Clay Matthews, Rams bid farewell to L.A. Coliseum

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  • By Grant Gordon
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As the sun sets upon this upcoming Southern California Sunday afternoon, the setting for which the Los Angeles Rams call home will have been the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for one last time.

There is no postseason ahead on the horizon, so it will indeed be the last sunset for the Rams at the cavernous coliseum.

Roughly 10 miles and plenty of traffic down the road, SoFi Stadium awaits next season.

Here and now, linebacker Clay Matthews and the Rams will play their final coliseum home game before moving on into the offseason and to another home field.

For the venerable pass-rushing terror, there's a long history at the coliseum, littered with glory. Following his father Clay, a 19-year NFL veteran, his uncle Bruce, an NFL Hall of Famer, and brother Kyle, Clay played for USC and was a member of a Trojans squad that advanced to four straight Rose Bowls.

"It truly has come full circle and it's been a fun ride," Matthews said via the Rams' team website.

Matthews played for the Trojans toward the end of Pete Carroll's tenure as coach and the last true golden age of USC football. But he was there for some phenomenally successful seasons with the coliseum brimming with fans.

"Playing in the Coliseum, you just got accustomed to the bright lights and selling out at the time (with) 92,000 (fans) when we had the No. 1 team in the nation," Matthews said. "It was probably most fun to come back when I was playing with Green Bay last year because I hadn't been there in 10 years without a franchise in L.A. But to go back there, I just remember it being so much bigger, it was all put in perspective. It was fun to be back in Southern California playing. Fortunately for me, a few months later I was playing for the Rams and having my home games at the coliseum."

In a bit of an odd twist, Matthews and the Rams will be facing the Kliff Kingsbury-coached Cardinals. Kingsbury was set to be the USC offensive coordinator before taking the job as Arizona's new head coach.

"It's a little strange how the universe works where in that year you can go from that to that," Kingsbury said, per the team website. "But I've never coached there before and I wasn't there long enough to be a part of that."

Matthews' family was quite the opposite, of course, as a big part the glory days in the coliseum. They were part of a history not lost on the Rams backer.

"There's been a lot of history for the coliseum stemming back from, when the Rams first started playing there, and then obviously the Trojans playing there for many, many years, and then with the history of just the Coliseum in general, with the Olympics and everything, that's every sporting event or concert or motocross," Clay said. "Hopefully we can have a nice end up with a win for the fans and for the city of L.A."

And on Sunday, the sun will come down upon a season and a setting for the Rams.

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