SO IT'S ALL agreed now. Al Davis isn't selling the Raiders, Eddie DeBartolo and Carmen Policy aren't buying the Raiders, and Peyton Manning won't be playing quarterback for the Raiders.

Might as well toss in that last improbability while we're at it.

An interesting piece there in Sports Illustrated, if not entirely believable, that Al would put the team on the market — sure, and gas is coming down to $1.50 a gallon — and Eddie and Carmen would buy it.

But wait, there's more. Then they move the Raiders to Los Angeles, from where the Raiders moved 11 years ago, after moving from Oakland to Los Angeles 24 years ago.

"Fiction," Amy Trask, the Raiders' chief executive, said of the Sports Illustrated story. So is "The Da Vinci Code," but that certainly has everyone talking.

Which is the idea. Sort of "Hey, look at me, Martha." And we looked at the SI piece. And blinked. And babbled.

And then wondered if the Raiders have a stadium and theNiners don't, why it wouldn't be the Niners who end up down there in So Cal.

Here are a few facts. The Raiders have a lease with the Coliseum (or McAfee Coliseum if you prefer the current incarnation) through 2010. Al Davis, for all his failings, never has broken a lease.

Eddie D., forced in 2000 to turn over the 49ers to his sister, Denise, and brother-in-law, John York, when convicted of extortion, is not prevented by the NFL from regaining an ownership position, although he would have to be approved by 24 of the 32 current owners.

DeBartolo, now residing in Tampa, has spoken of returning to the NFL, often of buying the Bucs, even though they haven't been for sale.

Maybe then, over a glass of cabernet, someone, acknowledging Mr. D's former tie to the Bay Area, wondered if Eddie would go after the Raiders and then, to follow the yellow brick road, shift them to L.A.

"There's no chance of it happening, and we never really talked seriously about it," said Policy, who in those glorious Niners championship years was Eddie's consigliere.

Policy eventually became the first president of the expansion Cleveland Browns, getting a direct comparison between lifestyles in Ohio and California. From Cleveland he returned to San Francisco, is building a home in Napa where he also bought a vineyard and continues to muse about what could be. And what won't be.

"Maybe there was some conjecture, about what might happen (with the Raiders), but nothing serious," Policy explained. "Eddie would like to get back in the NFL, possibly as a minority owner in the right situation at the right price."

Meaning, if you want to connect some dots, and if Denise and John simply get weary of the criticism and trying to build that mythical stadium, they sell the Niners back to Eddie?

It's fanciful, but we are dealing in the imaginary here, so what's another wild-hare idea?

Sometime Los Angeles is going to get another NFL team. The league owners on Tuesday even bestowed $5 million apiece for design and engineering studies at both the L.A. Coliseum and land in Anaheim to determine where that team should play.

However, that team will not be of the expansion persuasion but one of the current 32. This gives opportunists a chance to toss out the usual suspects, mainly Minnesota and New Orleans, and some unusual ones, the Raiders and 49ers.

The contention is the Raiders rarely have sellouts (true) and rarely are on local television (also true), so logically why wouldn't they sell to a new owner and then relocate? The quick answer is Al Davis doesn't do things logically, at least by our definition.

Yes, he'll be 77 on the Fourth of July. Yes, he requires a walker to get around. Those are hardly indictable offenses. Parenthetically, what was indictable was the Raiders offense, but that's not germane here.

Davis, said Trask, is "vital and vibrant," countering the hints he is in poor health.

Al isn't giving up the Raiders, and he damn well isn't giving them to Eddie D. "There's nothing there," Trask insisted. Policy said the same.

"I don't know where all this starts," Policy sighed.

The Raiders, indeed, have begun selling their own game tickets. What they're not selling is the franchise.

Art Spander has earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He can be reached at typoes@aol.com.