Guest Post from Raider Nation: Loyalty Does Not Make Us Blind


October 4, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raider fans celebrate after the Raiders scored a touchdown in the second quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The following is a guest post from Shane Schilperoort, a longtime Oakland Raiders fan. Shane reached out to me following an article I published criticizing the Raiders fanbase (which I have since apologized for writing).

Shane graciously agreed to write an article for our site, telling us why Raiders fans are not blind, just fiercely loyal. 

So Shane, take it away:

Lately there have been a lot of articles stating whether the Oakland Raiders fans’ loyalty was more like blindness. Comments have been written by the media saying that Raiders fans are gullible or ignorant, and statements made about Raider Nation being a “promotional ploy” put on by the Raiders Front Office.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to the Raider Nation, and let me introduce you to what being a true and loyal fan of a football team is like.

The Raider Nation is a true fan base that — come hell or high water — will love their team with a passion that is unwavering.  We will stick by our team and support the changes that are taking place.  We will defend our team, its ownership, the players, coaches, etc., against any negativity and all the naysayers.

We believe our team will return to its championship form of the past. The Raider Nation remembers the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders teams of the past.  We celebrate our heroes who fought for the Raiders in the trenches and on the sidelines by cheering them every chance we get.  We welcome home those who have donned the storied Silver and Black with a greeting like no other (i.e., Charles Woodson).

On game day, the Raider Nation believes we can will our team to victory through our cheers.  We fly the Silver and Black colors with honor and pride. “Win Lose or Tie, Raiders Till I Die,” will forever be our motto.  The Raider Nation stretches worldwide.  There are always Raiders fans at every away game, and in some cases, there are more Raiders fans than the home team’s fans.

Articles written about the Raiders currently only reflect upon the past decade.  We the fans know our team’s history.

The Raiders have been around since 1960, when they joined the American Football League (AFL).  Before the AFL/NFL merger, the Oakland Raiders won the 1967 AFL Championship game, and the win earned them a trip to Super Bowl II, where they played the Vince Lombardi-led Green Bay Packers.

With Coach John Madden at the helm, the Oakland Raiders won the 1976 Super Bowl. Enter in Head Coach Tom Flores and two more Super Bowl wins in 1980 and 1983.

A lot of people don’t remember the championship Raiders teams of the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, and early 2000’s, but the fans do.  The fans recall the many controversial games and calls that involved the Raiders (i.e., Holy Roller, Immaculate Reception, The Tuck Rule, etc.).  We recall the memorable last second short passes or long bombs that were thrown in desperation that became historic moments in NFL history (i.e., Ghost to the Post and Sea of Hands). These are the everlasting memories that true Raiders fans hold onto to carry them through the tough times.  This is how we continue to follow and support our storied franchise.

In many ways, a true fan of a football team has faith.  Faith that our team will once again rise up and become the champions we remember them to be.  A true fan does not jump ship at the first sign of adversity or loss.  We did not abandon our team when it moved from Oakland to Los Angeles and back to Oakland.  We do not cross the bridge into San Francisco just to join a team that is having current success.  We hold true to our team wearing the Silver and Black.

We, the Raider Nation, remain loyal to the team we have fought, bled, cried, and celebrated with.  Make no mistake, we are not blind.  We see just fine.  Faith and support for our team does not mean that we are ignorant.  It means we understand.  We understand that our team will rise up and be dominant again.

The Raiders will win more championships.  The “Autumn Winds” are stirring.  Once they begin to blow, the Raiders will bluster in from the sea of despair and surprise their critics.  We, “The Raider Nation,”  know this, and we will be there in full force to witness the glory that is the Oakland Raiders.

Shane Schilperoort is a 17 year veteran of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and he has worked in Los Angeles, the Central Valley, the Bay Area, and Northern California.  Prior to the Highway Patrol, Shane served his country in the United States Navy (USN) during Desert Storm and Desert Shield.  Shane decided it was time for a change and is currently retiring from police service.  Shane currently resides in the foothills of Marysville, CA, where he tends to his five-acre ranch with his wife and four children.  Shane has been an Oakland Raiders fan since his birth in 1972, or at least as far back as he can remember.  He is passionate about the Silver and Black, and he is a proud member of Raider Nation.  He can be contacted at