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 by Elvis
1 year ago
 Total posts:   22909  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles
Administrator

Jim Hock was cool enough to do a little Q&A with us during this NFL downtime.

For those that don't know, Jim's father was John Hock who played for the Rams and Jim wrote a great book about that time in Rams history:

Hollywood's Team: Grit, Glamour, and the 1950s Los Angeles Ram



We had a thread about this book when it came out:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5524

Jim recently tweeted this photo of his dad and Sid Gillman which he talks about below:



Now, on with the Q&A:

First just wanted to say thanks for doing this, we really appreciate it. (I also want to remind everyone to buy Jim’s book: Hollywood's Team: Grit, Glamour, and the 1950s Los Angeles Rams. Follow Jim on Twitter: @jimhock and @HollywoodsTeam for the book.)

@dieterbrock and others wanted to know what’s your current relationship with the Rams? Did I read you once worked for the team? As alumni/family do the Rams do a good job of staying in touch and valuing you as a resource?

I have no current relationship with the team other than being a fan. I once worked as an intern in the public relations department while I was in college.

Are you currently a fan of the team? Do you follow them closely? Are those your kids in your Twitter header image, are they fans?

Yes, I am a huge fan of the team and large percentage of my clothing is blue and yellow. And yes, those are my two boys in the photo going to the Coliseum to see the Rams for the first time.

What did it mean to you when the Rams moved back to L.A.?

I was blown away. While serving in the Obama Administration and going back to 2013, we had a running joke about what were the chances of the Rams moving back. I was so excited when they announced they were moving back. Its a restoration, not a relocation!

I imagine you were too young or not born yet but do you have any first hand memories of your dad’s time as a pro?

Yes, unfortunately i never had the chance to watch my dad play. I was born in 1969 and he finished playing in 1957.

What did your dad think about current player salaries compared to in his day?

He was astounded by how much money today's players made. Keep in mind that he made roughly the same amount as an NFL player as my mom did as a 3rd grade teacher in LA at the time. For making the pro-bowl, he made $500 and my mom made him buy her furniture that he promised.

Was he excited/involved when the Rams won the SB in ’99?

Yes, we were actually there at the game in Atlanta with my mom and my father in law and my nephew. Was amazingly excited. His old knees held up as he jumped up when they won the game.

What was your dad’s take on the Sid Gillman offense? Did it seem as revolutionary and important at the time as it turned out to be?

He loved playing for Sid Gillman. He called him a mad genius, and meant it in a good way. The only thing he did not like was rotating guards to bring in the plays.

What were the early days of an integrated NFL like for him? Again, did it seem monumental at the time?

He was very proud to play on a team that was the most integrated in the NFL at the time. He said that the black players at the time and to his death were just great guys and great friends. I loved that and many more things about my dad. He measured the person on the inside, not anything else.

@Elvis wants to know if Jane Russell was ever your baby sitter.

I wish.

The uniforms your dad played in are still iconic today, as are the Deacon Jones blue and white and the Ferragamo era blue and yellow. As I’m sure you know there’s a lot of interest in Rams uniforms these days. Do you have a favorite, an opinion on which way they should go when the new uniforms debut?

No question, we need to go back to the blue and yellow from the Ferragamo days. Those colors are iconic and its what the fans want. I don’t love how reporters make fun of fans and the uniform debate. It means something. And for god’s sake, no more of the St. Louis gold. Make it go away.

Do you have any photos of your dad’s time with the Rams you could share with us that have yet to be seen?

There’s a great photo I just shared on Twitter with my dad and former coach Sid Gillman. You’ll see that my dad is over Gillman’s shoulder. That’s because in those days the offensive guards brought in the plays. Those were the pre-headset days directly to the quarterback or even hand signals.

@maxxxpower provided a lot of interesting facts about John Hock to perhaps inspire some questions and comments:

• First coach was Curley Lambeau with Cardinals
o I wonder what the was like to go from Santa Clara to Chicago and a legendary coach


Funny story about that. Lambeau came to my dad’s dorm room at Santa Clara to size up my dad in person. Lambeau was smoking and the ashes were dropping on my dad’s dorm room bed. My dad feared the priests and the room inspections so he barely heard what the old coach was saying and was worried about getting in trouble with God’s assistant coaches.

• Traded from Cards after 1 season
• Ended with Sid Gilman. The experience of bring in that revolutionary offense with Van Brocklin, Hirsch, Bob Boyd, Younger, Fears
• In practice every day he went against two HOFers - Richter and Robustelli, plus Big Daddy Lipscomb. How that helped shape him


Big Daddy Lipscomb was one of the toughest people to block my dad ever had. Always talked about how tough he was. Robustelli was one of my dad’s best friends and both he and Richter were great to talk to and feature in the book.

• Pro Bowl in 55 with line mate Duane Putnam
• His first year with Rams in 53 they lost three games and finished in third. Those losses were:
o 1 pt to SF
o 4 pts to SF
o 3 pts to CHI
o They beat Detroit twice that season and Lions went on to win Championship
o What were the thoughts of that team when season over?


He was super bummed that the season was over. It was his first year in LA. He was excited to be home, but knew the team could do a lot better.

o That 53 Rams team had 5 HOFers
• 1955 team lost championship to Cleveland
o Which team did he think was best? 53? 55?


He thought his best team was 1955. He won game ball in western division championship.

• Rams were first integrated team. How did the team respond? Was everyone on board?

My dad never saw color. He could not understand how people would not let his buddies stay in the same hotel or even locker room when they did exhibitions in the south. He thought it was disgusting and said his team as whole agreed.

• He was a family man. Blue collar. In LA in the 50s. What was the bulk of the team in this regard? How did this play out? Anyone get caught up in it?

John Hock loved LA, but he was not a Hollywood guy. He saw people for who they were. He frankly never even let us ask for autographs because he said that a football player or celebrity is just like you so why would you want their signature. He was one of the humble people I have ever met.

• Curious as the helmets were different back then and accordingly so was the tackling. Were concussions an issue for him? (@Flash and @gareth also asked about this)

Fortunately, he never suffered from concussions. But in my interviews for the book, I noticed that many of his teammates starting developing dementia or Alzheimers in their later years. The helmets were definitely different then. My dad actually played in a leather helmet in college and then plastic in the pros. I for one believe that better technology, in terms of helmets, etc, can help keep football the greatest sport ever and protect people in the process.

Thanks from all of us at Rams Fans United!

 by maxxx power
1 year ago
 Total posts:   982  
 Joined:  Jan 13 2016
United States of America   Norcal
Veteran

Fantastic! Thanks for doing this!

 by aeneas1
1 year ago
 Total posts:   11204  
 Joined:  Sep 13 2015
United States of America   Norcal
Hall of Fame

great stuff gang!

 by Hacksaw_64
1 year ago
 Total posts:   2681  
 Joined:  Sep 08 2015
Ireland   Sierra Madre, CA
Moderator

 by dieterbrock
1 year ago
 Total posts:   10638  
 Joined:  Mar 31 2015
United States of America   New Jersey
Hall of Fame

Very cool!! Great read

 by Rams1PlateSince1976
1 year ago
 Total posts:   1238  
 Joined:  Oct 12 2016
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Pro Bowl

There are few teams, if any, that have as great a history as the Rams. Perhaps the Bears and Packers due to their longevity.

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6 posts Oct 19 2019