Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Raider Nation reprezent Pt II.

A few months ago I set up a myspace account to follow Raider Nation activities. I was interested in tailgates in particular.

I could not stand it after just a few days. There were too many drama queens and people yelling "Fuck the haters" at no one in particular. Chicks were posting sparkly things on my profile every single day that had nothing to do with football or anything relevant. Basically, just a lot of thumb up the yayhoo folks with nothing interesting to say in the least.

You can always tell folks are a little slow in the head because they re-post everything, as if to try and gain some sort of team spirit from their online friends. "Look what this hater said", yada, yada.

I guess I should have known better. It's not like I wasn't already familiar with the Raider Nation mentality.

Still, I was disappointed at how uniformed most of Nation is. Their blind ignorance and blind loyalty was now making me sick. I had to start deleting people. I reached my absolute limit just this past week when one of their re-posted mails read, "For the Donkey game, wear black to show support!."

Ok, that's real original. I mean, how long did it take you to come up with that one sparky?

Before the first game of the season, a summary of Raider Nation commentary was "Let's kick some Donkey ass."

After the game a summary of Raider Nation commentary is "Fuck the Donkeys."

So you can see the quantum leap in comprehension of events.

Still, there is the attitude among the Raider Nation that "you don't understand."

Of course everyone understands. You are loyal because you are committed to being a lunkhead with your fellow lunkheads. You like the social aspects to the Raider Nation. But, as in all things Nation, you miss the point.

To most, being a Raider fan is just a social outlet. That's what it all amounts to. They can say whatever they want about "bleeding silver and black" and their booster clubs can say it's all about doing it for charity or point to some "big plans" yet to be unveiled. Yea, yea. The truth is you just need something to believe in, something to look forward to and why not go where everyone is as gullible as you are and every day is Halloween.

This is what they choose do with their personal budgets and with their time. We all have our respective interests so maybe this isn't as bad as other pursuits. As reluctant as I am to admit it, I do drink at Ricky's occasionally and I tailgate when I get the urge. I wear Raider gear as well. Maybe I am a dumbass for being a member of the Raider Nation. Yet, I insist on speaking about them in the third person so at least in my mind, I don't feel like such a fool being a Raider "fan" (meaning, I want to see the team do well, not embrace their ignorant ways).

Of course, we know from this evening's opening Monday night bashing 41-14 from the Donkeys, shirt color, loyalty and everything else meant nothing. Raider Nation support amounted to a hill of beans except for a nice cash-in at the till for the Raider organization and the NFL and whoever else had a stake in dollars spent on the night. All out of the Nation's blue collar pockets. Even when the franchise loses, they win.

You know who's keeping this team afloat? You are Raider Nation. Oh, but let's fall back on Uncle Al's axiom - "The greatness of the Raiders is its future." Hey Al, you're wrong on that point or you can take the new agey approach and insist the future will eventually bring success. Right now is last year's future and so on down the line. You won't have a future star running back because your questionably efficient offensive coordinator Gregg Knapp is calling plays with our speed back acting as a power back taking big hits. The offensive line is a horrendous joke not even on par with most college teams. I don't care what "system" they are playing, I don't think it's going to work. Sorry to crash enthusiasm but I have not seen anything to say differently.

On one hand, there's guilt for kicking a guy when he's down. On the other hand, the Raider Nation never learns and deserves what they got. Tonight's game was deja vu from opening night against the Chargers in 2006. Has anyone seen a lick of improvement since the Art Shell era? Maybe a little bit but not much.

Yet, the Nation continue to pump money into the Raiders merchandising machine, every season the tally increases. You continue to show up in droves on game day, this year specifically to see their hopeful new star running back and QB. And they get treated like dirt for their dollar.

It's a tired old tale. Almost as haggard-looking as you know you who.

Yet the vibe before game time was pretty good tonight. There was cautious optimism mixed with great anticipation. Everyone knows the Raiders have big problems. Still, the Nation had faith. The new code of conduct imposed by the NFL took away their tailgating music but they still came out to grill, consume alcohol and pass the doobie in the parking lot.

People arrived by plane from far away lands to the bay area. People drove hundreds of miles, took time off work, did what they had to do to get to the game.

What else can be expected though as far as support from the Raider Nation.

1 comment:

Coach Elkins said...

You have a wonderful way with words my friend!