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Arsonists set fire to university offices, Colts win over Rams, December 9, 1968

December 9, 2008 | 10:30 am



1968_1209_sports The Rams were supposed to beat the Chicago Bears and then face the Baltimore Colts to determine the division championship. But a series of mistakes -- and the Bears -- got in the way as the Rams lost, 17-16.

The most controversial error was made by the officials, who lost a down when the Rams were trying to drive for a winning field goal with less than a minute to play.

The Rams were called for holding on a first-down pass play that fell incomplete. The Times' Mal Florence picks up the action: "Seemingly the Rams had a first down on their own 47, but the yard marker unaccountably read second down. You don't lose a down on such an infraction after the defense accepts the penalty."

But the Rams did.

"We have no excuses, no alibis," Coach George Allen said. According to Florence's story, Allen wasn't aware at the time that the Rams had lost a down.

Commissioner Pete Rozelle suspended the officials, taking them out of contention for post-season games. Made sense, since the loss did the same thing to the Rams.

-- Keith Thursby