There's the bust of Kenny Washington, onetime UCLA and Los Angeles Ram star who for decades now has looked out upon his field of dreams, his unblinking brass gaze frozen forever.
Then came the plaques for Pete Rozelle, who turned the NFL from a football league into a conglomerate, and Dan Reeves, who had the courage to bring his Cleveland Rams here in 1946.
I walked along the concourse, looking for a good seat from which to hear old cheers, or maybe visit with a Coliseum ghost or two. . . . Plenty of good seats were available.
At section 22, I walked up the stairs to the top, Row 93, and sat down in seat 101, at about the 50-yard line.
USC was at my back, and a pleasant breeze cooled the top of the stadium. The only sounds were from cars humming on the Harbor Freeway and LAX-bound jets overhead.
Then I was surprised that, from the top row, in the quiet of one of the world's biggest stadiums, I could clearly hear four guys talking, down on the field. They were preparing to chalk the field for the San Diego State-USC football opener Sept. 18.
I remembered from a college science class a professor saying a sound never really dies, but continues on into infinity, ever diminishing, far beyond human hearing.
So maybe if I listened hard enough, I could hear old cheers.
After all, 90,000-plus crowds filled the place 11 times for Ram games. Three of those were more than 100,000. There used to be a lot of sound here.
Now, there's suffocating quiet. The vastness of the place evoked a yearning, for 93,000 people, making lots of noise.
I pondered Section 22, Row 93, Seat 101:
* Who sat here when the Rams played their first Los Angeles game, in 1946?
* Who sat here on Dec. 23, 1951, and watched Norm Van Brocklin and Tom Fears connect on a 73-yard play that beat the Cleveland Browns in the NFL title game?
* Who sat here during Super Bowl I, when Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers showed the upstart Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL where the real power resided? And Super Bowl VII, when Don Shula's Miami Dolphins completed a perfect season--17-0--by beating the Washington Redskins?
And what would the old ghosts of the Coliseum tell us, if they knew that the Old Gray Lady in Exposition Park has been without NFL games for five years?
And what would they say about the prospect of the wrecking ball coming to the Coliseum, the possibility of building a modern NFL stadium on the site? And what do they think about frosted glass?
I couldn't raise any ghosts, so I can't say.
But in experiencing the solemn quiet of the place, I wondered just who were the greatest Rams of their Coliseum and Anaheim years. In the case of the Rams, the old stadium housed big league football for a third of a century, from 1946 through 1979.
And who were the best of the Raiders' Coliseum years?
We decided to draw up an All-Southern California NFL team.
In 1980, The Times' Bob Oates sent ballots to four former Ram coaches--Hamp Pool, Sid Gillman, George Allen and Chuck Knox. They were asked to pick all-time Ram teams, from 34 seasons in the Coliseum.
Here's how it came out:
OFFENSE: WR--Elroy Hirsch, Tom Fears; TE--Lamar Lundy, OL--Charlie Cowan, Doug France, Duane Putnam, Tom Mack, Leon McLaughlin (1951-56); QB--Bob Waterfield (1946-52); RB--Dick Bass (1960-69); Dan Towler (1950-55)
DEFENSE: DL--Deacon Jones (1961-71), Jack Youngblood (1971-84), Merlin Olsen (1962-76), Gene Lipscomb (1953-55); LB--Don Paul (1948-55), Les Richter (1954-62), Paul Younger (1949-57); DB--Dick Lane (1952-53),Eddie Meador (1959-70), Monte Jackson (1975-77), Will Sherman (1954-60).
We tinkered with that mythical 1980 team, cutting some to bring in some Raiders and Anaheim Rams.
On the offensive line, Ram Jackie Slater--a probable Hall of Famer--beats out Doug France.
At guard, Ram Dennis Harrah replaces Duane Putnam. At center, Ram Rich Saul is a narrow choice over Leon McLaughlin and Ram Doug Smith.
The tight end position was dropped in order to put Ram Henry Ellard at wide receiver with Hirsch and Fears. Let's see some secondary cover those three.
Waterfield stays at quarterback. He took the Cleveland Rams to the NFL title as a rookie. He did everything. His punting average was 42.4 yards. He married Jane Russell.
At running back, Raider Bo Jackson and Ram Eric Dickerson replace Towler and Bass.
On defense, in the secondary, Dick "Night Train" Lane stays. Hey, it's my team. In his rookie year, 1952, he had 14 interceptions. It broke the NFL one-season record and it stands to this day.
We moved four-time Pro Bowl players Nolan Cromwell and Jerry Gray, both Rams, to the first unit, replacing Monte Jackson and Sherman. And Raider Mike Haynes, a Hall of Famer, replaces Meador.
So, let's see someone beat this team:
WR--Elroy Hirsch (1949-57) 6-2, 190
WR--Tom Fears (1948-56) 6-2, 220
WR--Henry Ellard (1983-93) 5-11, 180
OT--Charlie Cowan (1961-75) 6-5, 265
OT--Jackie Slater (1976-94) 6-4, 280
OG--Dennis Harrah (1975-87) 6-5, 260
OG--Tom Mack (1966-78) 6-3, 250
C--Rich Saul (1970-81) 6-3, 240
QB--Bob Waterfield (1946-52) 6-1, 200
RB--Eric Dickerson (1983-87) 6-3, 220
RB--Bo Jackson (1987-90) 6-1, 225
DE--Deacon Jones (1961-71) 6-5, 275
DE--Jack Youngblood (1971-84) 6-5, 245
DT--Merlin Olsen (1962-76) 6-5, 270
DT--Gene Lipscomb (1953-55) 6-6, 285
LB--Don Paul (1948-55) 6-1, 230
LB--Les Richter (1954-62) 6-3, 250
LB--Paul Younger (1949-57) 6-3, 225
DB--Dick Lane (1952-53) 6-1, 195
DB--Nolan Cromwell (1977-87) 6-1, 200
DB--Jerry Gray (1985-91) 6-0, 185
DB--Mike Haynes (1983-89) 6-2, 195