The NFL released its preseason schedule Wednesday, excluding the annual exhibition game between the 49ers and Raiders after 11 consecutive years.
The cross-bay rivalry went beyond the usual taunting and posturing last August at Candlestick Park. Fights between thugs posturing as Raiders and 49ers fans swept through the stadium like wildfire, leaving security and police scrambling from one blaze to another.
The violence was so distracting, players watched. It seemed as if more punches were thrown in the stands than passes on the field.
After the game, two men were wounded in unrelated shootings in the parking lot.
The next time the 49ers and Raiders play will likely be in a regular-season game, when true fans buy tickets. The thugs who have caused problems at these Bay Area preseason games are the ones who care less about who wins the game and more about who wins the fights.
We're sure the Marlins had all the right intentions by having boxing legend Muhammad Ali "throw out" the first pitch at Miami's new stadium Wednesday night, but it seemed to backfire.
You couldn't help but feel sorry for Ali as he sat slumped riding in a cart, his hands shaking violently from Parkinson's disease. He seemed unaware of where he was or what he was doing as he dropped a ball into Hanley Ramirez's hand.
The lasting image we want to remember of Ali post-boxing career is of "The Greatest of All Time" lighting the Olympic Torch in Atlanta in 1996.
What to watch
Golf, Masters, noon, ESPN: Fifteen years after winning his first green jacket, Tiger Woods is still the one to watch.
Was canceling the 49ers-Raiders exhibition game the right decision?
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