Notable Records Set or Tied at Super Bowl 53

Rams practice facility at Cal Lutheran, seen from the hills above CLU.

Rams practice facility at Cal Lutheran, seen from the hills above CLU.

Having been a Los Angeles Ram fan as a kid, until they left for St. Louis in 1995, then again when they returned in 2016, I was excited for today’s Super Bowl game. Making it even more exciting is that the Rams are headquartered right here in the Conejo Valley in Agoura Hills and have practiced at Cal Lutheran since 2017.

The Los Angeles Rams had played in only one other Super Bowl. They lost 31 to 19 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 14 on January 20, 1920. The St. Louis Rams played in two Super Bowls with a 1-1 record. But otherwise, Super Bowl 53 was only the second time in history that the Los Angeles based Rams made it to this game.

And it was an utter disappointment. The Rams lost in Atlanta to the Patriots by a score of 13 to 3.

Some of the records set or tied at Super Bowl 53 included:

  • Fewest points scored by both teams: 16 (previously 21 at Super Bowl VII in 1973)

  • Fewest points by winning team: 13 (previously 14 by Miami at Super Bowl VII)

  • Tied for fewest points by losing team: 3 (tying Miami’s score at Super Bowl VI in 1972)

  • Longest punt - 65 yards by Johnny Hekker (probably the highlight of the game for Rams fans)

Next year’s Super Bowl 54 will take place at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida on February 2, 2020. Crossing my fingers for the Rams to come back with a vengeance next year like Miami did in 1973.

Congratulations to the New England Patriots!

Los Angeles Rams to Rebrand as Los Angeles Rabbits Upon Move to Conejo Valley

Breaking News: After several months of speculation, the Los Angeles Rams and California Lutheran University announced yesterday that the team will be establishing training operations at the Thousand Oaks campus for a period of at least two, and as many as five, years.

Founded as the Cleveland Rams in 1936, the team became the Los Angeles Rams in 1946, then the St. Louis Rams in 1995 and of course back home as the Los Angeles Rams in 2016.

After 80 years, the Rams have one of the oldest team names in the National Football League. Out of 32 teams only six - the Cardinals, Packers, Bears, Giants, Eagles and Lions - have been around longer. 

With the move to Thousand Oaks, management decided to reassess the name of the team.

Thousand Oaks is situated in the beautiful Conejo Valley. The Conejo Valley was originally named in reference to los conejos (rabbits) by Spaniards who journeyed up the coast in the late 1700s. 

Rabbits are known for their speed, agility and strong awareness of their surroundings. Rabbits' hind legs are strong and they have the ability to adapt to a variety of environments. Rams, on the other hand, are basically male sheep.

In fact, what better name can there be for this team other than the Los Angeles Rabbits!? Ravens? Redskins? Raiders? Nah, already taken. 

Los Angeles Rabbits, welcome to the Conejo Valley!

Branding Expert Bunny Hopalot indicates this to be a natural fit. "Rabbits have a natural ability to multiply quickly," she said, "which is so critical in those 3rd down and long situations where the offense can feel burrowed in the proverbial 'rabbit hole.'"

Not everyone agrees with the decision, however.

Local resident L. Merjay Phud said "I weally, weally don't like the pwospect of the Los Angeles Wabbits inhabiting Thousand Oaks. With all this commotion it will not be vewy, vewy peaceful and quiet any more."

Happy April Fools' Day!

April Fools' fun in prior years

Los Angeles Rams Training Facility Moving to Cal Lutheran Campus in Thousand Oaks

California Lutheran University has entered into an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to allow the team to base its training operations on the university’s Thousand Oaks campus for at least two years.

The Rams will pay for and put in two practice fields, a paved parking lot and temporary modular buildings containing offices, training areas and locker rooms on the northwest corner of the campus. They can use the area for the next two to five years while they wait for their permanent training facility to be built.

The facility at Cal Lutheran will be the home base for about 130 athletes, coaches, trainers and other staff members. Regular season practices will be held from September through January starting this year, and off-season activities will be based at the facility from March through July starting in 2017.

The Rams plan to offer opportunities to the Cal Lutheran community, including internships for students, while their operations are based on campus.

The city of Thousand Oaks has already approved construction of the fields and parking lot as part of Cal Lutheran’s master plan, and the Rams will turn them over to the university after they depart. The Rams have applied to the city for permission to install the modular buildings and approval is pending.

While the Rams are based on campus, Cal Lutheran can use the parking lot during major events such as commencement. Cal Lutheran’s athletic teams will use the fields after the team departs. The university will also be able to use infrastructure built by the Rams for future athletic facilities it plans to add.

The region stands to benefit economically as the Rams players, coaches and other employees shop, dine, buy homes and send their children to schools in the area.

“We are excited to partner with Cal Lutheran to use their exceptional campus as the temporary home for team facilities that will be outstanding for our players and football staff,” said Los Angeles Rams Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Kevin Demoff. “The Rams look forward to becoming an integral part of the Cal Lutheran and Thousand Oaks communities as we establish our roots in Southern California.”

“We are thrilled to be part of the return of the Rams and NFL football to Los Angeles,” said Cal Lutheran President Chris Kimball. “The Rams are investing in a major remaining part of our plans for the north campus and providing internships in a variety of fields to our students. It will be a great partnership.”

The entrance to the facility will be off of Campus Drive, and the entire area will be enclosed in a fence. The facility will not be open to the public. The Rams will remove the temporary buildings and fencing when they leave.

The university has a long history of partnerships with high-level athletic teams. Cal Lutheran hosted the Dallas Cowboys’ training camp from 1963 to 1989. The 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s water polo teams trained in Samuelson Aquatics Center. USA Team Handball, Los Angeles Lightning basketball and the Conejo Oaks collegiate summer baseball team have also held events on the campus.

There Are 35 Post-Season NCAA Football Bowl Games: Here is the 2012-13 Lineup

Here in Southern California we are home to the very first college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl, played on January 1, 1902. The Rose Bowl was still the only major college football bowl in 1930, but that quickly changed. By 1940, there were 5 bowls, the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sun Bowl. I loved the simplicity of the names back then, before the corporate sponsorships took over.

The number of bowls grew to 8 in 1950, 11 in 1970, 15 in 1980, 19 in 1990, 25 in 2000 and today, 2012, we have 35 of them. And amazingly, only a few of the games overlap, so even without recording the games, avid football fans could almost watch every single one of these 35 bowls live on TV.

Here is the current college football bowl schedule for 2012-2013, including game times in PST (be sure to check channel listings for changes/errors):

Gildan New Mexico Bowl 12/15/12 10am (Nevada vs Arizona)

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl 12/15/12 1:30pm (Toledo vs Utah State)

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl 12/20/12 5pm (BYU vs San Diego State)

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg 12/21/12 4:30pm (Ball State vs Central Florida)

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl 12/22/12 9am (East Carolina vs Louisiana-Lafayette)

Maaco Bowl Las Vegas 12/22/12 12:30pm (Boise St vs Washington)

Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl 12/24/12 5pm (Southern Methodist vs Fresno State)

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl 12/26/12 4:30pm (Western Kentucky vs Central Michigan)

Military Bowl pres. by Northrop Grumman 12/27/12 Noon (San Jose St vs Bowling Green)

Belk Bowl 12/27/12 3:30pm (Duke vs Cincinnati)

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl 12/27/12 6:45pm (Baylor vs UCLA)

Advocare V100 Independence Bowl 12/28/12 11am (Ohio vs Louisiana-Monroe)

Russell Athletic Bowl 12/28/12 2:30pm (Virginia Tech vs Rutgers)

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas 12/28/12 6pm (Minnesota vs Texas Tech)

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl 12/29/12 8:45am (Rice vs Air Force)

New Era Pinstripe Bowl 12/29/12 12:15pm (Syracuse vs West Virginia)

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl 12/29/12 1pm (Arizona State vs Navy

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You Don't Have To Be a Football Fan

...to enjoy this amazing play.  This past weekend, in a Division III game, Trinity University came from behind in the final play of the game to beat Millsaps College, 28 to 24.  This miraculous play included 15 lateral passes, something never before seen.  There were 2 seconds left on the clock and Trinity was on its own 32 yard line.  I timed the play and it lasted over a minute!  Equally entertaining is the dramatic reaction of the announcers.  You gotta watch this great clip.