ESPN Labels Raiders as ‘America’s Team’

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was talking about the new found love affair the national sports media has with the Oakland Raiders. Today, ESPN officially announced as much to the world. Mark Kreidler authored a piece for that proclaimed the Raiders to be America’s Team in wake of the debacle in Dallas.

For the record, only bandwagon fans outside of Texas and the national media still proclaim the Cowboys as America’s team. Most places I go, the sentiments towards the Cowgirls are anything but kind. Secondly, this wasn’t a glowing review of why the Raiders are beloved by America. Instead, the article is more of the same Raider hatred we’ve come to expect from Disney just done in a pseudo-complimentary manner.

For example, Kreidler likens the Raiders to the current state of the country by drawing some less than flattering comparisons.

But in almost every way, the Raiders are a living snapshot of America right now. They’re a big, sloppy mess. They don’t always know what they’re doing. They make some lousy choices and some inspired ones, and they often spend futilely. You can question their leadership almost any day you feel like it.

And yet, they’re forging ahead, reaching for better days. They can even see some of those days within their grasp right now. What could possibly be more emblematic of the country that that?

Thanks for that. Just because you tell someone they’re not as fat and ugly as they used to be doesn’t exactly qualify as a compliment.

But hey, who really cares?

For Al Davis it has never been about public perception. Only one thing matters in the court of Raider opinion – winning. Call us whatever you like. Hate in any way you can. Just know that come Sunday you’re in for a world of pain filled with embarrassment and heartache. Don’t take my word for it, though. Just ask the fans in KC and Denver how that goes.

No matter how things go from here on out this season, a few things are certain: Raider hatred will always exist even in the face of success and there are no bandwagons allowed in Raider Nation. Being a Raider fan is not like riding a bus. There are no stops along the way for people to get on and off. This is more like being on the Space Shuttle with a one-way ticket.

So, if you’re among the groupies on Earth waiting for the next shuttle to the Black Hole then I’m afraid you’re just going to be stuck waiting.

ESPN, thanks but no thanks for all the praise. In honor of all this newly discovered Raider love please allow me to give you the one-finger salute on behalf of my Silver and Black brethren (here’s a clue – this finger isn’t proclaiming you as number one either). When things were bad it was fashionable to crack jokes non-stop and a mere three game win streak has all you Mickey Mouse journalists on the jock like a stripper during a slow song.

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Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Oakland Raiders

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  • Lobo Joe

    Those of us who are lifelong Raider fans understand that lesser folks will always see the Silver and Black as football’s answer to the Anti Christ. But the real fans know it’s a moniker to wear with pride.

    Guys, the true fans luv ya- keep it up- America’s team!

  • joe

    That was the best article I’ve read in 8 years.

  • Jeff P.

    Good article in which could only find one mistake. In the last sentence you refer to the talking heads at espn as ‘jounalists.” They are not journalists, they are entertainers (poor ones, but alas, entertainers). Real journalists have integrity and care if their sources are factual. Nuff said :)

  • joe

    Wow. A backhanded compliment from ESPN. Let me jump for proverbial joy! Chris, I join your 1 finger salute. Do not berate us for years, and then jump on the wagon because we are becoming what The Nation always knew we would. The only 1 I even remotely respect is Berman, cuz he ALMOST let’s it show that he likes The Raiders.

  • Chris Shellcroft

    So true, Jeff.

    Just like how MTV doesn’t show music any more ESPN is not about sports either. All entertainment.

    Great point!

  • JoeBlack1904

    That was one of the most inspirational writing I’ve ever read. I became a Raider fan when I was a little boy in the 02 season and everybody knows that it hasn’t been a smooth ride since then. But I stuck by them and now there are a bunch of newly converted Raider fans. What happened when they were 4-12 for the last 8 years. I’m a Raider for life and all real fans know that you need some agony for the ecstasy like Smokey said.

  • Chris Shellcroft


    Thanks for the comment! We Raider fans are a loyal as they come and it is hard for a lot of folks to understand that. I find it funny when someone asks me how I can root for them even when they’re losing. As if being a fan is only about being there for the good times. If you were married and your partner was only around for the good times it would be a crappy relationship, right? We’ll for better or for worse, I’m going to bleed Silver and Black no matter the score.


  • Badboy29

    I don’t bother even watching BSPN.

  • Tony

    NICE ARTICLE!!!! Love it!!! Somebody also needs to tell Warren Sapp to stop saying stuff like “Thats where players go to die”. If I understand correctly, it seems to me Seymour plays the same position as Sapp did. Do we see Seymour on a carton of milk with “LOST” written on it?? Sapp just cant admit he wasnt the player he was in Tampa, or it was just in the system he thrived in. And that is why my friends, Sapp is NOT on the TOP 100 Greatest players list!!!

  • Reg

    Well said… I agree whole heartedly, and when I hear any media giving props, I can’t help but ask myself…”really, where have you been since the post gruden/1 season callahan era…. shove it”

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  • jimmy

    Warren Sapp is terrible. I’m ashamed he ever put on a Raider’s jersey. Worst D-Lineman i ever saw in the Silver-and-Black. Just sayin’