Beginning in 1968, the Governor’s Cup has been awarded to the winner of the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals/Rams. Recent developments have created rumors of an NFL franchise moving to Los Angeles, including the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, and the Rams, meaning that this year’s Governor’s Cup, which will be played tomorrow night, could potentially be the last. Below is a look at the history of the Cup, and a prediction for the game tomorrow:
Overall, the teams have played a total of 45 times in the regular season and preseason, which includes games by both the St. Louis Cardinals and Rams. The Chiefs have a large advantage in those contests, going 27-16-2, including a very dominant 9-1-1 record during the regular season.
The St. Louis Cardinals football team existed until 1987. During the initial Governor’s Cup years (1968-87), the Chiefs held a 13-6-1 advantage in the preseason and 3-1-1 advantage in the regular season, with one of the ties coming in the very first regular season meeting between the two clubs in Kansas City in 1970. In 1988, the Cardinals relocated to Phoenix to become the present-day Arizona Cardinals, which halted the Governor’s Cup until 1996.
The Los Angeles Rams franchise essentially folded in 1995, paving the way for their subsequent move to St. Louis to become the present-day St. Louis Rams. Thus, after an 8-year hiatus, the Governor’s Cup resumed, this time highlighted by the leadership of Dick Vermeil, who was the head coach of both the Rams (1997-99) and the Chiefs (2001-05). During this second Governor’s Cup period, the Rams have owned the preseason series with a 9-5 record, but the Chiefs have owned the regular season meetings by going 6-0, including their 34-7 pummeling of the Rams in KC in 2014. Prior to last season, the Rams had won 2 Governor’s Cup games in a row.
With the potential threat of this being the last Governor’s Cup, this game holds significance, if only for the fact that the winning team gets final bragging rights in the State of Missouri. This preseason, the Chiefs are 3-0 and the Rams are 0-3, and while preseason games are completely meaningless, this final preseason game for these two teams holds more meaning than the rest of the NFL’s final preseason games. Starters are unlikely to play much in this game, and for that reason, I give the advantage to the Chiefs, who have a much deeper team, plus an experienced backup quarterback (Chase Daniel), who is having a better preseason than the Rams’ backup (Case Keenum). I predict the Chiefs to finish the 2015 preseason undefeated and take home the Governor’s Cup, beating the Rams 20-10.
Cheer on your Chiefs tomorrow night, and remember that the regular season is only 11 days away! Let’s Go Chiefs!