Watch the Raiders vs. 49ers, Saturday 4:30 p.m. LIVE on KPIX-TV CBS 5

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The San Francisco 49ers play the Oakland Raiders in a pre-season game Saturday in a continuation of the decades-long cross-bay rivalry. In his daily chat with the KCBS Radio morning crew Thursday, John Madden recalled when the match-up was the most important game of the year, at least for Raiders fans.

“There was a time when the 49er pre-season game (against the Raiders) was bigger than any regular season game in the AFL,” Madden said. “Of course, that’s kind of got lost in translation, but at one time that was true.”

Madden said Ed McGah, then a Raiders partner, spoke to John shortly after he was hired as the Raiders head coach in 1969. “I hadn’t coached a down yet, and he said, ‘To keep your job, the only thing you have to do, the only game you have to win is the 49er game. You beat the 49ers and you’ll always have a job here.'”

In other NFL pre-season play, Detroit second-year defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was fined for the third time in less than a year for roughing up a quarterback.

“He just has to watch those things, because I guarantee you they’re going to be watching him,” Madden said. “He’s a real good player, and he’s big and he’s strong and he’s fast, and he raises heck in there.

“It’s not that he’s a bad player, a dirty player, or someone who you want to run out of the game,” said Madden. “I would say that in the next couple years, he’s probably going to be the top defensive lineman in football.” (8:15)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 a.m. on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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