Being an Oakland Raider fan means you must hold these truths to be self-evident:
- That you must be prepared to defend yourself in the presence of all non-Raider fans, as they will always feel compelled to talk shit about the Raiders (henceforth referred to as “your team”) regardless of the context;
- That your team will often times cause you to question your sanity;
- And test your loyalty;
- That your team has the best colors/uniforms in the NFL;
- And that the threat of your team leaving Oakland is very real, every single year.
I was about 8 years old when the Raiders moved back to Oakland so I don’t have any real memories of how it felt when Grandpa Al decided to pull the ultimate fuck you move, and take the team to the worst part of California. If I were alive in 1982, I assume my reaction would have been akin to something like this:
But luckily, I didn’t have to go through that. So when the Raiders returned to Oakland, it was like meeting a long lost childhood friend again whom I had drifted away from as we had grown up. I don’t really recall many vivid memories with them, but everyone tells me that we were really close. Inseparable. And I do know that when we split, it was amicable. And now, that friend was moving back, a couple of years older and a little more mature. I couldn’t have been any more excited to reconnect with this friend. I welcomed them back with open arms. Much like with the Raiders, I couldn’t have been anymore excited to have my team, my friend, back in my city.
However, I do not speak for most Raider fans – although, my inflated ego likes to think that I do.
When the Raiders left in 1982, they lost a lot of fans in Oakland.
They all became Niner fans.*
*One could argue those people who switched sides weren’t real fans to begin with, and I tend to agree. Benedict Arnold and Judas are waiting for you all in the 9th circle of hell. Fuckin traitors.
Regardless, there were a certain select few who took Al Davis’ move to Los Angeles as a huge slap in the face to all the fans who had been loyal since the inception of the Raiders in 1960. When they returned in 1994, many of the loyal ones who stuck with the team accepted them back the way you accept an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend back – with extreme trepidation and lack of trust. And with good reason.
Being a Raider fan these days means you have to accept the very sobering fact that your team could up and leave you at any time. It’s a real concern every single season. On Tuesday, a report came out that said Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie had met with officials in San Antonio to talk about a possible move.
There are a ton of articles on the interwebz that detail the league and city politics behind such a move. I’m not here to write about that. Look it up yourself.*
I am here to write about how something like this makes me feel. I’m a girl. I’m an emotional girl. I’m all about feelings.
This is how this most recent rumor about the Raiders make me feel. In fact, this video just illustrates how I feel about the Raiders in general. In life.
If they left, I’ll probably scream a whole bunch of expletives and speak incoherently through a deluge of tears. I would be devastated for life.
But let’s be real here: the fact of the matter is that the rumor of the Raiders moving is a yearly occurrence. And yet, they’re STILL here. Mark (Al?) Davis is beginning to look a lot like the boy who cried wolf. Or I guess, the boy who cried lawsuit. That seems a bit more apropos.
If they took the team away from Oakland, away from me, I would die. About 96% positive I would. I would not switch teams. I could never do that. At least if the team moved back to Los Angeles, I could still go to games and pretend like they were still playing in my backyard (over the bridge, down 880, I mean). But if the team moved to San Antonio (which I think is highly unlikely, but let’s just play a hypothetical here), that means I’d have to go to Texas.
Uhm, no thanks.
My attachment to this team is unparalleled. Please don’t leave me. Please. I don’t know what I would do.
Moral of the story: Everyone leaves. Don’t get attached*.