REBEL, REBEL

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.

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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.

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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.644815803

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.

Cheers,

x|o FFF

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A little topic is receiving a lot of fingering and tweet-service via Twitter today: young writers, unpaid internships and going after what you want. Let me share with you a little secret:

PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE DEAR HEARTS

I’m a believer in a little tough love. We know deep inside it’s the best kind.

football-closeupIwanted to work for my college’s football team. I wanted to be in charge of decisions and be respected. I didn’t know what role that would be in college. I knew the position I wanted to hold for pro team. Amy Trask, former Raiders CEO held a beacon of light, that if she could do it, I could do it too.

I began working as an intern for my mentor, Mr Hendrix and no is first name is not Jimi, in the athletics department. He was a former four-year starting point guard for our alma mater, leading our team to the Sweet 16 decades ago. At 5’10” he was not built to play in the NBA. He instead played six seasons as a corner in the NFL. He never played a down of football outside of high school. As he told me once, he didn’t like the feeling of being hit. One of those teams he played for, the Dallas Cowboys during their prime.

When I walked into his office I had no clue who he is. The accomplishments he displayed, his two degrees prominently  placed on top of a cabinet and several photos of his family surround his desk. Modesty is a virtue.

He gave me good advice, and the realities of playing in the NFL.

See, I was raised in a house where football wasn’t turned on every Saturday or Sunday. No my father wasn’t an armchair QB. I had to pull a QB sneak to peek at games.

Football is revered in my small-town community. A national football power at the time, was only 45 minutes away. Football brought people in my community together. The game fascinated me, and so my obsession began.

img_4295While interning unpaid for Mr Hendrix, I worked 1-2 additional jobs to pay my rent and expenses. I was a first generation college grad. A small-town girl who was feeling her away around a system that was savage. Read: it wasn’t easy.

Beverly Hillbilly’s exist. I’m living proof.

I was promoted to work for my college football team, as the Assistant Director of Football Operations for 4 seasons following my internship. I was paid, but if I told you what it was, you would think I was crazy to do what I did, for as long as I did. Most days I loved it, some days I didn’t. That’s life dear hearts.

I didn’t know it then, my last day working in football was NLI signing day February 3, 2010. I would work even harder to gain a similar position at USC. After years of making connections, and acceptance into the Marshall School of Business to pursue my MBA, I was told during my interview I was overqualified.

That’s what happens when you chase other dreams, like joining a tech startup that IPO’d. Another story for anther day… image

Realize all you have is yourself. Know your worth and be willing prove it. Go. Hard.

Cheers,

x|o FFF

Showdown

Baby stay calm we don’t need another episode

Future

Oh my… now! Right there! Yes, no. Yes! Yes! That’s it!

bed-sheetsThat was me on Sunday AM, realizing the PST alarm wasn’t set for noon EST.

It’s difficult to tap that app when you’re first waking up.

How was that WTF weekend? That’s what the football, of course.

Ever felt as though trying to keep up with all this exhausting? Me neither. Let’s keep the good times rolling dear hearts.

The Playoff Chamber has spoken. The selections have been made. Oh dear, your team wasn’t chosen? Neither was mine. It’s simple, get better at football, win and be willing to play a solid out of conference schedule. 

As for the playoff I like to think in terms of what I like, quality. I’m also guilty of enjoying a hot, fabulous mess. Who doesn’t? Realize, hot messes are reserved for the season. They’re fun and quickly forgotten. Remember Iowa last year? Their QB was Beathard (literally) You want that again?

Uh huh honey, sure you do…

When trophies are involved, keep it classy and save the best for last. eyes-cant-watch

Sunday, was not quite bloody but it sure was nice. A few scores (Bills/Raiders, Chiefs/Falcons) kept nice and tight, just like Thursday night, and exactly what I like.

One word sums up the Jets season, disaster.

A real nightmare before Christmas. I saw Andrew Luck pop up when I was asleep last night. I couldn’t defend him. I felt hopeless. I can’t take this anymore.

So dear Jet’s owner Woody Johnson, and that wasn’t a double entendre I was intending, you’re really living up to your name in more ways than one, and that’s not a compliment. 

Santa, all I want for Christmas is for a new Jets team. Yes, a whole new team. Pretty please?

Which reminds me, it’s the season of angels.  One tried to make one, while these were my favorite from last night.

Now on to Thursday. Show me a good time Chiefs and Raiders.

Cheers,

x|o FFF