LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Rams are Super Bowl champions once again for the first time in 22 years after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium, and the city is celebrating Wednesday.
The Rams' Super Bowl LVI victory celebration parade kicked off shortly after 11 a.m. at the Shrine Auditorium on West Jefferson Boulevard. The team began getting on busses in the auditorium parking lot shortly after 10:30 a.m.
The route wound down Figueroa Street before turning onto Exposition Park Drive. The busses pulled up to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum about 11:45 for the fan rally.
Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth touted the Lombardi Trophy, while quarterback Matthew Stafford was looking like Joe Burrow with his cigar.
Fans along Figueroa Street were loud. One fan told FOX 11 that he'd made the trip to LA from Illinois to celebrate with the team. Others said they'd been waiting their whole lives for a Rams Super Bowl victory.
Inglewood Mayor James Butts kicked off the rally at the Coliseum, presenting Rams owner Stan Kroenke with just the second key to the city of Inglewood in the city's history. "Stan Kroenke has put Inglewood back on the top of the world," Butts said. "And we thank and honor the Rams. Champions of Super Bowl LVI."
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had keys to give out himself. He presented keys to the city of LA to Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp and "Matthew Stafford already has his," according to Garcetti.
Stafford relished the celebration, praising teammates Donald and Kupp. When asked whether he was able to watch the Bengals' last drive at the end of the game, Stafford said that he, "didn't even know it was fourth down," saying that it made him "feel like a bad teammate for that."
There have been many rumors since the postseason started that if Donald won a Super Bowl, he'd consider retirement. When asked Wednesday, Donald said, "We built a super team. If we could bring the super team back, why not run it back? We could be world champs again."
The COVID-19 pandemic robbed Angelenos of getting a chance to enjoy recent championship parades. After the Lakers won the NBA Finals and the Dodgers won the World Series in the fall of 2020, both teams were denied victory parades.
Sunday's historic win marks the Ram's second Super Bowl victory in franchise history and the team's first in Los Angeles.
The Rams drew first blood after Odell Beckham Jr. hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford in the first quarter. The Bengals responded two drives later with a 29-yard field goal to put Cincinnati on the board.
The Rams extended their lead to 13-3 after an 11-yard touchdown grab from Cooper Kupp and a failed 2-point conversion attempt. Since then, the Bengals have scored 17 unanswered points in the second and third quarters to take a 20-13 lead midway through the third quarter.
Entering the second half, Stafford threw for 165 yards and completed 12 of 18 passes with two passing touchdowns and one interception. Stafford's teammate Cooper Kupp hauled in 40 receiving yards on 3 catches, one being a touchdown, entering the third quarter. Cupp finished the game with 8 receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner, earning him the game's Most Valuable Player award.
The Rams' previous Super Bowl victory happened Feb. 2000 to cap off the 1999 NFL season. They defeated the Tennessee Titans for the franchise's first Super Bowl victory. At that time, they were still the St. Louis Rams.