Oakland Raiders and Raider Nation a Eternal Bond


The Oakland Raiders and Raider Nation are synonymous with each other worldwide. You can’t mention one, without thinking about the other. The Raiders’ late great owner Al Davis stated in an interview on Sirius Radio in 2010, “We’ve always wanted to be global, and we are global. You take that silver and black, that uniform, and you can go anywhere in the world and they know what you’re talking about.

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The fans of the Raiders have been a vital part of their history from its birth in 1961. It is a little known fact that Raiders was not the franchise’s original moniker.

The Oakland Tribune held a contest open to the public to vote on the team’s very first name. The Raiders’ moniker came in third behind the winner “The Oakland Señors, primarily because of the large Hispanic community that existed in Oakland.

Many people in the community felt the contest was fixed, because one of the original members of ownership Chet Soda was renowned for calling his acquaintances Señor. So the name was changed nine days later to the third place-name in the contest, the Oakland Raiders, and Raider Nation was born.

The bond between the team on the field and the fans in the stands is well-known throughout the NFL.The Raiders fan base has been described using various definitions, and labels throughout the years.

“He leaves an indelible legacy and a legion of loyal players, coaches and fans”, said ESPN President George Bodenheimer, after the passing of Al Davis

The range of definitions for Raider fans are legendary. Their critics (or haters, as they’re better known in some circles) have described them as malcontents and delinquents, while the proud members of Raider Nation would prefer to be identified as being passionate, intense and knowledgeable fans, who would dare you to knock the chip off their shoulder.

The one consensus sentiment regarding Raider fans that is rarely contested, is their long-standing loyalty towards their beloved silver and black.

The sports world is filled with animated fan bases, who appear rabid when their teams string together a few winning seasons in a row. However, the evaluation of a fan base loyalty is truly tested during tough and trying times.

The down cycles that every franchise goes through during their existence is the time period during in which loyalty is tested. This is the time where legitimate, genuine fans separate themselves from the so-called front-runners. Members of Raider Nation have had their loyalties tested numerous times over the last decade.

They have seen more than their share of high draft picks not live up to lofty expectations, followed by countless head coaching changes over the years. A lesser fan base would have censored their passion for their team during such strenuous times, but that is what separates Raider Nation from most.

Instead of being closed mouth or muted during these rough times, fans of the Raiders tend to become more fiery and appreciative of the great accomplishments that the franchise has achieved over the years.

Raider fans are known for their bravado, but in many circles are applauded for their knowledge of the game as well. Most Raider fans were born into Raider Nation, so their loyalty and historical knowledge of the franchise has been augmenting over decades, past down from one generation to the next.

Being part of Raider Nation means more than just dressing in a wild pirate costume (although it’s a great part of Raider tradition), or giving a menacing look to the game day television cameras. It’s about being passionate, knowledgeable and on top of everything else, showing loyalty through the good times, and especially during the bad ones.

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