The Anatomy of a 2016 Raider Fan

The Oakland Raiders’ 2016 season just feels like a dream. Like, all of a sudden, the black cloud that’s been hovering over the Raiders has been finally lifted, and it’s all rainbows and butterflies and Marquette King dancing gifs.

Being a Raider fan has been tough, and you don’t need to be Stephen A. Smith with a stupid ass hot-take to know that the Raiders have been an embarassment for the better part of the last 15 years. Complete embarassment*.

*Although, this guy is still embarassing as hell. Please, just don’t show him on my TV screen anymore.

The one thing about this Raider team is that no matter how much you may hate them, you can’t deny their games are some of the most exciting and exhilirating games you have watched this year. In a season where the NFL has a lot of really, really terrible teams (plus the Niners and the Browns), the Raiders — for the first time in a long time — aren’t one of them.

And I’m trying to get used to this. As a lifelong Raider fan, I’m not used to seeing this:

AFC West

I literally have to live a completely new narrative. Like I had been stuck in an endless loop of the Raiders always being terrible, and now looking at the standings is just messing with my programming. What’s at the end of my maze now — winning the division?? An AFC Championship?? A SuperBowl???*

*Cheers to me for that not-so-subtle Westworld reference. Nailed it!

I know I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but what does it matter? This is the first year in a long time where the Raiders are no longer the laughing stock of the league. Let me have my moment to start dreaming big — especially when my team excites me the way the Raiders have been this past season. Actually, let me break down for you how it is to watch a typical Raider game this year:

Pre-Game:

“Damn it Kansas City! Can you just LOSE already?!”

“When is Aldon Smith coming back?”

1st Quarter:

“We should have had a TD…a couple of drops there that were right on the money from DC, but at least the offense is moving the ball.”

“Defense can’t stop the run, as usual.”

“Defense can’t cover a TE, as usual.”

“It’s okay. It’s only the 1st quarter. The offense will put together a good series in the second.”

2nd Quarter:

“Ugh, WTF Malcolm Smith! Missing a tackle again!”

“They’re gonna go over the top…they’re gonna go over the top…”

“DJ SUCKS!!!”

“Where was his help?!!”

“Ok, okay, good pass Derek.”

“2-3 yard gains ain’t gonna cut it, come on guys.”

“OPEN UP THE PLAYBOOK MUSGRAVE!!! I hate this”

“FIRE MUSGRAVE!”

“Marquette King with yet another beautiful coffin corner.”

“Of course, we give up a home run play like that. At least limit them to a field goal.”

“CUT DJ!!!”

“It’s okay, this is how Raider games have been going all year. We’re only behind 2 scores. They can do it.”

“FIRE NORTON!”

***Depression***

Halftime:

“I’m used to this. They’re gonna find a way. They have all year.”

3rd Quarter:

“Where you at Khalil? I’m waiting for you to do something. You, too, Bruce Irvin.”

“When is Aldon Smith coming back?”

“When is Mario Edwards coming back?”

“I hate our defense so much. I hate everything about it except for 52.”

“Oh, now you decide to run a no-huddle, Musgrave. Why didn’t you do this in the first half??? Now we have to play from behind again.”

“Come on, Derek, just keep it close! Within striking distance.”

End of the 3rd Quarter:

“Coooooooooooooooopppp!!!”

“Wow, all of a sudden we’re only down a FG. How did that happen?”

4th Quarter:

“Cooooppppp!!!”

“CRABTREE!!”

“Marquette King goin’ dumb! He lit AF.”

“Look at Jalen Richard go! Go Jalen, go!

“Man, what a laser from Derek. He got that between 3 defenders.”

“DEREK CARR IS THE BEST!”

“Whoa, how are we leading in this game all of a sudden!”

“DEREK CARR IS MY HERO!”

“CANTON!!!”

“And KHAAALLLIIILLLL!!! DPOY!!! Von Miller ain’t shit!!!”

“I don’t know how the hell we won that game, but I’ll take it.”

Post-Game:

“Gronk is out! We can take New England.”

“I can’t wait to whoop the Cowboys in the Superbowl.”

Keep in mind, the dialogue above doesn’t represent just one game. It’s how EVERY GAME has gone this year. I like to say the best part of every game (save for 2) this season is the end because we win. The whole watching the game part??? No thanks. Totally agonizing and sheds about 5 years off my life everytime. But it’s all part of being a Raider fan. And as long as we win, I’ll take it every single time.

I’m scared of Kansas City, sure. But I’m also not that scared of them. I feel like as long as we have number 4 leading our offense, and 52 making the big plays when it matters, we always have a chance no matter who it is.

If only Aldon could was around to terrorize Alex Smith tomorrow. If only…*

*This is a thought I have everyday: #FREEALDONSMITH. Also, Roger Goodell sucks.

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