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Raiders LB McClain imposes media blackout until sellout

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain briefly broke his long silence to the media to make a plea to Raiders fans to come out to this week's game.

McClain has not done an interview with the local media since the season opener against Tennessee on Sept. 12. He has declined numerous requests since then. When asked Monday if he had time to talk, McClain said he wouldn't give an interview until the Raiders sold out a game.

"If the fans come out and we can sell out a damn game, I'll talk to the media," McClain said. "Until then ... I need full fan support."

The Raiders play AFC West rival Kansas City on Sunday in a matchup of the top two teams in the division.

Oakland has gone 11 straight games without a sellout. Coach Tom Cable made a plea to the fans immediately following a 59-14 win at Denver on Oct. 24, saying the team needs them to fill the Oakland Coliseum.

Instead, the Raiders drew just 35,721 for their 33-3 win over Seattle on Sunday, the fifth time in the last nine home games Oakland has failed to reach 40,000 in attendance.

The Raiders have struggled to draw fans in recent years as their struggles on the field and the economy have led to empty seats at the Coliseum, which has a capacity of 63,132.

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The Raiders drew just 32,218 for their game in September against Houston -- the franchise's lowest attendance since 1967, not counting games played by replacement players. It was also the smallest crowd in the NFL since Arizona drew 31,650 on Jan. 2, 2005, against Tampa Bay, according to STATS LLC.

Oakland is averaging 41,153 fans per home game this season, with a high of 48,396 for the home opener against St. Louis. The Raiders have had 80 of 124 regular-season home games blacked out since moving back from Los Angeles for the 1995 season. Games need to be sold out 72 hours before kickoff to avoid a blackout in a 75-mile radius.

Oakland has lost at least 11 games for seven straight seasons, the longest such streak of futility in NFL history.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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