It’s early in the morning when the wind begins to stir. The sounds of snapping and cracking break the Sunday morning air. Teams of vehicles are moving toward a central point in the East Bay with their silver and black flags whipping in the wind. The shield of honor proudly displays a helmeted man with a patch over one eye and two swords sticking into his head. One word upon the shield that means the most to their fans, Raiders!
A steady flow of Silver and Black clad soldiers move briskly across the 66th Avenue and Hegenberger Road overpasses as they pour into the north and south lots of the Coliseum. War is coming. A battle between two titans, and we are there to witness it. We are Raider Nation.
Fires are lit and charcoal smoke begins to billow as it drifts across the parking lots. Easy-ups are raised, chairs and tables strategically placed, as the chosen ones begin to cook and pass out the brew. We linger as morning turns to afternoon. We shuffle in and out and around the hoards of people brought there for one common purpose, to cheer our team to victory.
We are a banded brotherhood and sisterhood of soldiers fighting for one common goal. No matter where we hail from, no matter how rich or poor, we stand together. Should the enemy be bold enough to fly their colors amongst our troops, our battle cry can be heard from miles around. A sound like no other that reverberates throughout the crowd, RAI–DERS!!!
Then, the mass of soldiers make their way from the parking lots into the Coliseum. As we cross that threshold and enter into the breezeway, our eyes get their first glance at the field. The goose bumps begin to rise upon our skin. A chill travels up and down our spines. An intense and stoic look about the faces of the soldiers can be seen. It’s nearly game time and we must prepare ourselves to root for our team.
The army has assembled and taken their seats. The energy is building and the fuse is lit. A hush falls over the crowd as the tension begins to mount, but this is merely the calm before the storm. For, the gods of the coliseum play one tune that catapults the army into a channeled frenzy. Hells Bells begin to ring and AC/DC starts to sing.
The chaos strikes fear into the hearts of the opposing side, and it fuels the desire of our team to win. This is Sunday at Oakland Coliseum. This is our day of reckoning, for This Is Raider Nation!