The St. Louis Rams receiving permission to move to Los Angeles in time for the 2016 NFL season rekindles that classic California rivalry -- Bay Area vs. Los Angeles.
You see and hear it when the San Francisco Giants face the Los Angeles Dodgers. Or when the Golden State Warriors play the Los Angeles Clippers or Lakers. Or even when the San Jose Sharks hit the ice against the Los Angeles Kings.
It hasn't really been a thing in the NFL, though, since the Rams bolted from Anaheim for St. Louis in 1995, leaving the San Francisco 49ers without an L.A. adversary for 20-plus years. (The matchups with San Diego just don’t have the same feel.)
Or, as Niners receiver Torrey Smith tweeted Tuesday night:
Pretty cool that the Rams are coming to LA....now the NFC West makes sense to me 😂😂😂😂— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) January 13, 2016
Faithful, get your “Beat L.A.” chants in order, because the last time the Rams had “Los Angeles” in their name, in the 1994 season, the 49ers won the Super Bowl. It is their most recent Lombardi trophy.
Since the Rams moved to St. Louis, the 49ers are 25-16-1 against them in 42 meetings. The Niners were 11-10 in St. Louis.
The 49ers’ driest stretch against the Rams came from 1999 through 2004, when San Francisco went a combined 2-10 against their former rivals, including 0-6 in St. Louis.
In fact, the Niners have a losing record against the Rams when they’ve called Los Angeles home, going 40-48-2 versus the L.A. Rams.
None of that, though, could have been on Niners CEO Jed York’s mind this week as he attended the NFL owners' relocation meetings in Houston, right?
“In general, I’m in favor of teams being in markets that work,” York, who was on the stadium committee, said last week when asked if he was in favor of a team moving to Southern California.
“And if you can prove that Los Angeles works and that the existing markets are tough and they’re not workable for long-term stadium deals, then I think you have to do what’s best for the overall league. But you have to exhaust every effort possible to make sure that teams are staying in their own markets.”
Unless, of course, it reawakens that old S.F.-L.A. rivalry.