LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Rams were back at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Thursday night for their first event at their old (and new) home since returning in January. It was a day many former Rams players thought they would never see, but there is still one lingering issue.
During Thursday’s event where fans mingled with current and former players on the field and toured the Coliseum, all of the former players and 99 percent of the fans wore the Rams’ classic blue and yellow uniforms they wore when the team last played in Los Angeles. When the Rams take the field at the Coliseum this season, however, they will play in the Millennium Blue and New Century Gold uniforms they wore in St. Louis for the majority of the season. Those uniforms and colors remain the one problem many former players and fans have with the team’s return.
“I’ll never forget when I saw the Rams come out of the Coliseum tunnel for the first time in those beautiful gold and yellow uniforms with those Rams horns,” said Fred Dryer, who was a defensive end for the Rams from 1972 to 1981 before becoming an actor (most notably starring in the television series "Hunter"). “If you look at the Rams horns right now, they’re a disgrace. They’re separated, they’re stupid, and they don’t make any sense. They should join in the middle.”
The Rams will wear their classic blue and yellow uniforms twice next season, the maximum the league allows for alternate throwback uniforms, but the team is working with the league to expand that number. Teams are required by the league to submit requests to change uniforms between January and March and then must wait two years to implement those changes. The team does not plan on making any significant uniform changes until moving into their new stadium in Inglewood in 2019.
“I understand they can’t make a change for another year or two, but they don’t have to wear that uniform, they can choose to wear anything they want,” Dryer said. “Those Rams horns are known globally and for them to bastardize it like this by putting these two stripes is stupid. They should fix those horns because right now, it’s bull----."
Dryer’s sentiment was shared by many of the former players and fans wearing blue and yellow shirts and hats and throwback uniforms at the Coliseum.
“It’s the best uniform,” former Rams running back Eric Dickerson said as he walked around the field with his blue and yellow No. 29 jersey. “I think the Rams know the importance of these uniforms and colors, but everything has to go through the league and with the league it’s always about the money. I hope they can go back to wearing these uniforms and these colors because it’s synonymous with the Los Angeles Rams.”
No one has been asked about the uniforms more than Kevin Demoff, the executive vice president of football operations and chief operating officer for the Rams. It’s usually the second thing out of the mouths of former players and fans after welcoming the team back to Los Angeles.
“The blue and yellow uniforms are our throwback alternate jerseys and we can wear them twice and we will wear them twice,” Demoff said. “We’re working on new uniforms to open up the new Inglewood stadium in 2019. We’re going to figure out a program in the interim to make our fans happy but also build for the future in Inglewood. I know it’s important to our fans. But I know it’s more important to have the team back and the jerseys are next, but it’s great to see the players wearing those colors.”
While the Rams won’t wear their classic blue and yellow uniforms much next season and won’t completely change their uniforms until 2019, most of the players and fans mingling on the field at the Coliseum Thursday night could deal with that now that their team is back in Los Angeles.
“I only think that there’s one good uniform and that’s the one I played in,” former Rams offensive tackle Jackie Slater said. “I’m hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that they go back to those uniforms as quickly as possible. That’s the one that everybody in Southern California identifies with and it would be fantastic if they did that, but it’s just good to have them back home where they belong.”