In the 1996 classic, California Love by Tupac featuring Dr. Dre, there is a moment in the opening parts of the music video in which a sign displays "Welcome to Oakland."
Watch it here.
(1:24 "Welcome to Oakland sign)
As the video continues, you see people dressed in crazy costumes, face paint, and there's fire. Overall the video looks like a party for wild animals.
If there was ever a way to describe an Oakland Raiders tailgate party to someone who has never been to the Oakland Coliseum for a Raiders home game, I would tell them to re-watch California Love by Tupac and Dr. Dre.
Even though this music video was made 13 years ago, without question, this video best captures what it's like to walk through the parking lot on Sunday mourning's. It's wild, dirty, grimy, and fun.
Look at the clothes Tupac and Dr. Dre and other actors wear in the video; now, multiply that by 100 and you then have what its like for a Raider Nation tailgate party.
If you are a real Raiders fan, then you must attend Raiders home games; it doesn't matter if you are out of state or not. There are only eight regular season home games per year. Get your friends and family together and plan a trip to Oakland. The airport is right next to the Coliseum along the 880 freeway; it will be a trip well worth the travel.
For residents of the Bay Area and Raiders fans through out California who travel to the Oakland Coliseum for games, tailgating is a must—a chance to walk among fellow Raiders fans in a sea of black.
You will see men, women, and even little kids dressed just like Tupac in that California Love video. What is great about the Raiders is that we don't have a certain mascot, we have a theme and a image; therefore, it is up to each fan to create there own identity.
You might see Gorilla Rilla walking around the parking a lot with a beer in one hand and smoking a blunt in the other, or Shield Head taking pictures with some females.
There is Pin-Head, Darth Vader, Skull Head, Fro Man, Black Knuckles, the list goes on and on.
Anyone who's ever took BART to a Oakland Raiders game knows the routine: You and some friends wake up extra early, you then drive to whatever grocery or liquor store you go to, stock up on beers, food, and blunts.
On BART, there is nothing but Raiders fans waiting to hit the Coliseum. Before you're even off the train you hear chants of, "Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiders!"
For people who have never done this, your next step is to walk up the stairs to the tunnel. As soon as you hit the tunnel you will be hit by the scalpers.
"Who needs tickets?"
"Who has tickets to sell?"
Your best bet is to leave those guys alone. If you're really about your business, then you already have your ticket.
As you exit the tunnel, always go to the right. That is the Raider Nation side; the left side is for the RV's. Both sides are good, but the real parties go down on the right side (side closes towards downtown Oakland).
Walking down the hill around the Coliseum at first glance, you see nothing but a sea of black, tailgate parties after party.
In the air all you smell barbeque and purp, as you have now entered the Black Hole. Welcome to Oakland.
The setting isn't one for a team who has gone 24-72 over the last six seasons. You would think this is the home for the defending Super Bowl champions the way Oakland Raiders fans party.
It's over the top and extreme. Now, I'm not saying every single person is like this, but you will see things in Oakland that you won't see anywhere else in the world.
As great of time is the pregame tailgating parties are, the only thing missing from the event is for the Raiders to win.
I can't think of a worse feeling off the top of my head then waking up at 8 AM, going to the game, getting drunk, getting all pumped up, cheering, rooting, and cussing at other teams fans, only to see the Oakland Raiders lose the game.
Some of my friends who are Raider haters call my phone, leave me text messages trying to make me more upset.
It's a feeling of "Don't talk to me; don't call me; leave me alone; I'm drunk and don't won't to deal with it." Walking back to the BART, there are thousands of Raiders fans who feel the same way. It's quiet, almost like zombies walking back on BART.
However, when the Raiders win, it's a whole different story. The party from inside the stadium only continues outside as you see Raiders fans celebrate in joy, or as the Bay calls it, "Going dumb, getting stupid, popping collars, and picking fights with the other teams fans."
Last season, the Raiders only won two home games vs the New York Jets and Houston Texans.
I will be going to all the home games for this upcoming season, and hope that we can have a better home record this season.
Since I'm from the Bay, it's nothing to go to a game, but Raiders fans from out of state this season, take the chance and come to a game this season. If the Raiders win, it will be an experience you will always remember.