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Just a Dyed in the Wool Rams Fan : Fillmore's Moore No. 1--More or Less

August 12, 1993|JEFF MEYERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Of all the dates to remember in August--his 82nd birthday, his 59th wedding anniversary--C.C. Moore has this Saturday indelibly imprinted in his brain: the Rams' exhibition home opener against the San Diego Chargers at Anaheim Stadium.

A season ticket-holder since the Rams moved to L.A. from Cleveland in 1946, Moore is looking forward to his 48th consecutive year with season tickets. He has missed a mere nine of their 477 home games--including exhibition, regular and postseason.

"I'm the Rams' No. 1 fan," declares Moore, a retired bakery executive.

Moore's fanaticism goes beyond his .981 attendance record. His large, sprawling trailer in Fillmore is a shrine to the Rams. It is filled with autographed photos, jerseys and even a helmet once worn by Jack Youngblood. He is an original member of the Rams Fan Club, a fixture at booster luncheons and award banquets. He also attends intrasquad games, even traveling to Redlands when the Rams trained there. Sometimes he gets queasy before a game and can't eat breakfast.

When the Rams are on the road, Moore watches them on TV, shutting out the rest of the world. "Anyone who knows me," he says, "doesn't come around then. Family or not. I don't miss a play.

"Take a look at this," he says, unfurling a banner made for him by a friend that reads: "Rams playing--do not disturb."

How does his wife handle his obsession? "I put up with an awful lot," Marie Moore says.

But she is hardly a long-suffering wife. If her husband is Rams' fan No. 1, she doesn't rank far behind. Although she doesn't share his TV addiction--"Once he had three TVs going," she says ruefully--Marie has missed only 12 games.

Illness and cruises have conspired to force the Moores to miss games, but the births of their two children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren haven't. Nor did the death of Moore's mother. "My sister and brother thought it was terrible that I went to the game when Mother died," Moore says, "but she had said to me, 'Don't let anything stop you.' "

The Rams have recognized the Moores' longstanding loyalty. When the team played in Super Bowl XIV, the Moores received an autographed football. Elroy (Crazy Legs) Hirsch gave Moore a jock strap on which was written "a real Ram supporter."

Current Rams owner Georgia Frontiere has welcomed the Moores into her private box twice and invited them to the team's 40th anniversary bash (but she turned down a request to comment on them for this story).

"Carroll Rosenbloom (former Rams' owner who died in 1979) used to stop by our seats and talk to us before every game," Moore says.

Marie sighs. "He was such a nice man. He used to (tease) me and my friend: 'Get rid of the old guys and I'll show you two a good time.' "

Moore remembers exactly when he became a football fan: his first day of grade school in Concordia, Kan., a farming community where all 12 grades used the same building. After school that day, he saw the high school boys going to practice in their uniforms and cleats and "fell head (over) heels in love with football and have been that way ever since."

His high school sweetheart, Marie, had "never seen a game until I met him," she says. She cheered him when he played end for the varsity in 1928, but "at 135 pounds, he was too skinny," she says. They were married in 1934, the depths of the Depression, and moved to Southern California the next year. Moore's uncle got him a job on a chicken ranch in the Valley and the couple bought a house in Pacoima, where they lived for the next 41 years.

Until the Rams arrived in Los Angeles in '46, Moore had to be content with USC, UCLA and semipro football games. One Sunday afternoon at old Gilmore Stadium in the Fairfax District, he was watching the Hollywood Bears play the Cleveland Bullies when the P.A. announcer reported the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The game continued and Moore stayed until the end.

The Rams had not yet unpacked their suitcases when Moore was at the hotel-room door of their ticket manager requesting season tickets. He bought 16 tickets for each game, at $3.90 a ticket (compared to $30 today). Moore believes he was the team's first season ticket-holder, but the Rams could not confirm that.

Moore always assumed that nobody else could beat his practically perfect attendance record, but last season the Rams honored Max Miller, an 83-year-old retired San Diego dentist who reportedly has missed only two games since 1946. Although the Rams say they checked Miller's authenticity, "I can't believe somebody has seen more games than me," Moore says.

Miller, reached at his home in Encinitas, isn't impressed with his record: "That and 50 cents will get me a cup of coffee."

Like Moore, Miller attended exhibitions and intrasquad games, but Moore gets the edge in scrimmages and practices. When the Rams trained in San Fernando in the late '50s, Moore used to attend practice frequently and once took off from work for three or four months to watch the team train every day.

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