The Los Angeles Rams came into Hawaii and showed that they would like to make the islands Ram Country, a luster they lost when the franchise moved to St. Louis after the 1995 season. Despite the 14-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at Aloha Stadium the Rams feel they are off to a good start.
For many local fans this was the first NFL game between two actual teams. While the Pro Bowl had an amazing run it turned into a glorified game of two-hand touch that lacked the stars who were to play in the Super Bowl the following week. These guys came to play, they’re fighting for jobs and at full speed delivering quite a few bone jarring hits. It’s what an NFL game is supposed to be like and the home crowd ate it up.
University of Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald attended the game, surprisingly his first NFL game, saying, “He went to mostly to college games like USC or UCLA”. He grew up around Orange, CA when the Los Angeles area had no NFL team. “I really enjoyed the game. I was looking at the defensive schemes and trying to read them.” said McDonald. He and his teammates all were also happy to have the Rams on campus practicing.
The Rams had a short walkthrough at Cooke Field on friday in conjunction with the filming of a scene from CBS’s Magnum P.I. where Aaron Donald had a quick cameo. Leave it to LaLa Land to attract the Hawaii Hollywood scene, fitting. Attending the practice were some youth football players and some of the Radford High Rams. Mufi Hanneman shared some words of wisdom with the kids.
Although not everything was smooth for the Rams coming to Hawaii, the overall effort was there and looks to be something that will be continued with more sponsored football camps coming later in the year and beyond. As for another game next year, we’ll see, they are due to open the new stadium in Inglewood in 2020. The only glaring bump may have been the lack of starters like Jared Goff and Todd Gurley not making the trip. As a football decision it was understood, so no worries, but a few waves to the adoring fans and maybe some autographs could have gone a long way to really stoke the fire even more.
The atmosphere at the stadium was pleasant and happy. Let’s face it, we tend to whine or complain a lot here, but not on this day, everyone was in good spirits enjoying what the Rams made happen along with the Hawaii Tourism Authority. This is the first of three big time events this year. The Los Angeles Clippers will bring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to town to play Russell Westbrook and James Harden’s Houston Rockets in October. Then the Hawaii Open will bring a couple of tennis greats in Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Germany’s Angelique Kerber to the Neal Blaisdell in December.