The coliseum was packed with their loyal fans sporting their silver and black. Faces were painted black, die hard fans in costumes and every other person wearing their favorite player's name on their back. The three large parking lots were packed to capacity before 9:30 a.m. for tailgating and since the game didn't start till 1:30 p.m. that gave everyone time to enjoy themselves. Some people may have enjoyed themselves too much (like the guy who was sitting in front of us who proceeded to vomit on himself the first minute in the game and then sleep through the next three quarters).
The pre-season brought a lot of build up. New head coach, new defensive coach, new players and most importantly old players committing to bring greatness this season. In all three pre-season games, the team was showing promise. They were making plays and working together as a team. You could see they wanted it. They want to be a contender. The die hard fans and the old fans that have been around to see them win championships in the past had a good feeling going into the game. The game began and quickly those hopes were hosed.
Now one thing you have to understand about Oakland Raider fans is that they are die hard. They've been with this team for years. They've followed them from Oakland to Los Angeles and then back to Oakland. Thousands of them making the 5 hour drive to L.A. for the game and then driving it right back to northern California. During off season, the threat of the team relocating to Los Angeles loomed over their heads causing everyone to hold their breath. It was closest threat the Raiders have came to actually moving back to L.A. in years. When news of the team staying hit the airwaves the fans collectively took a deep breath. These fans are generations deep. They come to the games win or lose. So on Sunday, when the game started to take a turn for the worse, the fans let their team know that.
Oh, you think these die hard and loyal fans won't turn on their own? You got another thing coming! I heard loyal fans screaming Raiders you suck! Booing their own. That's the thing about Raider fans. They'll tell it like it is. They want their team to get better. It's the same principle behind not giving everyone a trophy at soccer games. If you don't win, you don't get a trophy. Raider fans won't tell their team, "Great job! Keep trying! You did great!" etc when they really haven't. Instead they cuss and throw things and boo. They'll get up and leave their seats. They want them to play hard.
The Raiders may have been schooled by the Cincinnati Bengals but the fans showed up and they'll keep showing up. Come on Raiders, honor Al and show us that Commitment to Excellence that he would preach about to the press, the fans and the team. However, we want to see some winning. Give back to the fans. Give them the season they've been hoping and longing to have for the last few seasons. In the mean time though, we'll keep eating bbq in the parking lot...