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THE RAM QB's 1973-1979

The Rams would win their division for a NFL record 7 straight seasons (1973-79).
But, what is even more impressive is they won those 7 straight divisions starting 7 different quarterbacks.

JOHN HADL



Before the start of the 1973 season, the Rams trade Roman Gabriel to the Eagles for Harold Jackson and Tony Baker. Then they get John Hadl from San Diego. He took the Rams to a 12-2 record and was the MVP of the NFL in 1973.
HADL TO JACKSON
In the sixth game of the 1973 was against the Dallas Cowboys. With over 80,000 fans in the Coliseum saw one hell of a game.
John Hadl connected on 4 TD passes to Harold Jackson (53,36,36,67) The Rams win 37-31.
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JAMES HARRIS



Harris took over for Hadl in the 4th game of the 1974 season. Took the Rams to the NFC Championship game. Was the MVP of the 1975 Pro Bowl.
SHACK'S FINEST HOUR
Oct 3rd, 1976, the Rams 4th game was against the Dolphins in Miami. In the first three games, the Rams used three QB's (Jaworski, Haden and Harris) that gave the rebirth to the 70's "Great LA QB Controversy." (Van Brocklin and Waterfield in the 50's, Munson and Gabriel in the 60's).
James Harris had his greatest game ever against Miami. He threw 29 times and completed 17 picture perfect passes for 436 yards in a 31-28 win.
Miami surprised the Rams with a 5 man line, daring the Rams to throw. But, Ground Chuck was stubborn wanting to establish the run. But, with Miami shutting out the Rams at the half 14-0. At the half, the Ram coaches did change their thinking and let Harris throw.
Our defense had their worst game in years allowing Miami 215 yards on the ground. But when the Rams took a 31-28 lead, the Ram defense came through. Elmendorf and Simpson each grabbed a Griese pass in the final minutes to secure the win.
In the bedlam of the winner's locker room, Carroll Rosenbloom who enjoyed beating the coach (Shula) who ran out on him (when he owned the Colts), broke threw the ring of reporters around Harris, and whispered in his ear and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
But, Coach Knox didn't give the game ball to Shack-------he didn't even give it to a Ram player. The game ball went to equipment manager Don Hewitt.
When the Rams arrived at the stadium that day, they found out someone had broken into their locker room and stolen a dozen helmets. Somehow, on a Sunday morning in Miami, Hewitt managed to buy a few helmets, rebuild a few extras he had, and worked out a system of trades between offensive and defensive players.
Another story from the game. Flying back to LA, Jaworski and Haden were laughing at Coach Knox pre-game speech. Knox was yelling "Now let's go out and beat the XXXX out of these mother-xxxxxxx". Then without missing a beat, he said calmly says "Let's say a prayer.

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RON JAWORSKI



When Harris got injured midway thru the 1975 season, Ron Jaworski took over. The last regular season game "Jaws" beat the Steelers and a week later destroyed the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs.

RAM VS STEELERS
The last game of the 1975 season was against the Pitsburgh Steelers. Over 90
thousand saw the two best defensive teams in the NFL and they played like it. With the score 3-3, Ron Jaworski scores on a QB draw from the 6 yard line gives LA a 10-3 win.
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The first game of the 1976 season, rookie Pat Haden took over for a injured Jaworski and on his very first pass it was a 50 yard TD bomb. Haden with only 5 games starting at QB in the NFL led the Rams to a upset victory in the first round of the playoffs against Dallas. Was rookie of the year as he led the Rams to the NFC Championship game.

HADEN'S FIRST START IN 1977
Pat Haden took over for Joe Namath and his first start in 1977 was on a Monday Night against the Vikings. Haden never looked better as he led the Rams to a 35-3 rout.
Heaven Can Wait football scenes were filmed at halftime of this game.

Listen as he explains his offensive guard can't block Randy White of the Cowboys.
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Namath became a Ram in 1977.

LOYALTY AND GAMBLING DON'T MIX
My Father virtually never bet on sportgames, you would find him at the crap table. But since the Rams were playing on monday nite against the Bears in Chicago, he bet $500 on the Rams and had to lay 8 & half points.
   The year was 1977 (God, seems like a week ago) and I got off the work the same time the game started, at 6. While racing to my Dad's home, I'm listening to the game on the radio.
   Joe Namath drives the Rams to a 14-0 early first quarter lead. I walk into my Dad's home and he meets me at the door. He is
so excited, saying "JC, look at the arm (show- ing me with his arm)", He is the greatest of all time", Why didnt we get him earlier," Look at the arm JC Look at the arm (the whole time holding the betting slip in his hand).
   Then thinking the game is over he says to me "Hey, who should I bet on next week?" As he is showing me the betting slip. That was the Omen (and anyway it's our Rams)
   Joe Namath throws his first interception Touchdown Bears 14-7 Rams. Namath throws his second interception, TD Chicago 14-14. Namath can't move the Rams, Chicago takes a 17-14 (25 & half to 14 for my Dad)
   My Father has not said a word and quietly goes to his bedroom. Joe Namath throws his third interception and you hear my Dad scream "GET THAT SON OF A BITCH OUT OF THE GAME".
  Within a quarter, Joe Namath went from
the greatest of all time to being born to an un-wed mother. Well, Knox benched Namath for Haden (Rams almost pull it out losing by one) and my Father stayed on the crap table.

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In 1979, rookie Jeff Rutledge started for the injured Pat Haden and Vince Ferragamo.

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Vince Ferragamo started only 5 games before he led the Ram to victofry over Dallas.

RAMS-COWBOYS 1979
Rams played the Cowboys in the 1979 playoffs. My Father, my stepmom, my brother and his wife, my best friend and his wife, and my wife (then girl friend) were at my condo watching the game.
CBS wanted a Dallas-Steeler rematch, the experts gave us no chance. Dallas beat us in a regular season game 30-6. And for the first time we were a nine point underdog (largest ever). But our Rams had a 14-5 halftime lead, we were going nuts. Then late in the fourth quarter dallas took a 19-14 lead and it looked like another snakebitten playoff loss by our Rams. Then when Vinnie hit Waddy for that 50 yard TD, this is exactly what happened in my living room.
I slide on my knees like I am on ice to one inch from the TV screen my ears and eyes are focused on one thing, A FLAG!! I see none our Ram players dont act like there is one and they say their isn't one.
I turn around and this is what I see. The 7 of hem our hugging each other and our jumping up and down like it is one person with 14 legs. I run to join them, but my momentum as I hug knocks us off balance and all 8 of us hugging as one crash into my coffee table breaking it in pieces with crap going everywhere, but, we don't even give it a thought. ALL 8 keep hugging each other and screaming with joy. What is etched forever in my mind is the faces of my Father and Brother virtually and inch from my face with yelling and smiling. Since they are no longer with us, that moment is my moment. And I need it.

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