It's been 33 long weeks since an NFL contest has been played in the Bay Area.
But Candlestick Park gets lit back up tonight for NBC Sunday Night Football, when the 49ers face the Minnesota Vikings in their preseason home opener Sunday at 5 p.m. PDT.
Infamous Brett Favre is set to play one or two series -- about 10 snaps in all -- for the Vikings after the 40-year-old quarterback just rejoined the team Wednesday. The Favre circus is coming to town, but his time in the center ring should be over by the end of the Viking's first series.
Janie McCualey writes that while the spotlight will be on Favre, that is just fine with 49er QB Alex Smith. Smith is content to quietly go about his business this preseason to make sure he's prepared come Sept. 12, the day it really counts.
Still no word on whether we'll see the San Francisco 49ers debut of running back Brian Westbrook. "I don't want to put him out there if he's not sure what he's doing," offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye told the Chronicle.
And we don't know if we'll see Vernon Davis or Michael Crabtree. Both are day-to-day with injuries.
The 49ers are catching the Vikings in a week with more drama than a Lohan family reunion.
For Niner fans, this may be the longest and most intriguing look yet at quarterback
. The Chronicle
that Davis will see time against the starting defense Sunday. Davis is currently the third quarterback, behind
and David Carr.
If Alex Smith goes 3-of-9 and gets a quarterback rating of 7.4 again like he did last Sunday, it will never be too early to put Nate Davis in.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who accidentally calls Brian Westbrook "Michael" on a practically constant basis.