Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'
LOS ANGELES -- Jack Youngblood had a Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Rams, but he says he has no connection to the St. Louis Rams.
Youngblood, who famously played in Super Bowl XIV with a broken leg, said he and his Los Angeles Rams teammates have been completely cut off from the team since the Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995.
More On The NFL
For the latest news on the NFL in Los Angeles, check out ESPN Los Angeles' NFL@L.A. blog. Blog
"We are their legacy but they forgot us," Youngblood said. "They don't have anything to do with us, really. I find that unfortunate because you look at other franchises, even those that have moved, and they use their alumni in their marketing and in their organization. They use their Hall of Famers as an example for the players who are there today. They use their alumni, but the Rams have cut us out of the picture."
Youngblood, who was in Los Angeles to promote his new book, "Because It Was Sunday: The Legend of Jack Youngblood," says he hasn't been invited to a Rams game or an alumni event in more than a decade. He currently has no plans to have a book signing in St. Louis, but would like to.
"I've been invited back twice since they moved to St. Louis and once I invited myself back," Youngblood said, laughing. "The last time I went back was for my Hall of Fame ring in 2001. I needed some place to have the presentation so we did it there. The other time I went was not long after they had moved, maybe around 1998; they invited me for something. I don't want to sound ugly about it but it's a sideways deal. ... They didn't really want me there."
However, the Rams think they have done plenty to bridge that gap and said so emphatically on their website Thursday.
"In an effort to recognize the great players who wore horns before the team's move to St. Louis, the club has also honored all living Rams' Hall of Famers from the Club's time in Los Angeles," the website reads. "The first player to be honored was Jack Youngblood, who was honored at the Edward Jones Dome in October of 2009."
The 697-word statement recounts the Rams' recent efforts to connect with their past, including jersey-retirement ceremonies for Deacon Jones and Isaac Bruce; game-day appearances by 10 retired St. Louis-era players, including Grant Wistrom and Orlando Pace; and game-day ceremonies honoring Eric Dickerson, Tom Mack, Merlin Olsen (through Olsen's son) and Youngblood himself.
Youngblood's two trips to St. Louis since the Rams moved there are two more than his former teammate Fred Dryer -- who visited Youngblood at his book signing in Los Angeles -- has made or ever will make.
"I've never been back there and I have no plans to go back there," Dryer said. "The L.A. Rams are gone. They're the St. Louis Rams now and when I watch them I have no connection to them at all."
Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from ESPN.com's Mike Sando was used in this report.