Two former St. Louis Rams and a St. Louis area native became Super Bowl champions on Sunday night.
In one of the most dramatic Super Bowls ever, the New England Patriots emerged victorious in the 51st edition of the game on Sunday night, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime. And while the outcome was frustrating for many St. Louis football fans who still have the sour taste of the Patriots’ potentially tainted XXXVI victory over the Rams in their mouths–even though the Rams have now left St. Louis on bad terms–it was good in the sense that two popular former Rams, along with a St. Louis area native, earned their first respective Super Bowl victories.
Defensive Chris Long, who played in St. Louis from 2008-15, and wide receiver Danny Amendola, who played for the Rams from 2009-12, were both essential pieces on the Super Bowl champion squad. Amendola had eight catches for 78 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown that brought the Patriots within eight points of the Falcons. Long had one quarterback hit.
While Amendola already won a Super Bowl with the Patriots at the conclusion of the 2014 season, this is a much-deserved change of fortune for Long. The 31-year-old, who didn’t miss a game until his seventh pro season, had never even played on a team with a .500 record–much less one that made the playoffs–before helping the Patriots win the AFC East this season.
Rookie defensive tackle Vincent Valentine, a University of Nebraska product by way of Edwardsville High School (just northeast of St. Louis), also suited up for the Patriots and saw reserve action in the victory.