Are the LA Rams the NFL’s ‘America’s Team’ as Cowherd claims?
By Bret Stuter
Colin Cowherd has declared that the LA Rams are the new ‘America’s Team’ of the NFL. But is that something that the LA Rams are even interested in being associated with?
The claim to be ‘America’s Team’ in the NFL is one that typically raises the hackles of Dallas Cowboys fans, and has been a nickname that had been laid claim to it by the Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and of course, by the Dallas Cowboys.
For years, the concept of being ‘America’s Team’ carried warm and fuzzy connotations. The nickname denoted a team that could win, that had broad fan base appeal across the USA, and that was a television-ratings boon for any games that were televised. But it was not always the good stuff.
That same designation almost mandated NFL sports networks to go awfully soft on the players, the team, and the record. Fans of opposing NFL teams, witnessing the subjective approach of NFL networks annually favoring projections of those teams, responded with a higher than normal level of angst and vitriol. Phrases like “I’m rooting for whoever plays against the Dallas Cowboys” became popular.
Cowboys fans began to believe the hype. Other NFL fans began to polarize and ultimately reject it.
LA Rams News: The new America’s Team?
So how does Colin Cowherd justify this claim?
Well, he does make some points. But let’s clarify a few things. Despite Los Angeles being considered to be the new site of the NFL Scouting Combine, the event will remain in Indianapolis, Indiana through 2024. So there is no future expectation for a Combine in LA.
And as far as the NFL Salary cap? Well, I hate to burst the bubble, but the LA Rams have had to fight through nearly $100,000,000 of dead cap space over four seasons. Did it prevent the Rams from making roster adjustments? Perhaps not, but I would by no means describe the Rams’ salary cap situation as squeaky clean. It has been and will continue to be a work-in-progress.
Imitation is the best form of flattery
On the other hand, Cowherd does make some very valid points as well. The innovative methods of the Rams front office, roster decisions, and managing players has not only resulted in one of the best success stories of the NFL over the past five years, but other NFL teams are blatantly poaching Rams coaches and copying their methods.
For what appears to be the first time in NFL history, eight NFL teams did not make a selection on Day 1 of the NFL Draft. That is 25 percent of the teams. Where did the NFL get that idea? The LA Rams. For that matter, a number of teams have been very aggressive in the offseason, not only with draft picks but in trading for veteran quarterbacks and elite receivers.
For now, the LA Rams are the defending NFL Champions. Since Sean McVay has taken over at the helm of the LA Rams, only three teams have appeared in two Super Bowls, and won once. They are the New England Patriots, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the LA Rams. This year, one of those teams has an opportunity to break the tie.
Does it matter whether or not the LA Rams are the true ‘America’s Team?’ Probably not. But if they are, perhaps the players and coaches will no longer be snubbed in national rankings?