September 23, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fans celebrate after a fumble recovery against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Steelers 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

I’m a Raider for Life


Sep 23, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fans in the Black Hole react during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Steelers 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, I went into a video game store to get the kids some new distractions and the clerk said to me, “It must be hard being a Raider Fan.”  I looked at her and just laughed.  I asked her which team she rooted for and she said, “I’ve liked the Baltimore Ravens since I was a kid, because they have purple in their uniforms and I really like the color purple.”  I didn’t have to say another word Raider Nation.  Although, the thought running through my mind was, “The Minnesota Vikings have purple in their uniform too.”

On the drive home, my mind started thinking back to a time when the Oakland Raiders were considered great.  They were a team to be reckoned with.  During the 70’s and 80’s, teams were afraid to play against the Raiders.  John Madden said it best, “They want to say the Raiders are dirty.  Yeah, we’re dirty, but what are you going to do about it.”  That personified the Raiders mystique and made them very exciting to watch.  I can remember sitting on the living room floor watching the games on a small, color Sony television set (Yes, with the dials).  I couldn’t wait to see Doctor Death clobber some receiver going across the middle, or Ted Hendricks lighting up some quarterback.

Along came Lester Hayes and Mike Haynes who shut down receivers.  Howie Long and Greg Townsend controlled the game at the line of scrimmage.  Marcus Allen ran all over teams.  It didn’t matter who the quarterback was, because we had a running back and receivers that were dynamic.  The offensive line was powerful and mean and the defense, just as mean or meaner, controlled the flow of every game.

I turned on my IPOD and heard the song by Ice Cube, “Come and get it.”  If you haven’t heard it yet, this song will fire you up.  I looked around my town and saw a plethora of Oakland Raiders shield stickers on people’s cars.  Raider Nation definitely has a way of getting me fired up for the next season.  I looked down at the Raider Nation “Grim Reaper” tattoo on my right calf and thought, “I’m a Raider for life.”

It’s not hard being a Raider Fan.  I love this team, its history, all the controversial games, and the stories I can share from my childhood that involve the Raiders.  I got to see all three Super Bowl wins.  Throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, the Oakland Raiders were always in contention to win the American Football Conference (AFC) West.

Not only are the games awesome to watch, but the tailgate parties before the game are something special.  I have met so many passionate Oakland Raiders Fans at tailgate parties.  Being among the many silver and black faithful is inspirational.  I can recall one game when my cooler handles broke, a Raider Fan who I did not know came running over and helped me carry it to my friend’s car.  I’ve heard people say they are scared to go to a Raiders game because of the fans.  I’ve never been scared or in fear of anything at Raiders games.  The only thing I have ever felt is the love, passion, and undying support that Raider Nation has for its team.  The Raider Nation’s motto is, “Win lose or tie, Raiders till I die.”

I wouldn’t give up being a fan of the Oakland Raiders for anything.  I am part of Raider Nation and this is my team.  I will sail across oceans with this team, or I will go down with the ship.  The worldwide support that the Raiders receive is from the Raider Nation faithful.  On Sunday’s you can feel the energy from the crowd.  We will give our team the will to win through our cheers and chants, or our sneers and rants.  We are the best sports fans in the world.  We are Raider Nation, and we all are Raiders for life!

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Tags: Greg Townsend Howie Long Ice Cube Lester Hayes Marcus Allen Mike Haynes Oakland Raiders Raider Nation Ted Hendricks

  • Luis Hernandez

    You said it. Win, lose or tie… Raiders till I die! Raiders baby!

  • mojosnake257

    RAIDER NATION !! I love running into other Raider fans , after “Raiders” the love explodes from our bones as we talk about players, playas,plays and the recent sufferings. The path is being laid for greatness Again!… Our passions are like no others ! ! WE ARE THE ONLY NATION Brothers………………………………until the day we Die!!!!!!! 1

  • gogil

    die hard season ticket holder member of all clubs raider. young, fan since I was born 83. but if they go to LA, ALL OF THE FANS I KNOW WOULD CONSIDER THE NFL DEAD! we would feel abandoned and spit on twice.

  • skip shoemaker

    lived in Philly all my life been a Raider fan all my life too Visited Oakland this year for the first time ever Hit the Raider Image store..thought Id died and gone to heaven…Raider Nation Win lose or tie Raiders till I die

  • phil s

    being a Raiders fan is easy. now watching the NFL Network or espn is another story. if only the media would stop being “band wagon” media members! there the worst fans of them all… Raider fans are true and loyal, i believe the media could learn something from the raiders organization and there fans. stay true stay strong. Win ,lose or tie… You know the rest Go Raiders

  • Gregg Brennan

    I remember as a kid getting a pack of Topps football cards, not really having a team to root for and finding a card of Otis Sistrunk in the pack. He looked like a total bad ass with the shaved head and I figured if I had to pick a team to root for it would be the team with Otis on it, so I started following the Raiders and exulted in their SB wins over the Eagles and Redskins. I thrilled to watching Marcus Allen run around people, and watching Bo Jackson run over them. I know the last decade has been pretty bad, but that’s what being a true fan is all about, sticking with your team no matter what and not jumping on and off a bunch of bandwagons. Raiders for life.

  • Raider Grant

    Why ask why, I’ll be a Raider until I die! From 1975 & counting…..