For the first time since August of 2011, the 49ers will welcome the Raiders for a preseason clash that will be the first time that both teams compete in 2020.
The news was broke through NBCSN’s Mike Maiocco, who was told that the two legendary NFL franchises were set to pick up the game after a eight-season break.
Why the Rivalry Stopped
Ah, 2011. Discussions of a 17-game season with a 14-team playoff setup weren’t relevant and legendary 49ers running back was still in the Bay as San Francisco was building up a team that would eventually challenge for the Super Bowl two seasons later.
The then-Oakland Raiders were gearing up for an 8-8 season under then head coach Hue Jackson, but in the early parts of the year like Week 2 of preseason, the results were far from decided.
Preseason games classically get a rep of being unimportant, but the 49ers and Raiders were still in the “Battle of the Bay” era, which meant that this preseason game wasn’t just another warmup.
However, it wasn’t what happened on the field that prompted the rivalry to be stopped. Instead, fighting among Raiders and 49ers fans are what prompted the decision.
Two men were shot and another was beaten to hospitalization at Candlestick Park, a specifically dour moment for both teams and communities.
The mayors of San Francisco and Oakland released a joint statement in response:
“Fans come to our stadiums to enjoy an afternoon of football, not to be subjected to intimidation or violence. These games are family events and the types of images we witnessed last night have no place in our arenas,” the statement said.
As did the NFL.
“We pledge our full support to Mayors Lee and Quan and to sate and local law enforcement agencies,” it said. “We will work with our clubs and law enforcement agencies to ensure responsible fan conduct at all NFL games.”
Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers at the time, said that the news was saddening, adding, “I feel for the people who were injured.”
The History of the Battle
However, much has changed in the eight NFL seasons since, primarily the Raiders’ move as the franchise is in the process of moving to Las Vegas.
The Raiders have moved to a handful of different locations over the years, but the rivalry with the Niners is one curiously even, but not one studded with tens of great games.
San Francisco and Las Vegas happen to be tied in every metric of the records, at least in the regular season and playoffs.
- ALL-TIME: 7-7
- Raiders at Home: 3-3
- 49ers at Home: 4-4
- Playoffs: 0-0
The playoffs being 0-0 makes sense, but it does prompt the concept of a 49ers-Raiders Super Bowl, which would make for an electric clash between two massive fanbases.
However, the one edge in the current state of the rivalry is that San Francisco has the most recent win, coming in 2018 when Nick Mullens threw for three touchdowns to help the Niners secure a 34-3 win.
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Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers and the NFL for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, MT. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.