“Beyond doubt, the sleaziest and rudest and most sinister mob of thugs and wackos ever assembled in such numbers under a single ‘roof,’ so to speak, anywhere in the English-speaking world.” This was a comment made by Hunter S. Thompson (American Journalist and Author in the 1960’s) when he was asked about Raiders Fans.
Many would take this as an insult. I, however, see it as a compliment, a compliment to the best nation in the world, the Raider Nation. There is no better crowd in the world. So what if we have a mythical reputation for cursing, drinking, brawling, and generally wreaking mayhem. Oakland Raiders fans are a multiracial, largely blue-collar group, but this mixture creates a profound sense of community. What is a community, but a group of people who band together to achieve a certain goal. Our goal, Raider Nations goal, is to cheer our team to victory, and we let nothing stand in the way of our goal.
In a book written by Jim Miller and published by Kelly Mayhew (Better to Reign in Hell: Inside the Raiders Fan Empire), is a quote that stands out to me. As stated, “The silver-and-black-clad Oakland Raiders fans are the most notorious in American professional sports. The self-described Raider Nation, smitten with its outlaw mystique, provides a gritty alternative to California’s sunshine-and-granola image.”
How many other sports team fans can say that they had a book written about them? Not many, if any at all. Raider Nation is notorious and gritty. We work our butt’s off during the week. We deserve to get rowdy and uncouth every now and again. It’s all for fun and nobody is there to get hurt. We are there for our team.
Opposing teams fans are treated with the utmost respect at our home games. It’s only the ones that get out of line that tend to be mistreated, but usually they are the ones who become the problem. Look, if you show up to a Raiders game with the opposing teams colors on, expect to get heckled. You’ll be yelled at and booed, but it’s all a part of the fan experience. If I showed up to an away game with my Raiders colors on, I would expect no less, but I would show respect to those fans.
There is no other experience on earth quite like the time you will have at a Raiders game. It is even better when the team is winning. We are loud and proud. The Raider Nation is the best. Hands down, there are no others like us. Therefore, we are the best fans in all of American professional sports. Ask any player who the best fans in all of football are, and I almost guarantee the Raider Nation will rank among the top. We are number one. In our hearts, souls, and minds, Raider Nation is the best!