Into the Black Hole

Where Jack London worked on The Call of the Wild, Al Davis found a home
October 24, 2004

[1] RICKY'S SPORTS THEATRE & GRILL Barring a TV blackout, Raiders rowdies congregate for HDTV broadcasts amidst a jerseys-on-the-wall ambience, ex-Raiders Jack Tatum and Rod Sherman often among them. [2] VELLA'S LOCKER ROOM Lineman John Vella peddles Raiders swag at five locations. Now in stock: number 81 Tim Brown onesies for infants, Raiders mugs and, in holiday season, nutcrackers. [3] JACK LONDON SQUARE QB Ken Stabler and coach John Madden are fans of the man who sketched out The Call of the Wild here at Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon. In a recent Super Bowl bid the city promised to turn the area into a theme park. Think Jack London's NFL Playland. (Never happened.) [4] LANEY COLLEGE Junior college next to Frank Youell Field, the Raiders' home from '62 through '65. [5] CLEM DANIELS' END ZONE Raiders RB Daniels has run the sports bar for 29 years. Thursday-night feeding spot for the 300 Club--the team's 300-plus-pound offensive linemen. [6] SAN FRANCISCO--OAKLAND BAY BRIDGE Partially collapsed during 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Bay Area before Game 3 of '89 A's-Giants World Series. [7] DALY CITY Stomping grounds of a young Madden and UNLV coach John Robinson--who would hitchhike from there to watch East-West Shrine Game practices. Today minor league Daly City Renegades play at John Madden Field. [8] SANTA ROSA Raiders training camp where, in the 1970s, LB Ted Hendricks rode in on a white horse and lineman Bob Brown assumed a three-point stance and, as related in Madden's book Hey, Wait a Minute, I wrote a book!, took out a wooden goal post with a forearm shiver. [9] COLISEUM LOCKER ROOMS Stories of spying are legion. Once in the early 1970s Chargers coach Harland Svare, suspecting a bug, shouted, "I know you're up there, Al Davis," at a light fixture. Davis's response: "The thing wasn't in the light fixture, I'll tell you that." [10] RUBY HILL GOLF CLUB On the day he signed with Oakland in June 2001, Jerry Rice played nine holes with Jon Gruden, then ceremoniously received his silver-and-black number 80. [11] MCDONALD'S Bore the brunt of post--Super Bowl XXXVII riots (a 27-point Raiders loss). Some $30,000 in damages included broken windows, a smashed sign and a torched garbage can.

5,847 MILES NE

SWISS ALPS >>

Nov. 17, 1968: Namath's Jets lead Oakland 32--29 with 1:05 left in a late-season game. In an infamous broadcasting gaffe, NBC cuts away to Heidi, as Raiders score two TDs in final 42 seconds to win.

2,695 MILES ENE

<< Brockton, Mass.

Some would have guessed Hades, but Al Davis's birth certificate says he was born here, July 4, 1929.

193 MILES SSE

SAN LUIS OBISPO HIGH SCHOOL

"Boom!" John Madden, while also attending grad school, ran spring football here.

331 MILES SE

<< Los Angeles

Raiders home from '82 to '94 and set of Starsky and Hutch's Bay City, where street-smart informant Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas) romped. Fargas's son Justin now romps as Raiders' running back.

330 MILES SE

Burbank, Calif., ST. JOSEPH'S MEDICAL CENTER

Where Raiders lineman John Matuszak--who posed for Playgirl and was twice convicted of carrying a concealed weapon--died of an accidental painkiller overdose in '89.

12

NETWORK ASSOCIATES COLISEUM

• FORMER NAME: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

• SURFACE: Natural grass

• RAIDERS' TENURE: 1966-81; 1995-present (first pro sports team to leave a stadium and return)

• USFL'S OAKLAND INVADERS AT COLISEUM: 1981 (.696)

• RAIDERS AT COLISEUM: 131563 (.697)

•FOOTBALL CAPACITY: 63,132

•BASEBALL CAPACITY: 43,662 (A's)

Visitors' View

The Saints talk about playing in Oakland

"I like the guy who has a life-sized dummy with the quarterback's number on it. And he's holding it up with a rope." --Kendyl Jacox, guard

"The whole concept of the Black Hole, with everybody wearing silver and black, is great. They're out there waiting for the buses to pull up so they can yell at you. You can't beat it. I remember watching Raiders games as a kid and seeing the guy that wears the spiked shoulder pads. Then I saw it for real. It kind of gives you the chills."

--Orlando Ruff, LB

COLOR MAPMAP BY STEVE STANKIEWICZOakland COLOR PHOTOAL MESSERSCHMIDT/WIREIMAGE.COM (HENDRICKS) COLOR PHOTOJACK SMITH/AP (BAY BRIDGE) COLOR PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIER (MADDEN) COLOR PHOTOJUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES (COLISEUM) COLOR PHOTOPAUL SAKUMA/AP (DAVIS) COLOR PHOTOCOURTESY OF VELLA'S LOCKER ROOM (MUG) B/W PHOTOBETTMANN/CORBIS (HEIDI) COLOR PHOTOBRYAN PATRICK/SACRAMENTO PRESS/ZUMA PRESS (RICE) COLOR PHOTOBEN MARGOT/AP (MCDONALD'S) COLOR PHOTOEVERETT COLLECTION (FARGAS) COLOR PHOTOROBERT B. STANTON/WIREIMAGE.COM (RAIDERS FAN)
COLOR PHOTOALADDIN CLASSICS (THE CALL OF THE WILD)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)