KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s back to the future for the Kansas City Chiefs Saturday night, returning to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and facing the Los Angeles Rams for the first time in 22 seasons.
The Coliseum is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and although the Chiefs franchise is just 5-9 there, it is the site of many historic games and unforgettable moments in team history, including Super Bowl I.
The franchise played both the first AFL and last NFL regular-season games played at The Coliseum.
The Los Angeles Chargers called the stadium home in 1960 before relocating to San Diego. The Chargers hosted the Dallas Texans on Saturday, Sept. 10 for the second game in American Football League history. The Texans fell 21-20, as quarterback Jack Kemp rallied the Chargers with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
The Texans relocated to Kansas City, and the Chiefs first visited The Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967 to meet the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I. The Chiefs lost 35-10.
The Chiefs never played the Rams while they played in The Coliseum, which was without an AFC tenant until 1983 when the Raiders relocated from Oakland. The Raiders call the stadium home until 1994.
The Chiefs returned for the first time since their Super Bowl loss on Oct. 9, 1983, falling 21-20 to the Raiders. Running back Marcus Allen single-handedly decimated the Chiefs, rushing for 53 yards while going 2-2 passing — yes, passing — for 49 yards a touchdown. His second pass also set up a touchdown, and his alert recovery of a Raiders fumble in their own end zone in the fourth quarter clinched the victory.
The team finally won a game in The Coliseum on Dec. 14, 1986. Two interceptions each by Deron Cherry and Kevin Ross sealed the win.
Week four of the 1987 season started one of the more unfortunate episodes in NFL history. In response to the player’s association going on strike the owners fielded replacement teams. The replacement Chiefs traveled to The Coliseum and fell 35-17. The Raiders were led by a few regular NFL players who crossed picket lines, including quarterback Vince Evans and former Chiefs tight end Ethan Horton. The Chiefs quarterback that day was Matt Stevens.
The team’s 1988 17-10 loss to Oakland was powered in part by a Kansas City Royal. Part-time Raider Bo Jackson rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown.
In 1991 the Chiefs and Raiders met in the final week of the regular season knowing they would play again the following week in the playoffs. The Chiefs won the right to host the rematch with a 27-21 win, then followed that up with a 10-6 win at Arrowhead Stadium in the wild card round.
The Chiefs won the last regular season NFL game played at Memorial Coliseum, a 19-9 victory over the Los Angeles Raiders. Joe Montana passed for 214 yards while former Raider Marcus Allen rushed for 132 yards. The win vaulted the Chiefs into the playoffs and knocked out the Raiders, who returned to Oakland the next season.
When the Rams host Seattle Sept. 18, the Chiefs will no longer hold the distinction of playing the final regular-season game at The Coliseum. But the team has plenty of history and memories already of one of America’s most-hallowed stadiums.
Matt Derrick is the associate editor for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.