The Rams and Raiders shared the same name, Los Angeles, for eight seasons, but they apparently had little in common with one another or the city each supposedly represented.
The Rams have played in Anaheim since 1980. The Raiders were Oakland’s team until 1982 and have been, at best, an uncomfortable tenant during eight stormy seasons in Los Angeles.
The Rams and Raiders rarely crossed paths, on or off the field, making Monday’s announcement of the Raiders’ move back to Oakland only a curious passing to one Ram.
“I don’t know if the decision affects us that much,” Ram Coach John Robinson said Monday from Orlando, Fla., where he is attending league meetings. “Surprisingly, it really doesn’t. Over the last several years, we’ve really forged our own place and the image we have (in Orange County). The Raiders haven’t been an issue for some time. It might mean something for marketing. For us, it doesn’t mean a thing.”
Because they played in different conferences, the Rams and Raiders never developed anything close to a rivalry. The teams met only three times while both teams shared the name Los Angeles, the Raiders winning twice.
“It would have been a real rivalry if both were in the NFC West, no question,” Robinson said. “But we didn’t play them that often, and they’ve been out of the playoffs the last few years. Once the (season) gets going, we don’t do anything together. It’s almost like we’re in a different league.”
So what becomes of an empty Coliseum?
There had been speculation in the summer of 1988 that the Rams, unhappy over an Orange County Superior Court judge’s ruling that limited their development rights on the Anaheim Stadium parking area, had made overtures through a third party about possibly returning to the Coliseum.
Ram Vice President John Shaw has staunchly denied ever discussing such a move and maintains that the Rams, besides being a happy tenant of Anaheim Stadium, are locked into a multiyear lease for the facility.