Hollywood couldn’t script this kind of irony: The Los Angeles Rams will face former USC coach Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks Sept. 18 in the first NFL regular-season game to be played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1994.
Carroll, 64, left USC after nine years of success just before the Trojens were discovered to have violated numerous college football rules and were penalized for years after Carroll’s departure.
USC plays home games at the Coliseum, so Carroll, who took over the Seahawks in 2010, will be returning to his old gridiron home for the Rams first game on the local Los Angeles field after the team left St. Louis.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of reaction Carroll will receive from Rams fans who no doubt recall Carroll’s USC record. The USC campus is adjacent to the Coliseum.
The Seahawks game will be the first Rams home game, but the new L.A. team will open the regular season before that on Sept. 12 away from home with a Monday night game at San Francisco, according to the 2016 schedule released by the NFL Thursday.
The Rams’ other opponents at the Coliseum will be the Buffalo Bills (Oct. 9), Carolina Panthers (Nov. 6), Miami Dolphins (Nov. 20), Atlanta Falcons (Dec. 11), San Francisco 49ers (Dec. 24) and Arizona Cardinals (Jan. 1).
The Rams do not have a home night game scheduled, although that could change under the league’s flexible scheduling policy for weeks 5-15 and 17.
The team’s other road opponents will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sept. 25), Arizona (Oct. 2), Detroit Lions (Oct. 16), New York Jets (Nov. 13), New Orleans Saints (Nov. 27), New England Patriots (Dec. 4) and Seattle (Dec. 15).
The Rams will also play the New York Giants Oct. 23 in London in a game in which the Rams will serve as the home team.
The last time an NFL game was played at the Coliseum was Dec. 24, 1994, when the then-Los Angeles Raiders lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 19-9, before a crowd of 67,642. The Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995 after playing in Los Angeles for 13 seasons.
The Sept. 18 game will be the first time the Rams will be the home team for a regular-season game at the Coliseum since Dec. 16, 1979, when they lost to the New Orleans Saints, 29-14.
The Rams played their home games at what is now Angel Stadium from 1980- 94 before moving to St. Louis.
—City News Service