They’re light on their feet, and they aren’t afraid to butt heads
A ram’s thick skull protects its brain from serious injury.
Editor’s Note, February 7, 2022: In honor of the Los Angeles Rams returning to the Super Bowl, we’re recirculating this piece from their 2019 championship appearance.
Nothing livens up a Super Bowl party like a bit of animal entertainment—just look at the growing popularity of the Puppy Bowl. So if you’re looking to wow your sports-loving friends with extensive knowledge of the animal inspiration behind one of this year’s competitors for the National Football League’s coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy, then look no further. Here’s everything you need to know about rams, the animals.
For starters, rams are male bighorn sheep. A strong argument can be made that male bighorn sheep are the perfect football mascot: They’re big, fast, tough and light on their feet. They even crash their heads together at dangerous speeds.
1. Los Angeles Is a More Fitting Locale for Rams Than St. Louis
The natural habitat of bighorn sheep covers the Rocky Mountain region of North America, from snowfields in British Columbia and Alberta, all the way through the mountain ranges of the western United States and down into the deserts of southern California and Mexico. Now, the football team is at least a little closer to the natural habitat of its mascot.
2. Rams Are About the Same Size as Football Players
The iconic curled horns of a male bighorn sheep can weigh up to 30 pounds, which is “more than all the bones in his body combined,” according to National Geographic. The animals are pretty much the size of your average football player. From head to tail, rams usually fall somewhere between five to six feet long, and they tend tip the scales at 260 to 280 pounds, exceeding 300 pounds on rare occasions, according to Live Science. Female bighorn sheep have a petite set of horns and usually weigh about 30 to 40 percent less than their male counterparts.
3. A Ram Would Pace Neck-And-Neck With a Running Back in a Foot Race
The Los Angeles Rams were the fastest team in the NFL in 2018, with a team average pace of 13.32 miles per hour, reports Sam Manschester for The New York Times. Their fastest player, running back Todd Gurley (who should be healthy by Sunday), was clocked at 21.98 miles per hour last year.