It’s a good time to cheer for the Los Angeles Rams. Not only did the team advance to the Super Bowl after a wild 20-17 win over their division rival San Francisco 49ers, but they also get to play the Big Game in their own house. That’s right, Super Bowl LVI will be played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, a suburb of Los Angeles, in front of thousands of local fans who welcomed the team back to the city with open arms in 2016.
One of those diehard Rams fans, Rajee Hunter, got to watch his team advance to the Super Bowl in person at last night’s NFC Championship game thanks to a gift from another big fan. Kelly Stafford, wife of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, gifted Hunter free seats to the game as part of an impromptu giveaway.
Hunter said last night’s game was his first trip to SoFi Stadium. The team finished construction of the stadium prior to the 2020 season, which was significantly affected by COVID. Hunter called the news of being selected by Stafford a “big rush.”
“I’m ready to just bleed blue and yellow on the field,” Hunter said to local media prior to the game. The Sacramento native got to watch an instant classic. The Rams came back late in the game for a huge home win and a ticket to the Super Bowl.
Football fans celebrated the team all over the city leading up to the game
On Friday, a Rams pop-up in Thousand Oaks drew a big crowd. The love for the Rams is expected but a little surprising, given that Los Angeles is a sports town most dedicated to the Lakers and the Dodgers. The NFL did not even have a team in Los Angeles for years after the Rams first left for St. Louis and the Raiders left for Oakland decades ago. Now, not only is football back in a big way, but local residents are beginning to take pride in their Rams again.
“We feel really good. Our team is really locked in and very focused on beating the ‘Niners,” said Rams fan Rachel Zisman. We feel really good about snapping that streak everyone is talking about. Rams victory.”
At Randy’s Donuts, a famous pastry shop with a massive donut statue out front by the highway, the special Rams pastries sold out quickly. Fans around the shop said they were also expecting a victory.
“I think the Rams are going to win,” said Dorothy McDonald of Fontana. “I feel confident. Very confident.”
Matthew and Kelly Stafford donated big to a Detroit organization before moving West
Giving away money or gifts is nothing new for Kelly Stafford and her quarterback husband. When the couple moved from Detroit (where Stafford played for over a decade) to Los Angeles, they wrote a big check to one of their favorite non-profits in the area.
Kelly and Matthew donated $1 million towards the construction of a new annex for the SAY Detroit Play Center (SDPS). According to the SDPS founder Mitch Albom, the Staffords would routinely show up to play and interact with the children that the org served.
“I think one of the most pleasant surprises that we had as we got to know Matthew Stafford over the years, were the times that he or Kelly would just show up at the SAY Play Center on a Tuesday on their off day. And the next thing you know, he’d be throwing a football or shooting baskets. And she’d be leading cheer team things,” Albom said. “There weren’t any cameras around, and they weren’t doing it for that reason.”