For those Bay Area Raiders fans looking forward to watching the DeAngelo Hall-Steve Smith Grudge Match II this weekend, I have some bad news: Hall's been fired. Okay, that's bad news unless you're a Panthers fan, but for those of you just interested in watching the game on your teevees, well, that ain't happening unless you're planning to move out of Northern California in the next two days.
You see, the game has been blacked out. Usually this occurs when the home team fails to sell enough tickets -- and that's the company line here -- but I'm convinced it's just the local FOX affiliate taking mercy on a dejected, beat down fan base.
Amazingly, it's the first blackout in eight regular season games, but fittingly, it comes, as the Oakland Tribune's Jerry McDonald writes, "a week after being unfit for television." And unless the Raiders suddenly start winning (there's a better chance Alex Smith leads the 49ers to victory over the Cardinals next Monday night wearing street clothes and throwing lefthanded-only passes), there could be more blackouts on the horizon. After the Panthers, the Chiefs, Pats and Texans all come to town.
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Surprisingly, fans aren't all that broken up about it. In fact, they're ecstatic. A sampling from McDonald's Inside the Oakland Raiders blog:
"THANK GOD! Who's Fox going to have on instead?"
"Good, Sunday's my wife's birthday anyway."
"Good. If I want to go I can get a cheap ticket. If I don't, I can see some real football Sunday afternoon."
"Great! Finally, a blackout - if this only woulda happened last week, we couldn't see the Cowboys/Giants game! Now we need for 49ers games to stop selling out, and maybe we'll be able to watch some good football."
Yeah, I think you get the point.
NFL Takes Mercy on Downtrodden Bay Area Fans, Blacks Out Raiders-Panthers Game originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Thu, 06 Nov 2008 17:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.