Steven Rosenbloom's tenure as executive vice president of the Los Angeles Rams barely matched George Allen's length of service as the team's coach in 1978 -- two exhibition games.
Rosenbloom seemed to have a better hand than Allen, as a son of late owner Carroll Rosenbloom. Steve Rosenbloom had put 20 years of service into the franchise, at all levels.
General Manager Don Klosterman was not on Steve Rosenbloom's Christmas card list. Klosterman's role was diminished when Allen was brought in at $200,000 annually, four times Klosterman's salary. Young Rosenbloom favored the move.
Now Klosterman is executive vice president under Georgia Rosenbloom, Steve's stepmother.
A longtime observer of Klosterman said of the development: "Don could have hit the beach with the first wave at Normandy and walked all the way to Paris without a bullet hitting him."
The Los Angeles players flouted Mrs. Rosenbloom and Klosterman last week by applauding Steve after their first exhibition victory under the new regime and presenting him with the game ball.
The turmoil, so close to theopening of a Ram season that figured to be dedicated to Carroll Rosenbloom, who drowned April 2, may have sad consequences for Coach Ray Malavasi. But if the Ram story is a tragedy, it is one without a clearly defined villain.
The Rams media guide now being circulated suggests the unpredictable Carroll Rosenbloom may be having a posthumous chuckle at his handiwork.
He is portrayed on the cover with a characteristic grin, with a quotation from a favorite poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox: "Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone."
Football colleagues, Hollywood celebrities and friends sent him off in a manner he would have appreciated, at a memorial Art Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers called "the best Irish wake I ever attended."
The question now is, who fouled up the script Carroll's will was meant to follow?
The temptation for outsiders it to wonder about the role of his widow, Georgia. But those familiar wtih Rosenbloom's last testament emphatically absolve her from villanious status.
The fortune Rosenbloom left from other interests dwarfed the value of the Rams. He made it clear to Georgia, his second wife, that he wanted to distinguish her from being "just another rich widow." He pointed out that in assigning 70 percent of the team to her that there were only 28 such franchises in the world.
He requested in the will that Steve be put in charge of the day-to-day operations of the club.
But he had been aware that his son and Klosterman had not gotten along for years, and he was careful to add language to the will that would enable Georgia to cope. When Steve took away Klosterman's assignments two weeks ago, that led to Georgia firing Steve and promoting Klosterman.
Carroll Rosenbloom had publicly confessed that he had made a grievous mistake in hiring George Allen and that it was unfair of him to fire Allen after two exhibition games.
At the time, Rosenbloom also told friends, "Now I'm trying to talk Steve And Klosterman into getting along. I don't know whether I'm making any headway. Steve is my flesh and blood, but I can't have this bickering."
Steve had been in favor of hiring Allen because, as he said, "George is a winner." When speculation about Allen "swallowing" Klosterman was mentioned to him, Steve implied that that would be all right with him.
There had been no love lost between them since 1970, when the management was still in Baltimore and Klosterman was brought in as general manager.
Steve remained in Baltimore for two years before rejoining the front office in Los Angeles.
Then, when stories were written that Steve was assuming more of his father's powers and moving into a bigger office, Klosterman fumed.
Steve avoided the spotlight. Klosterman was more than cooperative with the media, and network sportscasters often would refer to his abilities as an assembler of talent, as they also would about Gil Brandt of Dallas, Jim Finks of Chicago and Joe Thomas of San Francisco and Baltimore.
Klosterman was credited with making the trades of John Hadl and Roman Gabriel that brought top draft choices to help build the Rams to their present eminence.
Steve Rosenbloom worked his way up from the lowliest jobs in Baltimore and Los Angeles until he was representing the Rams at league meetings.
He was a favorite of the front-office personnel, the coaches and the players. He drove the team bus on occasion, made submarine sandwiches on the team plane and, in T-shirt and jeans, went out with old friends to beer and pizza joints after home games.
Among his favorite players were the late Gene (Big Daddy) Lipscomb of the Colts and current Ram quarterback Pat Haden.
Many Los Angeles players went to him with personal problems.
At the moment, Rosenbloom is a sympathetic figure at age 34, with his investment of a score of years in pro football hanging on the line.
However, he won't need to go on public assistance. Each of Carroll Rosenbloom's five children was left several million dollars in trust funds from his overall estate, plus 6 percent each in the Rams.
The franchise was valued at $21 million when purchased in 1972 and, since, a four-year contract was signed with the three major television networks that guarantees each National Football League club $5.6 million annually, or $22.4 million over that span. This will be the second year of that contract.