The 1951 Los Angeles Rams

Profiles of the NFL’s First West Coast Champions


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About the Book

The 1951 Los Angeles Rams were one of the greatest teams in professional football history. Led by pioneer owner Daniel Reeves, head coach Joe Stydahar, and future Hall of Famers Bob Waterfield, Norm Van Brocklin, Elroy Hirsch, Tom Fears, and Andy Robustelli, the team won the NFL championship of that season. In doing this, they defeated the defending champion Cleveland Browns in a fantastic rematch of the 1950 title game. The Rams were the first team in a major professional sports league to relocate to the West Coast, forever changing the face of the NFL and professional sports in America. Fueled by an exciting and accomplished lineup of veteran star players and impactful rookies, the product of the Rams’ innovative scouting system and their reintegration of the NFL in 1946, the Rams successfully married the NFL to the glamorous world of Hollywood. Delve into the story of the ’51 Rams, the NFL’s First West Coast Champions.

About the Author(s)

Retired attorney George Bozeka is the president and assistant publications director of the Professional Football Researchers Association. He has written numerous articles in the association’s publication The Coffin Corner and was the recipient of the PFRA’s Bob Carroll Memorial Writing Award in 2011 and the Jack Clary Award in 2020. He lives in Akron, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by George Bozeka
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 380
Bibliographic Info: 57 photographs, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7842-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4413-4
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Great Teams in Pro Football History

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments (George Bozeka) v
Preface (George Bozeka) 1
Part 1: The City and the Organization
The City of Angels (George Bozeka) 5
History of Pro Football in Los Angeles (Joshua Milton Anderson) 10
Owner Daniel Reeves (George Bozeka) 20
Head Coach Joe Stydahar (Lee Elder) 27
Assistant Coaches (Ryan C. Christiansen, Bert Gambini,
Bryan Lutes and Joe Ziemba) 34
Building the 1951 Rams (Matthew Keddie) 59
The 1951 Draft (Bert Gambini) 65
Part 2: The 1951 Season
1951 Training Camp and Preseason (Mark L. Ford) 77
1951 Rams Offense—The Xs and Os (Lee Elder) 89
1951 Regular Season Game Summaries (Rupert Patrick,
Rich Shmelter and Neal Golden) 98
Rams/Browns Rivalry (Ed Gruver) 136
1951 NFL Championship Game (Rupert Patrick) 140
1951 Rams Statistics (Rupert Patrick) 147
1951 Rams Superlatives (Rupert Patrick) 150
Part 3: The Team
Bob Boyd (Bill Lambert) 155
Larry Brink (Patrick Gallivan) 159
Bobby Collier (Greg Selber) 162
Tom Dahms (Nicholas Ritzmann) 164
Dick Daugherty (Mark L. Ford) 169
Glenn Davis (Randy Snow) 173
Tom Fears (Rick Schabowski) 178
Jack Finlay (John Maxymuk) 184
Jack Halliday (Joshua Milton Anderson) 187
Norb Hecker (Greg D. Tranter) 192
Elroy Hirsch (Rick Schabowski) 195
Dick Hoerner (Greg D. Tranter) 202
Marvin Johnson (John Maxymuk) 206
Tommy Kalmanir (John Grasso) 209
Tom Keane (John Grasso) 215
Bill Lange (Richard C. Flowers II) 219
Woodley Lewis (Mark Fellin) 221
Leon McLaughlin (John Maxymuk) 224
Don Paul (Patrick Gallivan) 227
Joe Reid (Joshua Milton Anderson) 231
Herb Rich (Mark Fellin) 235
Andy Robustelli (John M. Vorperian) 238
Don Simensen (Mark L. Ford) 246
Vitamin Smith (Randy Snow) 252
Harry Thompson (Nicholas Ritzmann) 256
Charlie Toogood (Bill Lambert) 260
Deacon Dan Towler (Richard C. Flowers II) 264
Norm Van Brocklin (Bryan Lutes) 268
Bob Waterfield (George Bozeka) 276
Stan West (Jay Zahn) 284
Jerry Williams (Gary A. Sarnoff) 290
Jim Winkler (Greg Selber) 295
Tank Younger (Rich Shmelter) 298
Jack Zilly (Joe Ziemba) 303
Racial Integration and the Rams (Ryan C. Christiansen) 309
The NFL’s Fashion Pioneers (John M. Vorperian) 326
Part 4: The Stadium
Memorial Coliseum (Massimo Foglio) 331
Part 5: The Press
Bob Kelley (Joe Marren) 339
Bud Furillo and Sid Ziff (Joe Marren) 343
Bob Oates and Melvin Durslag (Joe Marren) 349
Paul B. Zimmerman, Dick Hyland and Frank Finch (Joe Marren) 355
About the Contributors 363
Index 367