In the previous century, the Rams and 49ers had an in-state rivalry that spanned 46 years. That all ended in 1995 when the clueless new owner of the Rams, Georgia Frontiere, moved the team to St. Louis. End of the rivalry.
Because the rivalry was actually between San Francisco and Los Angeles, not the teams. Just like Pittsburgh has a rivalry with Cleveland, not the Baltimore Ravens, which were formerly the Cleveland Browns.
Perhaps, now that the Rams have relocated back to Los Angeles, the rivalry will somehow be rekindled, but for most of this century, the 49ers’ main rivals have been the Seattle Seahawks. Two West Coast teams with a true hatred of each other. Unlike the aforementioned rivalries, this rivalry is between teams, not cities. Nobody cares about Seattle, other than two guys standing in the pouring rain drunk and trying to explain why living there is pretty great once in a while, when the sun shines, once in a while.
Let’s face it, Los Angeles is passe. A steaming mass of soulless distracted morons. San Francisco has experienced its own decay this century, but it still looks good from the blimp view. L.A. is exposed for its blob of nothingness from the blimp. Maybe the guys from the NSA can enjoy that joint, beaming their peek a boo satellites down on a hot babe or two waltzing around with their everythings hanging out, but that’s it. The rising tides of the ocean can drown the place and do the world a favor. For now, we pity that city more than we hate it.
But the Rams? Meh. Just another team on the schedule. Beating the Seahawks is personal. Beating the Rams is just business.
And this coming Sunday, the 49ers need to take care of business and beat the Rams if they want to prove they’re a legitimate contender for the Division throne. That they’re truly back as an NFL contender.