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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Rams tie San Francisco, November 18, 1968



1968_1118_bike_boy

1968_1118_sports The Rams escaped from San Francisco with a 20-20 tie and quarterback Roman Gabriel realized it could have been a lot worse.

Gabriel waved off the Rams' field goal unit for one more chance to score a touchdown that would win the game. His pass to Bill Truax was good for a score, but the play was called back because of a penalty. Bruce Gossett then kicked the tying field goal with 17 seconds left. This was the NFL before the overtime rule, so a tie was a tie.

"I was not satisfied to get a tie," Garbiel told The Times' Mal Florence. "I was confident that we would get a score. ... As it turned out I was right but, basically, I was very wrong when I think of it now. If that pass had been incomplete or intercepted I would have been the goat."

--Keith Thursby



 
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Comments (5)

ROMAN GABRIEL. You don't know what that one man meant to the thousands of Asian American athletes in the Late Sixties. He was sorta like a Sidney Poitier in sports for us. Especially for the Filipino American.

My pal, Dennis Albano, for instance -- a high school quarterback. All 5'3 of him. Gabriel stood about 6'4. He was strong-armed, not always accurate, and was known for shaking off tacklers. Of course he was also known for getting nervous feet in the pocket. And this was long before defensive linemen and linebackers became so quick and lethal. And big. Today Gabriel would be an average sized guy. And would probably be instructed to beef up.

Thanks for posting this piece -- I idolized the Rams of those years. In fact, I could name every player, height, weight, position, experiece and college, 1969 -- 71. I was there when Tony Guillory burst through the Green Bay line to block Donny Anderson's punt. Willie Daniels picked up the ball and ran it to the five.

Gabriel and the offense came in -- all those great blockers lined up: Charlie Cowan, Tom Mack, Ken Iman, Joe Scibelli (I've forgotten the RT, it wasn't Bob Brown who came later from the Eagles) and long-necked Billy Truax at TE. Gabriel took the snap, the clock was running down, Vince Lombardi's defense was strong and proud.

The halfback -- when that term was used -- was an old retread, Tommy Mason, and Gabe faked to him on a dive. He pulled back, lofted a pass to the left -- Bernie Casey, the classy, long-legged flanker, had juked his man on a simple out. Gabe's pass was perfect. Casey hauled it in just before he stepped out of bounds. The Rams beat the power Packer machine. It was a featured story in SI. I'm not sure if Casey beat the all-timer Herb Adderly, the great cornerback.

Great names -- Les Josephson. Merlin Olson, Jack Pardee, Maxie Baughn. Deacon Jones, Eddie Meador.

The Rams at the Coliseum! The Rams at the Coliseum!

And at the bottom of the page, the Heidi game!

The Heidi game is one of those television events I think I saw. I'm sure of it. Seems like the AFL games were always on at our house and it was always from Oakland. Might just be memory and too much television playing tricks on me.
--Keith

I saw this photo some months ago on this blog and it struck me how much LAPD Sgt. Eugene Gabriel (or is that LASD?) looked like NFL L.A. Rams Quarterback Roman Gabriel. Same height and similar face. Any relation?

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2008/02/mystery-photo-2.html

With regards to the 1967 Rams vs. Packers game at the Coliseum, not to rain on anybody's parade but it should be pointed out that the Packers already had won their division when they played the Rams in that game. For the Rams on the other hand, it was do or die as they were chasing the Baltimore Colts for the Coastal Division championship (west coast and east coast, I guess). The Colts were the last unbeaten NFL team going into the last week of the 1967 regular season and the Rams had lost one game. If the Rams had lost to the Green Bay Packers, they would have lost the division to the Colts.

Anyway, to give away the ending, the Rams beat the Packers in the final seconds in a classic (would any Network dared to preempt the end of the game for anything other than a National Emergency? Didn't Pete Rozelle decide to play all scheduled NFL games the weekend after JFK was assassinated?). The Rams then beat the Colts the next week at the Coliseum to take the Coastal Division by tie-breaker since they both had the same record and played to a draw in their other matchup that season.

Unfortunately, the Rams played the Pack again in a first round playoff game in the cold of Wisconsin in December and lost.

1967 was an unusual year for a George Allen coached team because they finished so strongly. With the exception of the Redskins 1972 NFC championship season, in subsequent years George Allen's teams would usually fade late in the season as they would do in the last three full seasons he coached Ram teams. Hope I didn't give away any endings.

1967 ram/packer game CLAUDE CRABB PICKED UP PUNT BLOCKED BY GUILLORY AND RAN IT TO THE 5 YARD LINE. CASEY BEAT BOB JETER FROM THE WING POSITION FOR THE TD. WE KNEW WHEN WE WENT LEFT FORMATION TIGHT WING THAT GREEN BAY WOULD LOOK FOR THE RUN FIRST. GREAT PLAY DESIGN BY OFFENSIVE CORDINATOR TED MARCHIBRODA.PLAY CALL WAS RED LEFT TIGHT WING( BACKS SPLIT ,SNOW TIGHT, CASEY IN WING BY TE TRUAX) PASS 46 POWER, CASEY FLAG. TRUAX BLOCKED DOWN TO DRAW JETER UP! BINGO TD!!!


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