On Friday, the Los Angeles Rams partnered with Nike to provide the Watts Rams youth football program with surprise gifts. With the help of the NFL, the Rams gifted the Watts Rams free tickets to Super Bowl LVI. The franchise also teamed up with muralist Gustavo Zermeño jr. to create two murals that feature members of the Watts Rams along with the current Rams squad at Dymally High School, where the Watts Rams host their home games.
While these gifts commemorate the Rams NFC Championship berth, they are also meant to celebrate the Watts Rams commitment to excel in school, sports and in life. Watts Rams coach and general manager Marc Maye explained how the organization is teaching kids “how to be the best versions of themselves.”
“These kids show up and show out on the field,” he said. “But it’s important for us to build our program off the foundation of what you can do off the field as well whether that means doing well in school, whether that means being good children at home to your parents.”
The Watts Rams received the good news at Dymally High School from new Rams wide receiver and three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr, who announced their surprise via Zoom. Despite him preparing for his first conference championship, Beckham took time to answer questions the Watts Rams had.
“To get to speak to him, one of my idols, was honestly truly a blessing,” said eighth-grader Evan Williams. “I was shaking when we was talking, I was just shaking like crazy.”
Beckham jr talked to the Watts Rams about his career and his thrilling one-handed catch he made when he was with the Giants and told the students the importance of living in the moment.
“This is the first time ever being to the Super Bowl, I never experienced this stuff in my life,” said seventh-grade student athlete Eric Myers. “It was great to see Odell, it was one of the best times in my life.”
After chatting with the Watts Rams, Beckham helped the Rams punch their ticket to the Super Bowl by making nine catches for 113 yards against the San Francisco 49ers to secure a 20-17 victory. Williams told Beckham that he idolized him, admiring his playing style and his catching ability.
“He’s shifty with the routes, he can always get a defender off of him,” Williams said about Beckham. “Odell has amazing hands, elite hands and that’s one thing I wish I can learn from him.”
Zermeño’s murals resemble newspaper photos that have come to life, showing the athleticism and camaraderie of the boys and girls who make up the Watts Rams. “Inspiration,” “Dedication,” and “Perseverance” are the headlines as the youth are profiled alongside defensive tackle Aaron Donald, quarterback Matthew Stafford and linebacker Von Miller.
The Los Angeles-based muralist made several iconic paintings in recent years including the Nipsey Hussle basketball court mural at the Crete Academy and the “Leave A Legacy” mural, commemorating the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship run in the NBA Bubble and the impact of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
Through the years, the L.A. Rams have provided the Watts Rams (formerly the Watts Bears) several opportunities, including giving the youth free cleats and allowing them to play their championship games in Sofi Stadium. Both the Watts and the L.A. Rams will be at the biggest football game of the year on February 13 at 3:30P.M.