Raider Nation is the official name for Raiders fans originated in the early 1990s by Jim Hudson upon the Raiders return from Los Angeles to Oakland. Hudson had created a Raider Nation website as a rallying point for the return of the Raiders to Oakland in order to revive the memory of the original Raiders. From this site, sprang all sorts of original designs and logos that have now come to represent the Nation. Members of Raider Nation have come to be known as fanatical fans who are die hard and come up with unique costumes to wear to Raiders games.
The Oakland fan base has come to be known as a tough, boisterous group that, in the eyes of outsiders, tend to get into trouble. But is that really what the Raider Nation is about? Are those on the outside looking in right about their assumptions about this vocal fan base?
Raider Nation is a diverse mix of fans from all walks of life and from all over the world. Every fan brings his or her own story to the Black Hole. This week, the Raider Nation Spotlight falls on Stacy Pascarella, Raiders fan for 20 years, who is in Pennsylvania. Her most recent Raiders project was joining Worldwide Fans In Black, a forum working to unite fans from all over the world. She joined the forum in October 2013 and is now the goodwill ambassador, helping to up membership by recruiting diehard fans and she also works to help members with any problems they may have with accessing their accounts.
Stacy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2010 and has been participating in the Walk MS event ever since. This event works to connect those living with MS and those who care about them in order to raise funds used to support life changing programs and cutting edge research. Stacy’s funds raised have increased gradually every year, but this year, with her involvement on social media, she has been able to connect with Raiders Fam who have donated to her cause as well. She was particularly “blessed, thankful, and amazed” by one fan in particular who took it upon himself to tweet to individual Raiders players along with many of Raider Nation in order to spread awareness.
When I asked Mike if MS had touched his life in some way, he said that Stacy was really his only connection to it. I had thought that it had touched his life in some way and that was why he was so willing to help, but Mike, who has been a Raiders fan for 32 years, says it’s “just because she is nice with me any time we talk and I didn’t mind helping her at all. She is a part of Raider Nation, so to me, that’s family. And we do what we can to help each other out.” He went on to say that of what he’s read about the condition, it seems to be something that is really difficult to live with.
As Mike was working to tweet Raiders players individually, he came up really big with linebacker Sio Moore. In the past, Moore has talked about how Raider Nation is one of his favorite things about being an Oakland Raider. He speaks of Raider Nation saying, “Like they support everything. It doesn’t matter what it is. I can put a picture on Instagram – it could be of a cat – and they’ll just be like, ‘Raider Nation’. It’s really cool to see how passionate fans are because not all teams have this fan base.” Moore’s appreciation for Raider Nation really showed when he responded to Mike’s tweet about Stacy’s plight and immediately made a donation to her cause.
— Sio Moore (@MrOakTown55) April 18, 2014
Moore joins three other Raider nation members whom Stacy has met through Twitter in donating to her cause. Stacy speaks about the donations and says, “I am in total awe at how much love Raider Nation gives each other. I can never thank everyone enough for what they have done, not just for me, but the entire MS community.” This is the same fan base that makes other fans cringe, thinking that all Raider Nation does is fight or get violent when presented with any sort of opposing opinion. I’m glad to see Raider Nation proving this stereotype wrong and even more surprised that it is happening before our eyes between total strangers. As Moore says, not all teams have a fan base like the Raiders do!
If you want to show your love for another member of Raider Nation like Sio Moore did, here is where you can donate to Stacy’s MS Walk team. Every penny counts!
If you want to interact with Stacy on Twitter, her handle is: @raidersgirl1
If you want to interact with Mike, the man who took it on his own to help out Raider Nation, his Twitter handle is: @MrSilent42o