Stan Kroenke received the Vince Lombardi Trophy on behalf of the Los Angeles Rams after their 2022 Super Bowl triumph with the 74-year-old Arsenal owner saluting his team’s “unbelievable” players and laughing that the £4billion investment into the SoFi Stadium – which hosted the NFL championship game – was made fully worth it.
The Rams were confirmed as two-time Super Bowl champions on their home field thanks to beating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in a late turnaround to mark their first triumph since 2000.
They had led 13-10 at half-time before finding themselves 20-16 down with a minute-and-a-half to go of the fourth quarter after a superb start to the third from the Bengals.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp and quarterback Matthew Stafford leading them to glory. The pair were hugely helped at the end by defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s effort on the other side of the ball as LA sacked Bengals QB Joe Burrow for an eighth time at the end of the game to set a new Super Bowl record.
And American real estate tycoon Kroenke, the owner of the Rams who also owns Premier League giants Arsenal, said after: “It’s amazing, and I’m just really proud of this group.
“[Head coach] Sean [McVay], Les [Snead], Kevin [Demoff] and Tony [Pastoors], all the guys, I’m so happy for them.
“Then you talk about these players, Matthew [Stafford], Andrew [Whitworth], Von [Miller]. They’re unbelievable, and they just hung in there.
“It was a tough game and I’m just so proud of them executing at the end like they did. As far as building this stadium goes, I think it turned out alright!
“Thanks to the great fans of Los Angeles, your first Super Bowl trophy in Rams house.”
A late turnaround meant the Rams beat the Bengals with Kupp key. He caught Stafford’s pass with 1:25 left of the fourth quarter and was named the MVP for his two touchdown catches.
The newly-crowned NFL Offensive Player of the Year, who made eight catches and racked up 92 receiving yards, said in reaction: “I don’t feel deserving of this! I don’t know what to say, I don’t have words, I’m just so thankful for everyone that has been in my life and has been there for me every step of the way.
“These guys here standing right here, they challenge me, they push me and they make it so much fun coming into work every day. I’m just so thankful.”
“I am so proud of this team,” QB Stafford added. “There are so many guys that deserve this, so many guys who have given their hearts and souls to this team.
“I just thank for coach [McVay] for saying you and Cooper Kupp go and get this thing done and calling plays for him.
“Kept finding ways to get him the ball, and he kept making unbelievable plays, that is what he does.”
While McVay, the youngest Super Bowl-winning head coach ever, reflected: “It feels outstanding, you talk about a resilient team.
“I am so proud of this team, proud to be associated about it. We talk all the time about competitive greatness, about being your best when your best is required
“For the offense to be able to find a way and Aaron [Donald] to be able to finish it off, it is poetic man.
“Those guys did a great job – they took over the game, our offensive line did a great job of protecting. It is about the team, it is about these players, world champs baby!”