Eian BellAnalyst IJuly 25, 2008

The Oakland Raiders. When you hear that name, chances is one of two things come to mind. You either love us or hate us. For those that hate us, everybody has their own reasons, but they usually fall in the same categories.

The most recent being "Your team sucks, quit living in the past" or something along those lines. Well, for that all I can say is, yes. 

Over the past five years, our team has been terrible, down right atrocious, but unlike some other teams' bandwagon fans, we're still here bleeding silver and black.

I think that the biggest reason we are hated is because our team represents the bad boys of the NFL. From the top, Mr. Davis, all the way down to our fans dressed to kill in the Black Hole. Raider Nation is amongst the most hated teams in the NFL.

I was reading a story on Raiders.com today that made me think.

I know for some of you haters out there, thinking is a foreign concept, and I will get inevitably get haters' comments on this thread to tell me how the Raiders' suck, and how we will only win two games this year (yeah right!).

Also, I will get comments from the people that don't think this is an appropriate article for a sports site.

This is a human interest story, and if you don't like it, then go read something else about Favre not retiring, or the Pats cheating, or anything else for that matter.

As I was saying, I was reading a story on Raiders.com today. The headline read “Coach Ryan's locks of love."  

Now I would have read the article simply because it was on Raiders.com, but the fact that it used words like "locks of love" drew my interest simply because it looked out of place for a team with a reputation of being badasses.

First of all, let me explain what Locks of Love is.

Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that helps financially disadvantaged children who suffer from long-term medical hair loss receive hairpieces.

Its mission is to return a sense of self, confidence, and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss. For more information, visit www.locksoflove.org

According to the story, Ryan was approached by his daughter's classmate, who was trying to raise awareness for the organization. Asked why the donation hit home, Ryan stated, “I have been familiar with cancer.  My family has been through several bouts of cancer."

Ryan intends to donate his hair again as soon as it reaches length, and as far as losing his hair, Ryan stated, “[My hair] it’s really kind of me,” Ryan says laughing at his new buzz cut, “but this little girl won my heart.”

Now, we're supposed to be the bad boys, the guys who supposedly don't play by the rules. We are the outcasts of a 32 team league of professional football players. We're supposed to be a bunch of a—holes!

Rob Ryan showed compassion for a cause that touched his heart, and I'm sure that many members of Raider Nation show compassion on a regular basis.

We've been labeled as the worst of the worst, thugs, and criminals, and to some extent we welcome the image of the bad boy, but don't forget that above all else, we are human beings with human hearts and given the chance to help a fellow human being, most of us will be right there.