You love bands when they’re playing hard / You want more and you want it fast – David Bowie, RIP
I believe I’m one who will take the good times with the bad times. One of those ride or die women. Then I attended a Raiders game.
They were playing the Jets. Of course I had to be there. I wore my Jets had proudly walking in. They were there to play. I was there to support. It was only proper. It’s a
semi-gangster moment to say I walked into the coli wearing my Jets hat with no shame.
Okay you caught me… my hat is black… and I was in black / gray attire, so you can tell I know how to handle myself when presented with a situation like this. My friends, who are fans and non-fans, counseled me to dress like them. Blend in. Don’t let them see who you’re really cheering for.
After placing my head in my hands many times, and viewing the game through my fingers, at the disaster that played out before me (which is the usual for us fans of Gang Green), I decided to change my POV.
I’m a my-whiskey-glass-is-half-full kind of woman.
First, the view from my seat felt like the field was right below me. Not 100 yards away like at MetLife. I was enjoying the club level, much like I also do back in NYC. I felt like I was actually watching the game at the stadium, not on my TV.
Second, after a few teasing words from the gents around me, they realized I could speak the ball of foot language, had massive respect for the great Bo Jackson (my all-time fave player), Howie Long, Coach Madden and one amazing woman, Amy Trask, they offered to buy me a few drinks. We sat back to watch their enjoyment, and my sadness.
I began to really like Raider Nation. Raider Nation embraced me. By the end of the game I was infatuated.
I decided to ask those around me how much their seats are. When they told me I first had to erase my look of shock and instant response, ‘pro season tickets less than USC football?!’ then I said, ‘okay and for your PSL?’ They looked at me like I was saying a naughty word, or hinting at a new STD.
‘PSL? We don’t have PSLs here.’ I was loving this place and team even more.
The next day I called their ticket office. I wanted a piece of the Coliseum. Unfortunately they didn’t have a place for me in 213… but months later they did in 214.
This is how the Raiders became the object of my affection last season dear hearts.
Raiders love is some love. As I took it all in, which felt more like a college game vs pro, and the community around me, add that view I had from section 213 I thought ‘THIS is one of the best NFL stadiums I have ever sat in.’
I’ve visited eight others. The femme football tour will continue this season. It’s not stopping until I’m six feet under.
I love the stories of grandmothers sitting in the stands next to the Black Panthers and Hells Angels. It demonstrates how deep the support of this team runs, how badass the team, the people and fan base are. I’ve not even touched on NWA and the way they made the Black & Silver get noticed and part of their brand.
Being a Raider means you’re a rebel. You’re not like the rest. You standup for injustice. You stand for what you believe in. You found those who get you, and you’re family. Once a Raider, always a Raider.
This is the same team with a former owner who was a raider in his own right, robbing two cities with relocation, who hired minorities, including a Hispanic Head Coach, and a woman to run his front office. He may have grown a little senile as his age increased. I won’t gloss over that detail, he was a pioneer, and a rebel.
The list of well-known players from the 70’s and 80’s and how impressive Derek Carr played this season could take up another post, so I’ll stop here.
Thank you Oakland. Hopefully you will stay.