Unveiling the Retired Jersey Numbers of the Rams: A Look at the Honored Legends

With their long and storied history in the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams have made it a point to honor standout players by retiring their jersey number when said player calls it a career. The Rams have retired eight players spanning the Cleveland/Los Angeles/Anaheim/St. Louis eras.

There are no hard and fast criteria for retiring jerseys and each team sets its own standards. On the high end, the Chicago Bears have retired 14, New York Giants closed 13 and the San Francisco 49ers mothballed 12. At the other extreme, five teams, the Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, and Baltimore Ravens do not honor past players by retiring their jersey. The Buffalo Bills also did not, but have reversed their stand with a recent ownership change.

Let’s get something out in the air. Honoring players is just as much about marketing as it is patting a long-time employee on the back. The Arizona Cardinals recently “un-retired” #99 for J.J. Watt, The Denver Broncos let Peyton Manning wear retired #18, when Jerry Rice joined the Seattle Seahawks he wore retired #80 and there are many other examples. With as much money at stake as there is in the NFL, honoring past commitments can be a murky undertaking.

7) Quarterback Bob Waterfield- Starred at quarterback, placekicker, and punter between eight years in Cleveland and Los Angeles. Five-time All-Pro, two-time Pro Bowler, and NFL All-Decade Team (1940’s). Married 1950’s pinup queen, Jane Russell.

29) Running back Eric Dickerson- Only spent five+ years in L.A., but produced 125 yards per game. Four-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler, along with two Offensive Player of the Year Awards. Glad to see him back in the fold and taking part in Rams activities.

74) Defensive Tackle Merlin Olsen- 14 Pro Bowls in 15 L.A. seasons, 10-time All-Pro, NFL All-Decade for both the 1960’s and 70’s, NFL 75th Anniversary team and NFL 100th Anniversary team. Nuff’ said.

75) Defensive end Deacon Jones- Reportedly coined the term “sack” and the use of the now banned head slap. 11 years as a Ram, he totaled eight each All-Pro and Pro Bowl berths. Named !960’s NFL All-Decade, NFL 75th Anniversary, and NFL 100th Anniversary teams.

78) Offensive tackle Jackie Slater- Played all 20 years in SoCal. Four-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler.

80) Wide receiver Issac Bruce- Can you believe that Bruce was only voted All-Pro one time and selected for four Pro Bowl’s? He only averaged 80 catches and 1000 yards over 14 Rams seasons. He finished his career with the dreaded 49ers, wearing the “retired” #80 of Jerry Rice.

85) Defensive end Jack Youngblood- Considered the consumate “tough guy” over his 14 Rams seasons. Lived up up to it by playing the 1979 playoffs and Super Bowl with a fractured fibula. Eight-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl participant. Also named to 1970’s NFL All Decade Team.

Who’s missing?
The easy ones

All these candidates spent the lion’s share of their careers with the Rams and earned Hall of Fame inductions. Well, except for Torry Holt, and it’s a blot on the HOF escutcheon that he’s not.

QB Norm Van Brocklin #25 – Played in a rotation with Bob Waterfield in four of nine Rams seasons, but was still voted to the Pro Bowl six straight years in the early/mid 1950’s.

QB Kurt Warner #13 – Only spent six years with the Rams, but was deuces wild in trips to the Super Bowl, NFL MVP awards, All-Pro teams, and Pro Bowls.

WR Torry Holt #81 – Two-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler in 11 seasons. In the Top 25 all-time in receptions (22nd), yards (17th), and receiving yards per game (8th).

What are the Rams retired numbers and who wore them?

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