March 21, 1946: UCLA’s Kenny Washington signed with the Los Angeles Rams, making him first African American in the NFL since 1933. In 2011, Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke wrote, “Washington broke his sport’s color barrier a year before his former UCLA football teammate Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, yet pro football never retired Washington’s No. 13, and his Los Angeles hometown has yet to put his name on any parks or fields.” The NFL recently produced a short clip recognizing contributions of Kenny Washington (also a Lincoln High School alum) to the game. [Photo from the Los Angeles Public Library archive].
Los Angeles Rams defensive end Jack Youngblood looks to block a pass attempt by Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton on Dec. 29, 1974. A 7-time Pro Bowl Hall of Famer, Youngblood turned 65 today. (Walter Iooss Jr./SI)
Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor pushes Rams tackle Robert Jenkins aside on Sept. 8, 1991 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. 10-time Pro Bowler and 8-time First-Team All-Pro Hall of Famer L.T. turns 55 today. (John Iacono/SI)
Dec. 21, 1970: Fans of the New York Giants who couldn’t get into a big football game at Yankee Stadium crowded on rooftops to watch their team be soundly defeated by the Los Angeles Rams. It was a 31-3 rout, but fans could take heart that the Rams were also kept out of the playoffs, after San Francisco beat Oakland to top the N.F.C. Western Division and Detroit snagged the conference’s wild-card spot. Photo: Ernie Sisto/The New York Times