There was plenty of drama surrounding where this week's Monday Night Football matchup would be played, or if it would be played at all. Mexico City's Estadio Azteca, the initial game site, wasn't prepared to host the game due to poor field conditions, and California's raging wildfires jeopardized Los Angeles' ability to serve as a backup venue.
Ultimately, the Coliseum was able to host the Chiefs and Rams for one of the most anticipated primetime matchups of the year. The wildfires (and the poor air quality that came as a result) couldn't force a postponement, but the presence of the tragedies that have swept Los Angeles -- including the natural disasters as well as the senseless gun violence -- this month were still felt during Monday's game in LA.
The two teams made it a priority to honor the first responders who have worked tireless to combat the fires and minimize their destruction over the past few weeks, as well as those who were first on the scene at the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting on November 7th.
The Rams worked with local fire, police and medical departments to provide more than 3,000 complimentary tickets to first responders across Los Angeles. Both teams also paid tribute by donning special sideline hats featuring various local law and fire departments.
The Cal Lutheran Choir, who lost a former member in the Borderline shooting that killed 12, sang the national anthem on the field prior to the game. The family of fallen Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year department veteran who was killed in the shooting, lit the Coliseum torch as part of the pregame festivities while the sons of fallen Borderline security guard Sean Adler served as honorary sideline water boys during the game.