For the past 15+ years, the Oakland Raiders and their fans have experienced a myriad of ups and precarious downs. Through it all, Raider Nation continues to flourish and grow while wearing the shield proudly. Therefore, if you were not born into the nation, were not already seduced by the image and reputation, maybe this team isn’t for you.
Born and molded in the vision of one of professional sports greatest mavericks, the Silver and Black continue to carry the swagger and cool envisioned by the late Al Davis. A man who was both beloved and revered by his colleagues, employees, rivals, and fans.
In the spirit of brevity, I will not detail the history of Al Davis nor will I timeline the story of how the Raiders and their image came to be. A few clicks through the Google machine will reveal a plethora of books, articles, art, and video that can do a much better job of painting that mosaic than I can in this short write-up. However, if you are at all intrigued by becoming a member of Raider Nation, I encourage you to do that on your own.
For one, it is a prerequisite for any member of this relentless fan base. Secondly, it would behoove you to do so regardless of your impending allegiance to whatever flag you choose to salute. Any fan of the NFL should at the very least understand the outline of this team’s history as it is a key thread woven throughout the fabric of the NFL’s storyline. As you will discover, without Al Davis, the NFL as we know it today, would not exist.
To be a member of the Raider Nation means belonging to one of, if not, the largest sports families in the world. Raider fans hold their heads high and fly their colors with pride and always give a head nod when they see one of their brethren in public. Raider fans are never strangers, they are always family.
While pegged with the reputation of being rowdy and raucous, they are also the some of the most accommodating and down to earth folks you will meet (provided you’re wearing the right colors). I’ve met fellow fans for the first time and sparked conversations that lasted an entire afternoon. Exchanges that span the history of how we became members of The Nation to the standard criticisms and analysis that accompany any sports related discussion.
Raider fan will host you at their house, tailgate, or their favorite watering hole. Raider fan will share food, drink, smoke, and laughs if you have none. Countless times I’ve strolled into the parking lot of the Oakland Coliseum, solo. I had no plan, no comrades, and no cooler. Each and every time I’ve been welcomed into a charcoal scented shelter where I quickly made new friends and have enjoyed a bevy of home-cooked foods, stout cocktails, and icy brews. When accompanied by my crew of boisterous pillagers, I’ve returned the favor many times over.
Being a member of the Raider Nation is like having 600,000+ aunts, uncles, and cousins you’ve never met, yet feel right at home while in their presence. It’s an understanding and familiarity that is unmatched by any other fan base. We’re a loyal and generous crowd that rallies around one another.
For us it’s not a fanship, it’s a religion. It’s a way of life that infects you and never leaves. We bleed chrome and spit daggers at our rivals. On game day we shout with reckless abandon. Wins carry us on a high that lasts until the next kickoff. After losses we grieve, debate, and eventually rally.
The Raider Nation is a family tied together by bonds that cannot be broken. We are a band of misfits connected by our undying loyalty to an idea, an image, and a colorful history unmatched by any other team in the sporting world.
And now, with the return of one of the most charismatic figures to ever grace the gridiron, this is a team poised to return to greatness. With the Autumn Wind at their back, the Silver and Black have reloaded and have their sights set on earning another championship.
In true Raider fashion, they are doing so with a chip on their shoulder pads. With a “Us vs. Them” mindset, the Boys in Black are hell-bent on overcoming whatever zebra-striped adversity stands in their way of hoisting the sterling silver clad Lombardi trophy for the 4th time in team history.
Should you choose to join us, you must consider that there is no turning back. This is a blood oath. A pact that cannot be undone.
Avast ye! The choice is yours…
(if this doesn’t convince you, try listening to The Pillaging Podcast)