Welcome to the Raider Nation bro
Before I begin, let me introduce myself. My name is Cole Jones. I'm 28 years old. South Dallas is where I live, and where I've grown up. I was originally born in Massachusetts to two Alabamians. I also lived in New York and Alabama before settling here in the first grade. My sports loyalties are as wide spread as the places I've lived. Hockey is my first love, and I've been obsessed with the Dallas Stars since I was 9. (forgive me, sharkies that may read this). In baseball, I like the Red Sox, though I consider myself a casual fan at best. I'm not much of a basketball fan, but when it came to football, it's always been the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans.
I became a fan of the Houston Oilers when I first moved to Dallas. I've never been to Houston, nor do I really care to visit, given the civic rivalry between my beloved Dallas and Houston... but when my grandparents took me to Wal-Mart in the early 90's, my loyalty to the Oilers was cemented. They had two really big displays of NFL themed M&M candy. They told me and my sister to go grab a bag each. They had two kinds. Navy blue and grey M&M's with a star on the package, or baby blue and red M&M's with an oil derrick. I was drawn to the Oilers colors and grabbed myself a bag. My grandparents turned their noses up and told me that no one likes the Oilers, and I should buy the Cowboys candy because they were winners. I was a jerk that wanted to stand out, so I refused to trade in my candy and decided to play exclusively as the Oilers in Tecmo Bowl/Madden from that day forth.
That's about as far as my fandom went, however. A few year later when the Oilers were gone and playing as the Tennessee Titans, my father came home from work with a hacked DirecTV card that allowed us to watch every channel, including NFL Sunday Ticket, while only paying for the basic package. It wasn't legal, but I was a kid and I didn't care. I took advantage of it by finally getting into this NFL craze everyone was raving about. I started watching the Titans religiously. Bought a Jevon Kearse jersey, a cap... I knew where I'd be every fall sunday at noon, despite never really connecting with the new Nashville fanbase that seemed to love booing their team more than cheering them.
Once my dad left us and we stopped being cable pirates, we bought the Sunday Ticket package so I could keep watching. It was the only reason I even had DirecTV anymore. Times got rough for the Titans, but I've never been a front runner, so I stuck by them. As I watched loyal Titan after loyal Titan kicked to the curb by management, my passion for the team was shaken. When Steve McNair was banished to the Ravens, things were looking bleak... but then we drafted Vince Young. McNair's god-son, and a Texas boy who grew up loving the Oilers. It just seemed like fate. We all know how that worked out.
After Vince Young, Keith Bulluck, Kyle Vandenbosch, and the rest were discarded, and for a short time Jeff Fisher looked like he was safe, I just lost interest in the team. They were displaying a pattern of behavior that was all too familiar to me after being a fan for 10 years. Every year is a rebuild as they cut their Pro Bowlers, lie about it, burn bridges, and replace them with draft picks that ensure another year on the bubble. Couple that with the a fanbase that turns so ugly towards their own players with such little prompting, as well as publicly degrading the Titans wearing Houston Oilers throwback uniforms for the AFL's 50th anniversary ("Let the Texans wear them! We're Titans, not Oilers!" they ranted) and I just don't see this franchise/fanbase as the team I defiantly called my own as a child.
I spent last season ignoring the NFL. I tried to watch a Titans game or two, but the passion was dead. I focused on my Crimson Tide and Dallas Stars and felt content. I also had a newborn daughter keeping me occupied... but now I miss it. I miss the ways I used to spend my sundays, and playing fantasy football, and talking sports with the football guys at work. I knew I didn't feel that love for the Titans that I once did, so I decided it was time to start fresh and try to pick a new team. Try to rekindle that love of the NFL by becoming a free agent.
It wasn't difficult at all to cross teams off my list as potential matches for me. I couldn't bring myself to cheer for a team that was rivals with the Titans. My love of the Titans may have died out, but my hatred of the Jags, Colts, Texans, Ravens, and Steelers is still as strong as ever. I didn't like the idea of being a fan of an NFC team, since I was always proud of my team's AFL heritage. At the end of the day, I realized that the only teams that I could really see myself cheering for would be the Raiders and the Browns. (I'm obviously not a front-runner or a glory seeker)
A couple of my facebook friends from the Bay Area (sharks fans I know that also love their raiders) talked me into joining the darkside, and picking the Raiders, despite my wife pulling for the Browns.
I've got to admit that it's strange to switch allegiances, and the old me would have turned his nose up at the thought... but when a team has shown a complete lack of loyalty or class as the Titans have in the last decade, I know they're not the team for me at all.
So what's the verdict, Raider fans? Am I accepted into the brotherhood? Is there some kind of initiation?
I hope joining this forum can help get me acquainted with the team and catch me back up to the sport after taking a year off. I miss it, and I hope Raider Nation has a place for me despite my poor judgement in the past.
also, can anyone recommend any good films or books to watch to really bone up on Raiders history? I take my fandom seriously and want to know as much as I can about the teams I call my own.
Welcome to the Raider Nation bro
U have to swear an oath Win lose or tie Its Raiders till you Die!!! Welcome to the Biggest Nation of them all with the most devoted and crazy fans on the planet...p.s. everyone home game is like Halloween...and we also have 9 home games and that is the truth any charger fan will tell u that as i like to call there stadium South Oakland stadium
You picked a good time bro... welcome!
"Iím going to make sure wherever I go and whoever Iím with, Iím going to outwork them.Ē -- Sio Moore
Watch "The complete history of the Oakland Raiders" and if that doesn't pump you up, nothing will.
Homer : Aw ... The Denver Broncos !?!
Marge : I think owning the Denver Broncos is pretty good.
Homer : Yeah, yeah.
Marge : Well, explain to me why it isn't.
Homer : You just don't understand football, Marge.
Welcome to the dark side..... we have cookies.
Welcome aboard, Jones. Love to hear that kind of stuff.
If you send me a private message with your address I'll send you my copy of Raiders: The Complete History. I have it memorized.
My gift for a good story.
Ayso is a .sig genius!!
wow. that is a very very generous offer. i already love this place.
The good thing is, no one can call you a bandwagoner! As long as you made the decision for all the right reasons no one can complain.
Welcome to the family!
Big thanks to Blackhole John for the sig.
"Go f*ck yourself San Diego." - The Legend, Ron Burgandy
oh and by the way we have the Greatest Team of all time!!! 1976 Raiders G.O.A.T. NFL.com
WOW , interesting history. Welcome aboard!!!
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Read about him. He was the Raiders.
Welcome aboard man. You have chosen wisely. Great read BTW.
Welcome to the Nation bro Jones!!!
Being a Raider fans is a whole different animal. Not just people in your division hate you, everyone hates you. You have to like that sort of thing There will never be anything positive said about you in the media. Everything is "us against them". There is nothing like it. In a couple seasons you will either be as rabid of the rest of us, of fold under the constant BS the media and fans of other teams dish out.
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