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Raiders’ infamous ‘Black Hole’ co-founder passes, Jon Gruden reacts

Raiders, Jon Gruden, Rob Rivera, Black Hole

Even with the Oakland Raiders becoming the Las Vegas Raiders, there has been one constant over the course of the last several seasons—the team’s infamous “Black Hole.” One of the more well-known and recognizable fan sections in all of professional sports, the “Black Hole” unfortunately lost one of its pioneers as Rob Rivera, a co-founder of the Raiders crazed group, passed away this week from complications stemming from COVID-19.

An Oakland native, Rivera was in his 50s at the time of his passing. Raiders coach Jon Gruden was saddened by the news and expressed his thoughts to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.

“Sad day for Raider Nation. He was The Original. Most importantly, a great man who loved life.”

Rivera was inspired to help create what ultimately became known as the “Black Hole” after seeing the Cleveland Browns’ “Dawg Pound” while watching television in 1994. The “Black Hole” was previously located at the south end zone of the Oakland Coliseum before making the transition to the south end zone of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Even with the Raiders moving from California to Nevada with the 2021-22 NFL season serving as the first time that the team’s fans can truly experience Allegiant Stadium, the presence of the “Black Hole” remains unchanged.

The Raiders are off to a 2-0 start, already defeating a pair of always-dangerous AFC North franchises in the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. With Gruden’s wards riding on the momentum, the Raiders will now begin gearing up to take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 3.