home from 1949 until 1979 and again from 2016 to 2019

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, left, holds a football as head coach Sean McVay, right, looks on as they ride on a bus during the team's victory parade

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, left, holds a football as head coach Sean McVay, right, looks on as they ride on a bus during the team’s victory parade

Buses carrying Los Angeles Rams players and coaches drive past fans during the team's victory parade

Buses carrying Los Angeles Rams players and coaches drive past fans during the team’s victory parade

Four gold and blue trucks are inscribed with the 'World Champions' title on them during the Super Bowl LVI parade in Los Angeles, California

Four gold and blue trucks are inscribed with the ‘World Champions’ title on them during the Super Bowl LVI parade in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Rams fans watch on the big screen the start of the NFL Super Bowl Champion parade in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Rams fans watch on the big screen the start of the NFL Super Bowl Champion parade in Los Angeles

Left tackle Andrew Whitworth hoists the Lombardi Trophy during Wednesday's one-mile parade through Los Angeles

Left tackle Andrew Whitworth hoists the Lombardi Trophy during Wednesday’s one-mile parade through Los Angeles 

Team members waved at fans from open-top buses rolling down a route leading to a plaza outside Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where thousands clad in a sea of yellow and blue Rams gear awaited a rally.

‘It’s like a dream’ said Lawrence Morse, who drove in from suburban Irwindale with his 12-year-old son Jacob.

‘We watched almost every game the whole season,’ said Jacob. ‘We knew they would win the Super Bowl!’

The celebrating began Sunday when the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 after a 79-yard final drive by Stafford that ended with a 1-yard TD toss to Kupp, the game’s MVP.

Charles Goolsby, 16, came with his brothers and father. He said his late grandfather was a lifelong Rams fan and his passion for the team was contagious.

‘I was holding my breath in the fourth quarter but I just knew that Kupp could win it,’ Goolsby said.

‘We are here for our grandpa,’ he added.

Three LA sports teams have won championships in the last two years, but the Lakers and Dodgers didn’t get victory parades because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coliseum was once home to the Rams, who now play at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Many fans -- some masked, many more unmasked - are seen under a cascade of blue and gold confetti during the parade

Many fans — some masked, many more unmasked – are seen under a cascade of blue and gold confetti during the parade

LA Rams fans hanging out while waiting for buses to come through during Wednesday's victory parade

LA Rams fans hanging out while waiting for buses to come through during Wednesday’s victory parade 

Los Angeles Rams acknowledge fans during the NFL Super Bowl Champion parade on Wednesday

Los Angeles Rams acknowledge fans during the NFL Super Bowl Champion parade on Wednesday 

Rams players, including Andrew Whitworth (in white) are seen celebrating atop a double-decker bus in Los Angeles

Rams players, including Andrew Whitworth (in white) are seen celebrating atop a double-decker bus in Los Angeles 

Odell Beckham Jr. sips on a Corona while seated atop a double-decker bus during Wednesday's Super Bowl victory parade

Odell Beckham Jr. sips on a Corona while seated atop a double-decker bus during Wednesday’s Super Bowl victory parade

A Rams fan holds a picture of Odell Beckham Jr. as people wait for the Super Bowl parade to begin outside the LA Coliseum

A Rams fan holds a picture of Odell Beckham Jr. as people wait for the Super Bowl parade to begin outside the LA Coliseum

A fan of both the Los Angeles Rams and the 'Predator' movie franchise celebrates the NFL club's second NFL title Wednesday

A fan of both the Los Angeles Rams and the ‘Predator’ movie franchise celebrates the NFL club’s second NFL title Wednesday

Fans celebrate outside of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the Rams NFL Super Bow LVI victory parade

Fans celebrate outside of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the Rams NFL Super Bow LVI victory parade

A fan admires the logo on a jacket from Super Bowl 34, which was won by the St. Louis Rams, during a gathering near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before the Los Angeles Rams' victory parade

A fan admires the logo on a jacket from Super Bowl 34, which was won by the St. Louis Rams, during a gathering near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before the Los Angeles Rams’ victory parade

A young fan carries a football and blows a horn before the start of the Los Angeles Rams' victory parade, Wednesday

A young fan carries a football and blows a horn before the start of the Los Angeles Rams’ victory parade, Wednesday

The celebrating began Sunday following a 79-yard game-winning drive by Stafford that ended with a 1-yard TD toss to Kupp, the game’s MVP.

Donald, whose Super Bowl performance included two sacks, was among the Rams who kept the party going at Disneyland on Monday.

Three LA sports teams have won championships in the last two years, but the Lakers and Dodgers didn’t get victory parades because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Lakers star LeBron James, who attended Sunday’s Super Bowl, suggested a three-team victory parade, but the city apparently did not take him up on the idea. 

‘We, Dodgers and Rams should all do a joint parade together!!!!’ James tweeted Monday. ‘With a live concert afterwards to end it!! City of Champions. Congrats (Rams emoji) once again!!!’

Lakers star LeBron James, who attended Sunday's Super Bowl, suggested a three-team victory parade, but the city apparently did not take him up on the idea

Lakers star LeBron James, who attended Sunday’s Super Bowl, suggested a three-team victory parade, but the city apparently did not take him up on the idea

Head coach Sean McVay and his players have been basking in the glow of the club’s second NFL title – and its first in Los Angeles – since Sunday’s win. Many, possibly including McVay himself, have managed only a few hours sleep since the win. 

‘It’s an incredible honor to be here,’ McVay said Monday, his sandpaper rasp accentuating his sarcasm. ‘It’s also torturous to have a team win a championship and then make you come the next morning to a press conference this early.’

With the Rams’ 23-20 Super Bowl LVI win, McVay has finally reached the culmination of a journey he began in early 2017 as the youngest head coach in modern NFL history. Just over five years later, the 36-year-old is also the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl — and the trip left him exhausted, but thrilled.

A fan in costume stands near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before the Los Angeles Rams' victory parade

A fan in costume stands near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before the Los Angeles Rams’ victory parade

YELLOW, GOLD AND BLUE: A little girl waves an LA Rams flag while watching confetti erupting into the air during the NFL Super Bowl LVI victory parade in Los Angeles, Califoria

YELLOW, GOLD AND BLUE: A little girl waves an LA Rams flag while watching confetti erupting into the air during the NFL Super Bowl LVI victory parade in Los Angeles, Califoria

McVay said nothing Monday about the possibility of walking away from football, as the burnout-prone coach has suggested when asked about it over the years. But he didn’t sound like he was finished with his work on a team he built into a champion.

‘I’ve been surrounded by great people,’ McVay said. ‘When you get around great players, great coaches that are all committed and working in the same direction, pulling that rope in the same direction, good things can happen. When you have the right foundational pieces … because of those guys’ success, other people get opportunities to grow.’

Aaron Donald also hit his career’s peak by making the decisive defensive play on Cincinnati’s final snap, harassing Joe Burrow into a fourth-down incompletion to finish a Super Bowl performance that included two sacks. The three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year finally has his first ring — and the 30-year-old star also sidestepped questions about early retirement immediately after the victory.

Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff says the team will wait until its celebrations die down to figure out how serious McVay and Donald are about starting life after football, but he is optimistic they’ll both be back.

‘I think all of these guys are wiped,’ Demoff said. ‘When you get to this point, the gas tank is empty and you’re sitting there holding a trophy. I think that’s daunting to some degree when you wake up this morning and realize you’ve got to go do it all over again, and you don’t have the energy. So I think the talk is actually natural.  

‘And I would agree. I don’t think Sean’s current pace is sustainable in terms of how much work he puts in if you want to have a family. But I think the one thing, these guys all love football. They love being around each other. … These are all natural questions that are hard to answer in the moment. A month away, two months away from everybody, and I think things will feel a lot better.’

A fan holds a flag near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before the Los Angeles Rams' victory parade

A fan holds a flag near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before the Los Angeles Rams’ victory parade

Although the parade route was only one mile, players still boarded six double-decker buses because nobody walks in LA

Although the parade route was only one mile, players still boarded six double-decker buses because nobody walks in LA

Not even a Super Bowl championship affected Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s career-long reluctance to speak publicly about his many sports teams, but Demoff said the billionaire who built SoFi Stadium was ‘happier than I’ve ever seen him’ after raising his first Lombardi Trophy.

‘He took the two biggest risks in the NFL that I can think of in the last decade,’ Demoff said. ‘Buying land to build a stadium, hoping to get the opportunity to become the Los Angeles Rams again, and hiring a 30-year-old head coach when everybody wanted a major name. Those two risks culminated last night with unbelievable reward.’

The Rams have done everything big since Kroenke relocated them to Los Angeles from his native Missouri six years ago. Landing in a glamorous town that had largely forgotten them, the Rams got everybody’s attention again by developing an appetite for risks and stocking their roster with veteran stars.

Many of those stars played key roles in the Rams’ 16th and final victory. From Donald and Von Miller to Matthew Stafford and Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles’ big names loomed large in the grand finale.

‘There were so many guys on this team that have just respected this game, have put in the work and the time,’ said Kupp, who looked less annoyed than his boss to be awake shortly after sunrise. ‘That was a huge thing coming into this. So many guys just said, ‘Hey, we’ve got guys here that deserve a Super Bowl. We’ve got to win this for them.’

Fans gather before the start of the Los Angeles Rams' victory parade. Reportedly, tens of thousands of fans were expected

Fans gather before the start of the Los Angeles Rams’ victory parade. Reportedly, tens of thousands of fans were expected

Once considered a little brother in LA to MLB's Dodgers and the <a href=NBA‘s Lakers, the NFL’s Rams are starting to attract more fans” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

Once considered a little brother in LA to MLB’s Dodgers and the NBA‘s Lakers, the NFL’s Rams are starting to attract more fans

It happened one last time in the Super Bowl when Cincinnati scored 17 consecutive points to take a 20-13 lead several minutes into the third quarter. The Rams’ offense managed just three points from seven consecutive possessions before its final drive — a 15-play, 79-yard imperfect masterpiece ending in Kupp’s 1-yard TD catch.

‘We talk a lot about just being able to do your job,’ Kupp said. ‘We went through a little bit of a lull there leading into halftime and through that third quarter. We just needed to keep pushing and keep trusting in the details of things.’

The Rams kept the party going at Disneyland later Monday, and they’ll get a victory parade in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Free agency is only four weeks away, and the Rams must make decisions on several key players: Miller, receiver Odell Beckham Jr., starting cornerback Darious Williams, offensive linemen Brian Allen and Austin Corbett, and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day. They’re also waiting for Andrew Whitworth’s decision on retirement.

But Kupp had a confident answer when asked if he thought the Rams could become the first NFL team in nearly two decades to repeat.

‘Certainly,’ he said. ‘If you’re going into a season and didn’t think you could win it all, it would be a pretty depressing place to play from.’

The one-mile long parade route was slated to end outside the LA Memorial Coliseum, the Rams' previous home field

 The one-mile long parade route was slated to end outside the LA Memorial Coliseum, the Rams’ previous home field 

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