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Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey has become the biggest fan of the Mariachi Rams




INGLEWOOD, California — A trumpet blared a lively beat as a string ensemble joined in.

“I’ve had five of them!” sang the Mariachi Rams as the unexpected SoFi Stadium crowd roared in anticipation.

While standing in midfield, a grin appeared on Jalen Ramsey’s face as the Los Angeles Rams cornerback looked at the never-ending screen, the Mariachi Rams put on his No. 5 shirt and heard their tune, one of his favorite hip-hop songs. arranged with a mariachi flavour.

“The energy was amazing and at that point I just wanted to be, ‘Yeah, what’s up? Come on!'” Ramsey recalls. “That was something that was super special and personal that they did.”

When the Mariachi Rams’ 60-second rendition of Luniz’ 1995 hit ended, Ramsey nodded his head, waved his hands in appreciation, and headed back to Week 9’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

“We wanted him to really know we were doing it for him,” said Jesse Hernandez, one of the nine band members. ‘Jalen is the man. He’s our buddy.’

The Mariachi Rams have gained some sort of cult following since they started playing at Rams games in 2019.

“It’s exciting,” said Santiago Alberto, a band member who arranges the group’s music. “It’s like the adrenalin kicks in. It feels like we’re giving a concert for 70,000 fans.”

Rams fans often ask the perfectly-fitting band members for selfies and give their full attention when the band performs from a stage in the northwest corner of the stadium bowl during intermissions in the football action.

But perhaps the Mariachi Rams’ most notable fan is All-Pro Ramsey, a 27-year-old Nashville native whose attention they captured when he played his first game in Los Angeles two seasons ago after his blockbuster hit with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who won the Rams host Sunday (4:05 PM ET, Fox).

“It was a star-studded event like I’ve never experienced in my NFL career,” Ramsey recalled, recalling his first game in Los Angeles in 2019. “Then there was a mariachi band and it was something that was super. was unique and I clearly knew it was something that was specifically unique to the LA Rams because we didn’t have that in Jacksonville.”

The Mariachi Rams play authentic hits, but like to mix with the occasional mariachi-infused hip-hop or popular culture music. They played 2Pac’s “California Love”, the theme song to “Rocky”, and even ESPN’s Monday Night Football theme. They are the NFL’s premier mariachi band.

“It’s just so cool to see all these different cultures together, united by sports and music,” said Alberto, a 27-year-old music teacher. “I just feel like we’re lucky to have the chance.”

“Being in LA and in the culture here and being around so many different people in the community, they kind of embody what LA is about,” Ramsey said.

Before a week 3 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ramsey stopped at SoFi Stadium in a blue-and-yellow Porsche and stepped out in a matching charro, a traditional mariachi suit, with tailored white boots, showing his appreciation for the tape showed.

“It was just pure joy,” Ramsey said, describing his tribute. “They hand stitched everything down to a T, have my measurements, everything, the suit fits perfectly. … It was super special. Super special moment.”

It was something Ramsey decided to do after watching the Mariachi Rams bring the stadium to life with a performance during a preseason game, bringing a much-needed change to the mood after NFL teams were forced largely into 2020 in to play in silence because of the corona pandemic.

“We were like, ‘Damn, he looks better than us, man!'” said a laughing Hernandez, 70, who is also a music teacher. “And he’s like a giant dude, like real buff. But it just suits him perfectly.”

“He wore it with great pride,” said Alberto. “He wore it with dignity and respect.”

Due to the NFL’s security protocols surrounding COVID-19, Ramsey was unable to meet the band in person, but was able to FaceTime the group the day he wore their suit.

“They were super excited and I was super excited to meet them too,” Ramsey said. “I was happy to represent them as they walked into the SoFi Stadium.”

Alberto said, “How cool is that to have an NFL player that you want to meet or something that you’re involved in. Usually it’s the other way around.”

“It’s cool because you’d never expect it,” Hernandez said of Ramsey’s fandom.

In a video produced for the Los Angeles Rams website, Ramsey said it would be cool if the band learned to play, “I Got 5 on It”.

What Ramsey didn’t know, they heard his request and got to work, despite the challenge of taking an original song that featured drums, keyboards and synthesizers and making it authentically mariachi, using trumpets, violins, a guitarron, vihuela and guitar with only one formal rehearsal.

“I’m writing the arrangements for the group and I was like, ‘You know what, we’re going to do this and we’re going to do it right.’ We’re not going to make it like, cheesy or anything. We’re going to totally do it,” Alberto said. “That was a challenge, but I was ready.”

“That was dope,” Ramsey said. “I did not expect that.”

As for Ramsey’s next request?

“I hope the Rams, Lord willing, will play right after the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl and I can meet them right after the Super Bowl,” said Ramsey. “And we can have a good off-season where I learn how to play an instrument.”




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