Former Rams Offer Thoughts on Super Bowl

Jairo Penaranda and Mike McDonald played together at Burroughs High before meeting up again in the professional ranks.


Burroughs High has been blessed to have more than just one graduate who would go on to play for the Los Angeles Rams.
Mike McDonald and Jairo Penaranda, who graduated together from Burroughs in 1976, both experienced playing with the Rams in the 1980s, before the franchise left to spend more than two decades in St. Louis.
Now with the Rams playing back in Los Angeles, the blue and gold certainly will have the support of a many hometown fans in hopes of lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday evening.
McDonald and Penaranda shared their thoughts on this year’s Super Bowl.

“It’s great for the community and the organization. I have always been a Rams fan,” said McDonald, who was the Rams long snapper from 1983 until 1991. “When they picked up (Matthew) Stafford, I said they are going to win a Super Bowl. Maybe it is this year.”
Penaranda, who now lives in Oregon, said he will certainly be pulling for them.

“It is one of the teams I played for, so I am very happy for them,” said Penaranda, who was the first player born in the nation of Colombia to play in the NFL. “It is nice to see them in the Super Bowl, especially when it is in L.A. and not St. Louis.”

McDonald, who is a former Burbank Unified School Board president , said he likes things from both teams. The Rams enter as slight favorites.

“Stafford is a stud sitting in that pocket like he is. I think they will be fine. I think they have a good chance of winning it,” McDonald said. “But this kid (Joe) Burrow is a cool cat. He’s a tough player, so it will be interesting. I think the Rams defense is great.”

Burbank Chamber

Penaranda, who played for the Rams in 1981 after being drafted in the 12th round of that year’s draft, said likes the improvements the Rams have made.
“I think the passing game has been better than in the past,” said Penaranda, who later joined the Rams coaching staff as a special teams coordinator in the late 1980s when McDonald was still playing. “When they want, they play really well together, like the last quarter of the last game.  I enjoy watching them play. They are fun to watch.”

One of the Rams’ difference makers has been Cooper Kupp, a player that Penaranda has known for quite some time.

“I watched him in college when he was up here at a couple of games,” he said of the former Eastern Washington University star.
Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.