‘A tale of one city’ and what’s in a name?

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It’s been 24 years since Los Angeles had two NFL teams meet in a cross-town rivalry.

During the 72-years of football in SoCal things haven’t been that “consistent.”

The Rams moved here (from Cleveland) in 1946 and made a home of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Chargers started their franchise here in 1960…and immediately left.

When Mr. Carroll Rosenbloom (owner of the Rams) passed away in 1979, his widow (Georgia) inherited the controlling shares of ownership.

She immediately married husband number seven, Dominic Fontiere.

Georgia might have decided that changing her name by marriage was too complicated, so she began revising the spelling of her most recent moniker. Three times, if memory serves.

It therefore came as no surprise when she moved the team to Orange County where they became “The Los Angeles Rams of Anaheim.”

The Oakland Traitors couldn’t get Oakland to foot the bill for a new stadium, so they moved to Los Angeles in 1982. They spent the next decade trying to get L.A. to pay for a new stadium.

The Raiders moved back to Oakland in ’95 and remained there, while asking for yet another new stadium.

The “sliver and black” are now scheduled to move to Las Vegas in either 2019 or 2020, the actual date depending upon the completion of (you guessed it) their new stadium.

Georgia amended her last name again in 1995 and moved the Rams to St. Louis, which left Los Angeles “NFLess.”

Sadly, Georgia passed away in 2008, at the age of 80. They are still carving all of her names onto the tombstone.

Although Georgia didn’t remarry, she spent her final 19 years with Earle Weatherwax…and it’s understandable why she didn’t want that to be her “final” last name.

The Rams returned to Los Angeles in 2016; the Chargers followed in 2017.

That brings us to last Sunday, when the two teams met in the Coliseum once again.

Since this game featured both hometown teams, it was surprising the stadium was at less than 75 percent capacity. And that included giveaways, promos and comps.

Maybe the insanely high ticket prices have made attending the game cost-prohibitive.

The Rams received the kickoff and moved 46-yards, only to have the ball stripped from Rams running back Todd Gurley on a tackle. The Chargers recovered, but had to punt out of their possession.

Completing short passes for gains of 15-yards or more, L.A. quarterback Jared Goff moved the team 80-yards.

A touchdown pass was reviewed and reversed, but Gurley cleaned it up with a 1-yard run for the score.

The Chargers answered on their next possession when Philip Rivers put a perfect 42-yard TD pass into the hands of Mike Williams, who was airborne in the end zone. They missed the point after try.

The Rams immediately mowed 75-yards of lawn and Goff targeted wide receiver Robert Woods on a 3-yard touchdown pass to increase their lead, 6-14.

When the Rams got the ball again, Goff drove them across the field and into the red zone…where he was intercepted.

The Chargers went three and out and Rams Linebacker Cory Littleton blocked their punt. Rams safety Blake Countess recovered it in the end zone for the score.

The Chargers crossed the goal line on their next possession and Rams kicker Sam Ficken missed a 45-yard field goal attempt at the end of the half to send the Rams to the locker room leading, 13-21.

The Chargers fumbled away their first possession of the Second Half, and three-plays later Goff hit wide receiver Cooper Kupp for a 53-yard touchdown.

The shootout continued with another Chargers TD (8-plays, 75-yards).

But the Rams mounted a 77-yard march, culminating with a 6-yard TD pass to Woods. Goff went 29 of 36 for the day, racking up 354-yards with 3-TD’s and a pick.

The Chargers managed an FG but then fumbled away their final possession.

Rams won, 23-35.

God Bless and rejoice in your name…whatever it is.

 Mark Felicetti has been forced to use several other names. Reach him at mark@tolucantimes.com.


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