View Full Version : New member from Indiana

08-28-2018, 08:54 AM
I am 56 years old and have been a Raiders fan since I was about 9.

In 2016, my wife and I flew to Jacksonville to see the Raiders play (we attend two “away” games each year), and coincidentally found out our hotel was right next to the Raiders hotel. On Saturday, the team was leaving about 11 AM for practice, and we watched the guys come out. My wife knew my favorite all-time Raider is Willie Brown, so she started talking to one of the Raiders’ staff members. After a few minutes, he arranged for Willie to come over, and I got my photo taken with Willie and expressed how grateful I was to be able to see him play and for his passion and dedication to the Raiders organization…what a fabulous memory for me.

You may wonder how a kid who lived in the Midwest all his life got to be a Raiders fan. Well, at that age we lived in Akron Ohio. My dad was a Browns fan. Starting in 1970, I began enjoyed watching football on Sundays with my Dad…not so much for the game, but for the enjoyment of being with my Dad. And then when Monday Night Football began, I told my dad how excited I was to watch the Monday night games with him. However, my bedtime was 8 PM, and the game was on later…so I went to bed those first few Mondays disappointed. Finally, after begging my Dad for weeks, he agreed I could stay up until halftime and watch the game on Monday, October 19th between the Redskins and the Raiders. At that time, I had no favorite team. But watching the game that night, the way the Raiders played, and seeing the helmets and the silver and black…I was hooked. I expressed to my Dad how much I liked the team.

Well, later that week, my Dad was out shopping for my birthday, which is on November 23rd. He was going to buy me a kids’ football outfit complete with shoulder pads, jersey, helmet, the lace up drawstring pants…the whole thing. The stores were sold out of the Cleveland Browns kits, which was his first choice…but then he remembered me saying how much I liked the Raiders. So he bought one and gave it to me on my birthday. I was so excited, I slept in the outfit that night!

Ever since then I’ve followed the Raiders. Even though we lived near Cleveland, later moved to Cincinnati, and finally as an adult I moved to my current address in Indiana where most people are Colts fans…I have remained a Raiders fan the entire time. When DIRECTTV came out with Sunday ticket…I signed up right away. And from that day, I’ve not missed a single play of a single Raider game.

Ah the memories have been deep and long. Some great (beating the Vikings in the Super Bowl), some disappointing (the Immaculate Reception and the Tuck Rule), and some just odd (the Heidi game). But the history is rich indeed.

In about 2005, my wife and I started a tradition. We said we would attend at least one Raider game each year in a different city, with the goal being to get to all 31 US NFL cities (Giants and Jets share a stadium). About 5 years ago, as our incomes increased…we started doing two games each year. This year I will be attending four games.

Colts at Oakland (even though we already saw a game in Oakland, we just decided to get in the bay area early and see two games in one week)
Oakland at 49ers (this will be stadium #20 for us)
Oakland at Phoenix (this will be stadium #21 for us)
Oakland at Cincinnati (although I've seen them there before, my brother has Bengals season tickets so I get to attend with him)

My favorite all-time Raider is Willie Brown. We attended the Oakland at Jacksonville game on October 22nd , 2016. Coincidentally, our hotel was right next to the Raiders hotel. My wife saw Willie Brown standing out there as the buses pulled up, and she arranged for him to come over and get his photo taken with me....what a great memory. Willie has been so good for the Raider organization all these years.

Anyway, we're looking forward to seeing some of you at Oakland and San Fran this year!