True fans don't have to be walking encyclopedias. Just have love for the team

Eian BellAnalyst IJuly 20, 2008

I am writing this article in response to some of the stuff I've seen posted on Raiders articles. I am not a professional sports writer which will be obvious soon enough and I'm probably not a very good amateur writer either but I have some things to get off my chest.


First of all, I'm sure all you Raiders fans out ther have come acrooss mr Mike49er by now, and I'm not here to bash anybody, although I'm sure his comments will end up on this thread as well. here's the deal, I've tried to read his comments objectively, but then he said something that to me was ridiculous. He said to something to the effect of real fans are bred from watching the players, and the games blah blah blah. Well, I can almost see his point, but it's not always true. In my opinion it doesn't matter how you become a fan, it's what you do as a fan that counts.


I personally became a Raiders fan by chance. My best friend when i was 10 had 2 lighters (dont ask why cuz we didnt smoke so i dont know) 1 was a 49ers lighter the other was a Raiders. I got the Raiders lighter, and I've been a fan since. Now had I just started wearin the gear and sayin I'm a fan without watching the games I would be able to see 49ers point, but from that moment on I became deeply rooted with the Oakland Raiders. I started watching games, following the players and so on.


Now I can't spout statistics from my 20 years as a fan at the drop of a hat, but I've been there, the highs and lows through it all. I do watch any program I can find on NFL network that has to do with the Raiders, so now I am familiar with the greats of the past, but heres the thing, in my opinion from the youngest fan to the oldest if you devote 3 hours every Sunday during the NFL season to watching Oakland Raiders football, you are a fan no matter what your knowledge of the Organization's past may be.


Another thing I have seen posted on threads is this. I have seen people bashing  their own being ashamed of Raiders Fans who are toothless meth addicts and such. Now I can see the point here to an extent. I agree somewhat , because our colors are the colors of choice for some gangbangers and what not, but remember the old saying about not judging a book by it's cover?

Like I said i became a fan when I was 10, when I was in my late teens I started getting into meth, and ended up in prison, and all kinds of other negative environments, but I still loved the Raiders. Me and one of my friends in prison every Sunday in the NFL season would use sharpie markers and draw Raiders logos on our faces and our fav players numbers on our hands and arms. we made bandanas with raiders insignia, which were pretty good cuz we were both tatoo artists, we went all out. It became a pregame ritual, and we watched the games win or lose, admittedly that year we had more wins than losses because that year we ended up playing the bucs in th sb, which i did not get to see because I was in the hole. But, the point is this, we were both meth addicts and most would call us thugs because we were in prison, but we were and are loyal Raiders fans, I have since gotten my life together, and have a family a job, you know, all the respectable stuff. So why be ashamed of anybody, you never know who they are, I got my life together and alot of people do, on the flip side, alot of people don't, but there no need to be ashamed of any real fan.


And on the subject of real fans, the Raider Nation will be getting a new one on Nov 2 with the birth of my son Jaiden Connaly Bell, I've already gotten him a Raiders baby blanket to come home from the hospital in, and Ive been looking for other Raiders baby items so if anyone knows any good sites other than Raider Image let me know.