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The Morning Column: September 27, 2021
The Rams aren’t just the hottest team in the NFL, they’ve also become the hottest ticket in Los Angeles.
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OK, let’s get to it!
1. 🏈 Rams look like a Super Bowl team
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played in Super Bowl LV, they became the first team to ever play the Super Bowl in their home stadium. We’re just three game into this season but it doesn’t look like the NFL will have to wait 55 years for the next team to effectively play a “home game” at the Super Bowl.
SoFi Stadium will host the Super Bowl at the end of this season and the Rams have become the betting favorites to play in Super Bowl LVI after blowing out the Buccaneers on Sunday and handing the defending champions their first loss since November 29, 2020.
Matthew Stafford, who threw for 343 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions, is playing the best football of his career and Cooper Kupp is leading the league in yards (367) and touchdowns (5). Sean McVay is finally able to open his dream playbook with his dream quarterback and the result is the most exciting offense in the league. The Rams’ defense led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey has been equally impressive as the Rams, for the first time since going to the Super Bowl in 2019, look like the best team in the league.
The product on the field and the opening of their sparkling new $5 billion home has resulted in the Rams not only being the hottest team in the NFL but the hottest ticket in town. Sunday’s game attracted Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Draymond Green, Mike Tyson, “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Dr. Dre, Larry David and other athletes and celebrities.
The most positive off the field sign for the Rams was the number of Rams fans in the stadium and in the parking lot. While there be some 50-50 crowds this season, the SoFi Stadium crowd on Sunday was at least 70% Rams fans. Los Angeles didn’t have a team for 21 years so attracting fans for the city’s new team was always going to be an uphill battle for the first few years. It’s hard to convince a lost generation of fans who already had an NFL team to now support the “home team” but after five years, the Rams have become Los Angeles’ team again.
Not only do the Rams looks like a Super Bowl team but the Chargers went into Kansas City and beat the Chiefs, 30-26, and look like a Super Bowl contender as well led by Justin Herbert, who threw for 281 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions, and Mike Williams, who had 7 receptions for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns. After taking 55 years for a team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium maybe, just maybe, we will see two teams do it this season.
2. ✌🏽 USC’s season continues to unravel
USC’s season went from bad to worse on Saturday as the Trojans lost to Oregon State at the Coliseum for the first time since 1960. That was also the same year John F. Kennedy accepted the Democratic nomination for president at the Coliseum. It wasn’t just that USC lost but how they lost that was most disappointing for the fans who left early and caused the Coliseum to be nearly empty in the fourth quarter.
For the second straight home game it looked like the Trojans quit before the end of the game. USC trailed Stanford 42-13 before losing 42-28 two weeks ago and the Trojans trailed Oregon State 42-17 before losing 45-27 on Saturday. It was USC’s worst back-to-back home performances in recent memory. There was no chance Donte Williams was going to be USC’s permanent coach after this season but any hopes he may have had were dashed on Saturday. In fact, it’s hard to imagine the next head coach USC hires will want to retain any of the coaches on this year’s squad if the Trojans continue to play this way.
3. 🎶 Song of the Day 🎶
4. 📸 Photo of the Day
5. 💵 Odds and Ends Powered by Bovada
Here are some odds on Bovada if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
6. 📆 Sept. 27, 2000: USA wins gold medal in baseball
On this day 21 years ago, Tommy Lasorda led Team USA to its first-ever Olympic gold with a 4-0 defeat of Cuba. Some called it the “Miracle on Grass” as Lasorda led a team of journeymen, castoffs and minor league prospects to an 8-1 record during the Olympics. Lasorda hadn’t even met the team two weeks before leaving for the Olympics in Australia. Cuba was undefeated during the Olympics in 1992 and 1996 before the United States upset them to win the gold medal in 2000.
7. 🎂 Happy Birthday Jeanie Buss
Her birthday was yesterday but happy belated birthday to Jeanie Buss. The Lakers owner took time to write a love note to actor and comedian Jay Mohr on Instagram her birthday: “Happiness. Love. Joy.
That’s what you have given me on my birthday and every day in between. This picture taken at our friend’s wedding in June tells the story, our story. I guess a girl can have it all. I love you @jaymohr37.”
8. 🎟 Ticket Time Powered by StubHub
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game:
9. 📺 On The Air
There are no local games today but here’s what to look forward to on Tuesday:
⚾️ 5 p.m. – Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers – Bally Sports West
⚾️ 7 p.m. – San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies – SportsNet LA
10. 📻 The Arash Markazi Show
On Friday’s show we were in Long Beach to preview the Grand Prix of Long Beach with Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show on The Mightier 1090 Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., following The Rich Eisen Show. The Mightier 1090 has the second strongest radio signal in North America and can be heard from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies.” You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
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That’s it for today. Talk to you tomorrow!