Although the second largest media market hasn’t been home to an NFL team in 20 years, the beautiful Los Angeles weather has made its annual January appearance just in time for some pro football.
80 degree temperatures have greeted this year’s out-going college seniors this week who are taking part in Saturday’s 4th Annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at StubHub Center in Carson.
With the game’s slogan being For the players By the players many current and former members of the National Football League Players Association are here to help mentor the draft-eligible players trying to impress the many NFL – and CFL – scouts eyeing the new talent from the stands.
The coaching staffs of both teams include former players and coaches with local Los Angeles NFL ties. Let’s not forget the Rams called L.A. home for 49 years prior to their move to St. Louis in 1994 and the Raiders had a “cup of coffee” playing at the Coliseum for 13 seasons prior to moving back to Oakland in 1994 as well.
Convenient because it appears Los Angeles’ exile from the NFL is just about done with talks the Rams could be moving back as early as this coming season but with 2016 a more realistic targetdate.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke has partnered with a group in Inglewood to develop the almost 300 acres of land between the Fabulous Forum and the old Hollywood Park Race Track. Construction of an 80,000 seat stadium is part of what’s now called the City of Champions Revitalization Project.
The American Conference team is coached by Super Bowl champion Mike Holmgren. Included on his staff for the game are ex-L.A. Rams safety Nolan Cromwell as well as ex-L.A. Rams assistant coach Gil Haskell.
The National Conference team is coached by former St. Louis Rams head coach and assistant Mike Martz. His staff includes former L.A. Rams Jackie Slater and Keith Lyle who also played in St. Louis. Ex-St. Louis Rams Az-Zahir Hakim and Jeff Zgonina are also on his staff.
Milling through the stadium as scouts and mentors the list includes Ex-L.A. Rams running back Lawrence McCutcheon, current Rams running back Tre Mason as well as Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Of course the hot topic this week besides the game is the possible Rams move back to Los Angeles. I was able to ask some of these current and former Rams about a possible move. To hear what they had to say click on the video with this story.
Kickoff for Saturday’s 4th Annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is set for 1pm PST, 4pm EST. If you’re not attending the game you can watch t on ESPN2. Plenty of tickets are available and can be bought at the StubHub Center ticket office as well as on-line at collegiate.nflpa.com/ticketsandgear. Group discounts as well as discounts for the military are available.
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