The Rams don’t have a pick in the first two rounds of this draft, but they already have made a splash with “On the Clock: The House Always Wins,” a spoof trailer for a summer blockbuster that doesn’t actually exist.
The three-minute video, which was released this week and already has more than 2.5 million views on various social media platforms, has the feel of “Oceans Eleven,” and stars Josh Holloway as general manager Les Snead, Scott Eastwood as coach Sean McVay, Tyrese Gibson as defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, and Dennis Quaid as owner Stan Kroenke.
Among the players who make appearances are Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and several others. Rams staffers were used as extras.
The theme is a heist to steal the draft, and the catch phrase, “The house always wins,” is a double-entendre reference to a Las Vegas casino and the Rams House.
“This is Los Angeles, where entertainment and sports collide,” said Marissa Daly, vice president of Rams Studios, who co-produced the trailer with Lexi VonderLieth, the team’s vice president of brand strategy.
“There’s nothing bigger than the NFL. So at a time when we were coming off the Super Bowl, we really wanted to not rest on that and go big and make a splash.”
The effort impressed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has long pushed for innovative ways to intermingle the league and the entertainment industry, especially in Los Angeles.
“I loved it,” Goodell told The Times. “It’s what we encourage our clubs to do. We want them all to sort of find those innovative ways to reach out and show the other side of our players. It also creates interest in the draft, creates interest in the team. So that’s exactly the kind of engagement we want.”
Among the Easter eggs in the trailer that people might have missed:
1. There’s a piece of blue tape adhered to a computer in the command center that reads “Nerd’s Nest,” the nickname for the Rams analytics department.
2. Rams tight end Kendall Blanton, in a call with McVay, references “the time in Cabo.” That’s an allusion to the vacation that played a central role in the Rams landing Stafford.
3. Much attention was paid to Kroenke’s character. His double-breasted tan suit had to be just right, as did his thin moustache. The scene was filmed in Kroenke’s suite at SoFi Stadium.
4. When he’s working the advanced mathematics on the chalkboard, Donald calculates the answer as 23/20, the final score of the Super Bowl.
5. In multiple scenes, the actor who plays Snead is chewing on a straw, something Snead does in real life.
6. It just flashes on the screen for a moment, but the van that Van Jefferson is driving — get it? — features an ad reading, “We do it all, even on Sundays!” as well as “Sweeps, Screens, Blocking,” all football responsibilities of Jefferson and the other receivers. The phone number on the van is the actual number of team headquarters.
7. Those three sports cars — the Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini — were actually driven by Rams teammates Ben Skowronek, Terrell Burgess and Jefferson. The tame driving scenes, at least.
8. The Homeland-style bulletin board is composed of old scouting reports, and various schematics of SoFi Stadium and Las Vegas. The strands of yarn that connect them are, of course, yellow and blue.
9. At one point, McVay’s character says, “Over a million people a week visit Las Vegas. … Except for next week, that number doubles, because of one event.” While everybody else in the group says in unison, “The draft,” an unware Burgess comedically blurts, “Celine Dion!” It’s easy to miss, but teammate Tyler Higbee is wearing a Celine Dion T-shirt in the scene.
10. When cornerback David Long Jr. flips up the hood on his yellow sweatshirt, professional skateboarder Paul Rodriguez brushes past him in a quick cameo. That’s a nod to a popular 2010 Nike commercial starring Rodriguez and featuring a fleeting walk-though by Kobe Bryant.