The 49ers coach Bill Walsh used to give this advice to his players when the Niners would face the Oakland Raiders: “Tell your families to sit this one out and watch on TV.” That’s because games between the 49ers and the Raiders can get a bit exuberant. A little enthusiastic. A little bit shooting each other in the parking lot after the game.
You knows, boys-will-be-boys stuff. No big.
This Sunday, the 7-5 Niners will trek all the way from Santa Clara to Oakland to face the 1-11 Raiders. Security, as they say, is expected to be tight for the first game between the two Bay Area pro football teams since the suspension of their regular preseason contest in 2011, when a game at Candlestick Park ended with a brutal beating and two post-game shootings, leading the Niners to ask the NFL to cancel the teams' regular preseason game. This will be the first time since then that the two have met. The Niners need a win to stay in the playoff hunt, and the Raiders are looking to notch some wins in a more-or-less lost season.
“The Raiders, Oakland Police Department, Alameda County Sheriff, and O.co Coliseum Management have worked together to create an increased law enforcement and security presence at Sunday’s game,” said the Raiders in a statement. “This includes a substantial increase in uniformed law enforcement officers, additional undercover officers, and increased private security staff. Public safety is a top priority for the Raiders, O.co Coliseum, and local law enforcement and all are working diligently to ensure that fans enjoy a safe and secure environment.”
Fans are promising to behave themselves this time around, with Rob Rivera, one of the founders of Oakland’s Black Hole, telling the Examiner, "The Black Hole was started to make the Coliseum an intimidating place, but for the other team, not for the other fans. I want to make one thing very clear: The Black Hole stands for nonviolence.”