For the last time ever, the Raiders will invade the Oakland Coliseum as the home team, and it is going to be a very emotional Sunday.
As we prepare to take the final trip inside the Oakland Coliseum this Sunday to witness the Oakland Raiders play in front of a sold out crowd, a plethora of emotions fill my soul. I've watched my team win, lose, break my heart, fill me with joy and excite me.
I have been truly blessed to have had the opportunity to have grown up in such close proximity to the team that I have loved since birth, and while I am excited about the new beginnings in Las Vegas, and the state of the art stadium with the first class amenities, this last game in Oakland is certainly bittersweet.
The fact that this is it, that this is the final Raiders home game ever in Oakland didn't truly hit me until I was recording my podcast, and started discussing the game the Raiders are playing in this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That this is truly it, not like last season a faux final game manipulated by the coliseum authority and city of Oakland but a true end of an era.
Thinking back and reflecting on my time at games in the Coliseum I realized all the great moments like bringing my kids to their first games, going to games with my mom, being on the field with my dad on multiple occasions, but most importantly the relationships that were built. When you are in Raiders country and are supporting the Silver and Black, you are all family, it truly is One Nation.
Through my reflection, I decided to reach out to my good friend, Zhaldee "The Chef" Sadie, who is one of the Gameday DJ's for the Raiders and had the opportunity to gain his perspective on what the Raiders mean to him. Zhaldee, who became a Raiders fan in 1995 when the Raiders returned to Oakland with Jeff Hostetler under center, became a season ticket holder and quickly immersed himself in the religion that is Raider Nation.
As an up and coming DJ during that time, Sadie was a huge fan of Hip Hop, and related to the Rap groups from the West Coast all the way to the East who were draped from head to toe in Silver and Black. Back in the 2013 season, Zhaldee was approached by fellow DJ, David Carvalho who offered him a job as the Raiders DJ and he has been in the Stella Artois terrace ever since.
As a fan, it doesn't get much better than working for the team that you have grown to love, being able to take family and friends to games and becoming a member of the team. When I asked Zhaldee what else he would like to add, he said, and I quote "The Raiders are my favorite team in all sports combined. I’ll miss them on Oakland and the way the fans tailgate and support this team. I have no control of them leaving but I will always support my team!!! RN4L!!! "
While we cannot control the move, believe me, many have tried, we can control how we react to the move. I expect this Sunday to be loud, rowdy and emotional and I wouldn't have it any other way. For those of you who will be at the game, look for me as I would love to meet as many of you as possible to soak in this moment.