SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 17: Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park on October 17, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Frank Gore
Television sets across the Bay Area will be tuned in to Thursday Night Football this week to see if their losing NorCal NFL team can complete a quixotic comeback and squeak into the playoffs.
Get used to it, Raider Nation -- you're rooting for the Niners Thursday night. The Raiders' long-standing rivalry with the 49ers gets turned on its ear Thursday at 5:20 p.m. PST, when Oakland needs a San Diego Chargers loss to stay alive in the AFC wild card race.
Raiders coach Tom Cable came out and said as much at his Monday press conference.
"Let’s be real about it," Cable told the Oakland Tribune. "You’ve got to be a 49er fan on Thursday and a Rams fan on Sunday. That’s where it starts, and we’ve got to take care of yourselves."
"We had a real opportunity yesterday that got away from us," the coach continued. "The reality of it is we have to win out and we need a little help here, but if that’s the way it’s supposed to turn out it will and we’ll find a way to get it done."
If Raider Nation is uncomfortable with keeping the same rooting interests as their loathed wine-sipping cross-bay rivals, realize that this ends once Chargers-49ers is over Thursday.
Because the Raiders' playoff hopes depend on a St. Louis Rams win over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. And the 49ers' playoff hopes depend on a St. Louis Rams loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who assures Raider Nation there are some 49ers fans out there that you sure wouldn't mind warming up to.