Ri­valry vs. NoCal reignited

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Sports -

Let’s face it. The North­ern Cal­i­for­nia-South­ern Cal­i­for­nia ri­valry was get­ting pretty weak.

The Dodgers won seven straight di­vi­sions while the Giants slipped into ob­scu­rity.

The War­riors wiped their bas­ket­ball shoes on the Lak­ers and Clippers.

Even the Sharks have been to more Stan­ley Cup Fi­nals than the Kings since 2015.

True, Cal hasn’t been to the Rose Bowl since 1959. There were only 48 stars on the flag that flew over the sta­dium.

But be­tween them, the Tro­jans and Bru­ins went to one Rose Bowl in the past decade.

Lately, all we had to com­pare was our Adam Schiff to their Nancy Pelosi.

First tiebreaker: Max­ine Wa­ters.

San Francisco has poop in its streets; we have Bubonic Plague, Ty­phus and Le­prosy in ours.

It wasn’t a ri­valry as much as an echo.

We were be­com­ing in­dis­tin­guish­able from the big­gest third world city in Amer­ica.

Un­til the Rams came back from house ar­rest in St. Louis.

And brought the ri­valry with the San Francisco 49ers with them.

The Rams and 49ers played a barn­burner Satur­day night wor­thy of their rich his­tory be­tween 1950-1994, be­fore the kid­nap­ping of the Rams to St. Louis.

It was foot­ball to wrap Christmas presents to, or to seek a park­ing place at the Mall to.

The game de­served a pretty blue-and-white bow to be placed un­der South­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s Christmas tree.

The coaches, the Rams’ Sean McVay and the 49ers’ Kyle Shana­han, are close friends.

And even closer ri­vals.

Gen­eral man­agers Les Snead of the Rams and John Lynch of the 49ers are keen com­peti­tors.

The 49ers have swept the sea­son se­ries from the Rams twice now in the four years the Rams are back where they be­long.

The Rams-49ers ri­valry has even been pow­er­ful enough to get 49ers faith­ful to put aside their ef­fete snob­bish­ness about the San Fran­ciso 49ers’ new home be­ing 45 miles south of San Francisco.

It’s the 49ers’ turn this year.

But make no mis­take. The Rams will be back, and bet­ter, in 2020.

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