Rams fans cheer Super Bowl champs at LA victory parade

Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and the rest of the Los Angeles Rams celebrated their Super Bowl championship Wednesday with a victory parade and rollicking rally in front of thousands of cheering fans.

Team members held up the Lombardi Trophy and waved at fans from open-top double-decker buses that rolled to a plaza outside Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the theme was "Run It Back," a slogan meaning win it again.

"It’s a testament to this team and the guys that are standing up here, the work that we put in, that we were able to bring this back to this city that demands nothing less than a world championship," said game MVP Kupp, who wore a Kobe Bryant Lakers jersey.

Team members puffed cigars, drank beer and sprayed champagne from bottles in a loosely organized party atop a stage.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 16: Matthew Stafford #9 and Andrew Whitworth #77 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrate with the Vince Lombardi trophy during the Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl LVI victory parade on February 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, Califo

"It's an unbelievable journey we've been on," said Stafford.

Fans clad in blue and yellow Rams gear came from all over the region to celebrate.

"It’s like a dream" said Lawrence Morse, who drove in from suburban Irwindale with his 12-year-old son, Jacob.

"We watched almost every game the whole season," said Jacob. "We knew they would win the Super Bowl!"

The celebrating began Sunday when the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 after a 79-yard final drive by Stafford that ended with a 1-yard TD toss to Kupp.

Charles Goolsby, 16, came with his brothers and father. He said his late grandfather was a lifelong Rams fan, and his passion for the team was contagious.

"I was holding my breath in the fourth quarter, but I just knew that Kupp could win it," Goolsby said.

"We are here for our grandpa," he added.

Three LA sports teams have won championships in the past two years, but the Lakers and Dodgers didn’t get victory parades because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coliseum was once home to the Rams, who now play at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Rudy Gallego, 70, saw his first Rams game when his dad brought him to the Coliseum in the 1960s.

"They tore my heart out" when the team moved to St. Louis, he said, but his cousin persuaded him to resume his fandom when the team returned to LA.

"I’m still processing this win," he said. "I’m really savoring it. It’s so sweet."