About a month ago, I had texted my sister a happy anniversary and between our back and forth, we recalled memories from her wedding day. She told me that six-year-old me had quite the affinity for “Who Let the Dogs Out?” by Baha Men as I took over her special day with my epic dance moves.
Okay so my dancing was never that epic. Still, something about that canine-themed anthem just made me want to run through a brick wall, a fact that remains true to this day. If you have zero clue who the Baha Men are, they were only famous for that Grammy-winning tune. One-hit wonders are often remembered forever even if their artists aren’t.
Same is true in football as the Rams have a few key one-hit wonders that made a brief, yet special impact in their team’s history. See, I guess there was a point to my story after all! Between St. Louis and Los Angeles, here are three of those players that made the most of their brief stays.
CJ Anderson (2018)
With Todd Gurley inactive and hurting, Sean McVay had to turn to an unlikely source to lead his running game. Enter CJ Anderson who entered the year fresh off the lone 1,000-yard campaign of his career with the Broncos.
Prior to his brief stint in LA, Anderson was released by the Panthers and then by Oakland without even taking the field. Anderson signed a contract with the Rams in late December and ran like a man eager to prove his doubters wrong. In his first game action in LA, Anderson ran for 167 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries in a 31-9 win over the Cardinals. His encore performance went for 132 yards and another touchdown in a shootout with the 49ers.
He was the last Rams rusher to have three-straight games over the century mark until Cam Akers’ late-season surge in ‘22. Having just under 300 yards on the ground with a 7.0 rushing average in two games was an impressive feat for the former Pro Bowler. In a Divisional Round matchup against the Cowboys, CJ ran it down the throats of America’s Team, doing the Lord’s work in the process.
On this day in 2019:— Greatest Blog On Turf (@BestBlogOnTurf) January 12, 2023
CJ Anderson ran for 123 yards and 2 TDs in a 30-22 playoff win over the Cowboys.
Todd Gurley also chipped in 115 yards on the ground pic.twitter.com/u5AngfZ4JK
Anderson never recaptured that magic as the Saints and Patriots held him to 66 total rushing yards between the NFC Championship and Super Bowl. Once LA failed to re-sign him, CJ played two games with the Lions the following year before retiring in 2020.
Tony Horne (1999)
Lost in the mess of stars that was the Greatest Show on Turf, return specialist Tony Horne set himself apart as an important contributor. During the Rams’ Super Bowl season, Horne was a Second-team All-Pro, averaging 29.7 yards per return and returning two kickoffs for touchdowns in the regular season. In the Divisional Round, he ripped away what little chance the Vikings had at an upset with one burst.
From that moment on, St. Louis rebounded from a slow first half and began clicking on all cylinders. With such a juggernaut, the Rams likely would’ve gone on to win regardless. However, Horne gave his team a spark when they needed it the most.
OTD 2000— Kevin Gallagher (@KevG163) January 17, 2019
° 1999 NFC DIVISIONAL °
Trailing Vikings 17-14 at the half, #Rams Tony Horne returns the second half kickoff for a TD to begin a 35-pt second half barrage.
Rams' 1st playoff game in St. Louis is a W, 49-37.
• Warner, STL: 5 TD
• Bruce, STL: 4-133-1
• Faulk, STL: 2 TD pic.twitter.com/lk7DwhTMeI
Despite winning a ring for his efforts, Horne played only one more season with the Rams before signing an unrestricted free agent contract with the Chiefs in 2001. He would then suffer a devastating knee injury that prematurely ended his football career after three years. No matter how long he suited up, the GSOT have Horne to thank for helping them win their Lombardi Trophy.
Dieter Brock (1985)
If you thought Brandon Weeden was a geezer of a rookie, then you’ve never met Dieter Brock. After leaving the cozy confines of the Canadian Football League, the 34-year-old set a league record by being the oldest rookie QB in NFL history. He holds that distinction by a wide margin.
The oldest players to start their first game at QB in the Super Bowl era— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) November 22, 2020
34 years, 208 days - Dieter Brock (1985)
31 years, 224 days - Doug Pederson (1999)
30 years, 358 days - Brian St. Pierre (2010)
***30 years, 91 days - Taysom Hill (2020)***https://t.co/VzO6NaGEGP
What he lacked in youth, Dieter made up for in experience as he led the Rams to a 7-0 start. LA would finish the season 11-5 (11-4 with Dieter under center), winning the NFC West and clinching the #2 seed in the playoffs. Dieter led the Rams to a 20-0 demolition of the Cowboys, further cementing his place in history in the progress.
QBs drafted 6th round or later to reach Conference Championship in first season as starter— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) January 23, 2023
Dieter Brock pic.twitter.com/DTdMvqP2HZ
The ‘85 Bears proved to be too much for Dieter and LA, shutting down any hopes of a Hollywood ending in a 24-0 blowout at Soldier Field. Dieter completed just 10-of-31 passes for 66 yards with a pair of turnovers. He received little help from Eric Dickerson who had the attention of Chicago’s fearsome defense.
Dieter would end up never playing another down of professional football. While things didn’t exactly work out for him in the NFL, he was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1995.
While we’ll likely never know who let the dogs out, who are some other one-hit wonders in Rams history that you can think of?