EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The San Francisco 49ers are set to open their new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., in time for the start of the 2014 season, making Sunday's meeting between the St. Louis Rams and 49ers the final meeting between the teams at Candlestick Park, barring some sort of wild playoff scenario coming to fruition.
Candlestick has been the home of the 49ers since 1971, and the Rams have played them there 43 times since. There's a certain symmetry to this final meeting between the teams at the 'Stick, given that the two teams are actually tied in their all time meetings there. The Rams have won 21 games at Candlestick, and the Niners have done the same. Last season didn't break the tie as the teams battled to a 24-24 tie.
So Sunday's matchup will actually break the tie, assuming the sides don't play five quarters without deciding a victor again.
Asked about coaching his final game at Candlestick, Rams coach Jeff Fisher made it clear it's never been an easy task for any opposing coach.
“It’s always a challenge to be on the visiting sideline out there," Fisher said. "For years, that’s a tough place to play. We’re going to get ready and get through the holiday, and go out there and give it our best shot.”
Fisher has actually seen Candlestick from both sides, having coached defensive backs there in 1992 and 1993.
“I was with the organization for a couple years and they won a lot of games, and it’s difficult to win there," Fisher said. "They’ve won a lot of games over the years.”
The always ebullient and forthcoming Jim Harbaugh, coach of the Niners, offered an even more detailed account of his memories of Candlestick.
“Yeah, (I have) many recollections,” Harbaugh said, choosing not to expand.
For this reporter, there's understandable nostalgia that goes with Candlestick considering all of its history, but I can't say I'll miss swimming upstream to get from the press box to the locker room after games.
A roundup of Thursday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... Because of the holiday, we weren't as busy as usual, but still got down to business with yesterday's Ram-blings, where we looked at the impending return of San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree and how it could affect Sunday's game against the Rams. ... Next, we dived into the many ways in which the Rams have changed since the first time they played San Francisco back in September. ... Finally, it was an update from Thursday's practice with more progress for the three concussed Rams -- running back Zac Stacy, cornerback Trumaine Johnson, and left guard Chris Williams.
ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando takes his weekly look at the games with his video piece on the Rams-Niners matchup.
At stltoday.com, Dan Caesar writes about and links to a moving piece on former Dallas Cowboy Jerry Brown's mother that aired on Sunday. Brown was from St. Louis.
Jim Thomas takes an entertaining look at the breakout year of Rams defensive end Robert Quinn.
Looking for players who might be future Rams in college football this weekend? The fine folks at Turf Show Times focus on the prospects who could be of interest in this weekend's Iron Bowl game between Alabama and Auburn.
Steve Korte, of the Belleville News Democrat, takes a look at the emergence of running back Benny Cunningham.
At TheMMQB.com, Greg Bedard chronicles Quinn's dominant performance against the Bears.