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"The one thing I learned about the Rams is nothing ever comes easy," Andrew J. Kulick says with a laugh. "If you're going to win the game, it's going to be on the last play. So if you're going to win the Super Bowl, it's going to be on the last play."
Kulick is an attorney who's also a crazy Ram fan.
"I was born in 1958, and my father had season tickets. And ever since I can remember I would go to the games with him when I was little. And in 1967, the Rams had not been a successful or winning franchise for years. And so the Rams were a half-game out of first place, and they would be playing the Baltimore Colts, who were in our division, if they won the game for the Coastal Conference championship, which would then get us into the playoffs. But they couldn't if they lost to the Green Bay Packers. And of course the Green Bay Packers are the NFL champions.
That one moment, as I've described it to my family, that's the one play that changed me because I believed."Andrew Kulick
"So we were down, and I was like, 'Oh my God, we're going to lose the game.' So my uncle says, like my dad used to do, 'Let's go. I want to beat the traffic. It's L.A.' OK, so we get up. And we're walking through the tunnel and we hear this giant roar. And this crowd roar was something that I've never experienced in my life. And I remember as I was walking, I was crying the whole time because we're not going to be able to make the playoffs — our chance to go to 'The Super Bowl.'
"And so when we heard the noise, we all looked at each other and we ran back into the stadium. And my uncle put me on his shoulders and he looks to his left and he goes, 'What happened? What happened?' And the guy goes, 'The Rams blocked the punt! The Rams blocked the punt!' And that person happened to be Sammy Davis Jr.
"The Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel went back to pass. He looks for Casey. Touchdown, Rams! And they won the game. And it was from utter defeat to victory. It's what changed my life. That one moment, as I've described it to my family, that's the one play that changed me because I believed."
Kulick says he and his father bonded over the Rams, and that the bond was never stronger than after the 1979 season, when the Rams — who'd by then moved to Anaheim — lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV. Kulick's dad had stopped going to games once they moved, so Kulick watched the loss on his own.
"I got in the car and I drove home, and my father was sitting there on the steps to the house and he had his book and he had his pipe and he was waiting for me to come home. And then he walked over. He had tears in his eyes. And he looked at me and he said, 'I really wanted them to win.' And I knew right then and there that no matter where they played, where they go, it was always going to be the Rams for him and that he loved that team just as much as I loved that team. He knew that his devotion to the team was being carried on by me."
'That's For You, Dad'
Kulick’s devotion remained strong, even after his father’s death in 1993 and the Rams’ move to St. Louis after the 1994 NFL season. And in 1999, a relatively unknown quarterback named Kurt Warner led the Rams back to the Super Bowl. The game came down to one final play.
The Titans, trailing by seven points with seconds remaining, completed a pass to wide receiver Kevin Dyson just before the end zone. But Dyson was tackled, and the Rams won the Super Bowl.
"He was one yard short," Kulick says. "I went to my knees and I started crying. And I looked up to the sky and I said, 'That's for you, dad. That's for you.'
"That's where my father would teach me about life. You know, 'You have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off because if you allow the defeats to get to you, you'll never get the opportunity to win the championship. Winning the Super Bowl, even though they were in St. Louis, it wouldn't have meant as much if I was 10 years old. It meant a lot more when I was 43."
For the last two decades, Kulick has watched every St. Louis Rams game on TV. Then the announcement came Jan. 13 that the team would be coming back to L.A.
"So when I finally got home, I was jumping up and down with my kids and, 'They're coming home! They're coming home!'
"You know, when I walk into that stadium with my sons and daughter — and I look at them and I say, "I'm home. And this is where your father grew up. And that this is going to be passed on to you. And it's now going to be your home,' I know I'll be crying, obviously when I walk in there. As soon as I see that painted logo on that green football field, I know I'll cry because it means so much to me because they are the L.A Rams. They always will be."
This segment aired on February 13, 2016.
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