Living in the Bay Area, it is hard not to be a sports fan. In a culture, where sports matter, the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders have arguably the most passionate fans around.
According to an article on Bleacher Report, published on October 24, 2012, they gave 10 reasons why 49ers have the best fans in the NFL. (If you are wondering if that is me on the far right in the featured picture, the answer is yes). However, despite the high praise, I believe it is the Raider Nation that should be receiving the headlines.
I wrote an article titled, “The Passion of Raider Nation,” back on December 19, 2012 that clearly emphasized why the Raider Nation gets my vote as the most die-hard. For one, they take pride in their team.
No matter how horrible their team is playing, the Raider Nation will continue to sport their team’s colors and cheer them on. The same can not be said of the 49ers. I hate to admit it, but many of the 49ers fans are riding the bandwagon. They will continually post Facebook updates and statuses without hesitation, but make no mistake, when they lose, they are nowhere to be found.
The so called “Forever Faithful” quickly turn into the “Forever Faithless.” Now, I am not saying all 49ers fans are this way, because many of the 49ers fans are die-hard. All I am trying to emphasize is the majority of the new ones are bandwagon and that is directly correlated to the team’s winning ways.
Fortunately for the Raiders, they do not enounter this problem, as they truly bleed Silver and Black. One great indication, is realizing the true fans. I
would make a bet that you can name every single friend who is a Raider fan. Now, I challenge you to name every friend who is a 49er fan. Can you do it? Most likely not. You see if you were a true fan of any team, your friends would be able to identify which team you root for without hesitation. And more often than not, it is the Raiders fan that truly stand out.
Another reason why the Raider Nation gets my nod as the most passionate is due to their elaborate costumes. If you ever walk around Oakland Coliseum you will quickly notice the hellish costumes amongst the many fans. You have fans dressed like Darth Vader, Orcs, or some form of a grim reaper just to name a few. Whether you are a Raider fan or not you can’t help but love their passion for their team. It truly provides the Raiders with a home-field advantage, and while the NFL frowns upon such acts, I aggressively encourage it! Keep it up Raider Nation, because in the end, that is what home-field is all about.
Furthermore, the Raider Nation’s notorious reputation of intimidating opposing fans is indeed true. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not! Before I continue, I must say that I do not condone violence in any way, and such acts are truly against my beliefs and values. With that said, would I personally ever enter the Black Hole wearing a 49ers jersey without getting some serious backlash? Not this guy! I know all too well what happens when you enter the Black Hole wearing another team’s colors. You enter the Black Hole and you come out with a “Black Eye.” That is just the culture of the team.
Now, there is a certain level of class involved when opposing fans enter the stadium, and Raiders fans do in fact cross the line, more often than not. However, the Raiders fans take home-field very seriously, and when another team’s fan flags their colors, you can bet your money they will be dealt with. Whether right or wrong, that is the culture of the Raider Nation, and people need to realize this. “If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
When it comes to bragging rights on which Bay Area’s football team is more passionate, faithful, and committed, my vote clearly favors the Raider Nation. Whether they win or lose, the Raider Nation will forever bleed silver and black.