Aaron Donald: Los Angeles is 'a football town now'

It's not easy being a sports franchise in the crowded Los Angeles market. There are 10 major sports teams, including professional soccer, and two big-time college programs in the region with which to compete for eyeballs and dollars, including another NFL team that also made the postseason in 2018.

But thanks to a Super Bowl run in their third season back in Los Angeles, the Rams feel like the metropolis finally has its eyes on them.

Asked what he would tell someone who denied Los Angeles was a football town, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said Monday night at Super Bowl LIII Opening Night, "It's a football town now."

Overlooking the fact that college football is also football and USC and UCLA boast well-backed Division I programs, it's been fair to wonder, since the Rams returned in 2016 and the Los Angeles Chargers moved north from San Diego in 2017, whether L.A. would embrace one pro football franchise, let alone two. After all, the MLB's Dodgers have made it to back-to-back World Series, the NHL's Kings were recently playoff-bound every year and the NBA's Lakers, well, they're the Lakers.

But it appears Angelenos have welcoming the winning. Thousands of fans dressed in all shades of blue, white and gold sent the team off at a rally in Inglewood on Sunday. That has inspired Rams players to feel that the city is behind them.

"For being young in the sense that it's still growing, for us to have that showing the other day was special and it shows the backing that we have from our fans," Rams receiver Brandin Cooks added. "We thank them a lot and we look forward to hearing them loud and clear come Sunday."

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