Black Hole Ready to Open - NBC Bay Area

Black Hole Ready to Open



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    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: Fans of the Oakland Raiders look on against the Denver Broncos on September 27, 2009 during an NFL game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

    It's been eight full months since there has been NFL football played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. People tend to forget how hardcore Raiders fans really are.

    But the Black Hole opens for business again Saturday, when the Oakland Raiders host the San Francisco 49ers for the third preseason game.

    Get this -- it's a battle of undefeated teams. Yes, both squads are 2-0 in the exhibition season. Preseason is not the time for "unstoppable force" and "immovable object" analogies, but it's fair to say both teams are much improved over last season.

    It's the first home start for new Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell. Campbell has completed barely more than half of his passes this preseason, which is not particularly impressive. But in the post-JaMarcus Russell era, that counts as a substantial upgrade.

    The quarterbacks you really want to watch are Bruce Gradkowski and Kyle Boller. The two are locked in an unexpectedly fierce battle for the No. 2 quarterback position, with Bruce Almighty making his first appearance of the 2010 preseason.

    The game won't be on live television, but will be broadcast on tape delay Saturday night at 9 p.m. PDT on two --count 'em -- two Bay Area stations. The pro-Raiders homer broadcast is on KICU Channel 36, the pro-49ers homer broadcast will be on KBCW Channel 44.

    Joe Kukura is a freelance writer and a pro-Homer homer.