The Education of a Brand New Raiders Fan

Raiders Fans
Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece (45) leaps into the black hole of fans after scoring a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

One of the best things about being a fan of the Raiders is the fanbase itself. Almost as soon as I started writing for Cover32, I was welcomed by people who were as passionate about the team as I am beginning to be. A fanbase that large and passionate has its share of traditions, and I thought I couldn’t be the only new fan who wanted to learn more.


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The fanbase nickname is “Raider Nation.” I learned this my first week on the job, so to speak, when a comment on my first article welcomed me to “the one and only nation.” I love this nickname. It isn’t at all obnoxious, and it’s very evocative of something that I’ve found to be true about the Raiders fanbase: we really are all over the country.

As well as being nationwide, the Nation also encompasses a lot of different people. We’re known for being made up primarily of people of color and blue collar workers, and I love that. This diversity is major strength, and is part of the reason why the fan experience is so vibrant. It’s also one of the reasons I feel so comfortable.

It’s common to go to a football game and see people wearing face paint. Maybe you’ll even see a wig or two. Raiders’ fans take dressing for games to a whole new level. For example, dressing in involved black-and-silver costumes that often represent an alter-ego. Some of the most dedicated, vocal fans sit in an area at the southern end of the stadium. The Black Hole, which has become an official fan group, with a presence on both Facebook and Reddit.

Another characteristic that the Raiders fanbase shares—and that unites us, no matter how scattered we are—is fierce loyalty and devotion. It doesn’t matter how badly the team is playing; the fans still show up in their black and silver armor and face paint, carrying their signs. They may vocally disagree with the coaching. Yet, they still show up, game after game, and never lose their passion.

Our fanbase earned the reputation for being incredibly loud and energetic. During my research, the word “rowdy” showed up often, as did “terrifying” and “party-like atmosphere.” The latter two sounds completely contradictory, but personally, they made me want to book a trip to a game as soon as possible. The songs and chants sound like they’re an integral part of the experience.

Researching all of these traditions and learning all these facts excited me for the start of the season. Fall begins the pursuit of another Raiders Super Bowl.

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  • Ken Webb