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For L.A., a Long Time Coming

Dave Randall

Posted on January 13, 2019 22:52

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What happened in St Louis is lost on some old Ram fans.

There, in the 95 year-old Los Angeles Coliseum, on a moist, chilly Saturday night, the Rams did something they hadn't done in southern California since 1989--advance to the NFC Championship game.

Yes, during the 20 years they wandered the banks of the Mississippi and called themselves the St. Louis Rams, they went to two Super Bowls, winning the 1999 thriller. But some of us weren't moved by what happened in the Show Me state. They didn't flee L.A. in the darkness of night, as the Colts had, absconding from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1983. The Rams fled southern California for the TWA Dome and the money. Their owner, the late show-girl Georgia Frontiere, was going home to St. Louis. She knew as much about football and business as most I do about nuclear physics--which is to say she inherited the team when her husband, Carroll Rosenbloom, drowned in a mysterious swimming accident. 

That the 1990's the Rams had slipped behind the Raiders in the hearts of L.A.'s denizens was not entirely her fault. Rosenbloom had already signed the deal to move the Rams from the Coliseum to Anaheim Stadium before his death in 1979. He'd had it with he Commission that ran the old stadium, and fewer seats in Anaheim would ensure the lifting of local TV blackouts.  What happened was the Oakland Raiders filled the void at the Coliseum in '82, and won the Super Bowl after the 1983 season. By coincidence, both teams left southern California at the end of '94.

So facing the New Orleans Saints for a berth in the Super Bowl is a big, big deal. Especially for those of us who recall the futility of the 1970's so well. That's when the Rams had their best teams in L.A., winning the NFC West every year from 1973 through 1979, playing for the conference championship in 1974, '75,'76 '78 and '79. Except for '79, the problem always seemed to be getting past Dallas or Minnesota. In those days, if Fran Tarkenton or Roger Staubach had been a Ram, they would have pulled off a New England type dynasty. Instead, John Hadl, James Harris, Pat Haden and Vince Ferragamo did their best.

Ferragamo finally led them to the Bowl in 1980, holding Pittsburgh for a half before the Steelers prevailed. That was the only Super Bowl for the L.A. Rams. To see them win in St. Louis was like listening to a friend talk about the date he had with the girl you always crushed on.

After a 13-3 regular season, and a 30-22 thumping of Dallas (YAY!), the Rams face a significant road block in New Orleans, having lost there in November. The Saints' defense is good--the crowds in the Superdome are intimidating. But it's as it should be. Ram football in Los Angeles, competing for the biggest prize of them all. Every old Ram fan will come out of the woodwork to celebrate.

Dave Randall

Posted on January 13, 2019 22:52

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Source: WWL
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The Los Angeles Rams are coming to the Superdome for the NFC Championship game, here's where to watch/listen          ...

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