(For a more dramatic effect, read with the "Autumn Wind' Theme Music playing in the background!)
Many are viewed as thugs, criminals and simply as low life's with beer & drugs as their livelihood. Fans who through the pirate with the patch express their gang activity and find with the team, a lone island of cast offs.
That’s not why I’m a fan and I’m sure its the same for other Raider writers (Fanatics) on Bleacher Report.
My journey into the Black Hole began with my uncle. He worked as the Security Director for Sheraton Hotel down in LA from 1991-1994. A time when LA was the home turf for the Raiders. With Sheraton being the only five-star hotel at the time, the Raiders would always rent a whole floor for their team.
My uncle loved the passion that emanated form those group of guys and loved Raider football. He still does immensely.
He pushed me into it as well and the more I indulged myself with Raider Football, the more love I had for the game of football.
To me football was the Raiders.
To me the Raiders have their own distinct personality, a personality only shared between the brothers of the Raider Nation.
Al Davis has always been different and its his desire to be that renegade is what defines the Raiders and makes us Raider fans. The reason I believe the Raiders have such die-hards in their fan base is simply because the Raiders have a personality of their own.
A personality that meshes into those only destined to be forever Raiders, win or lose; A personality of defiance, struggle and ultimately victory through that effort.
Being a Jewish man, Mr. Davis was denied many prominent positions in his early football coaching career. When he became the owner of the Raiders, he embodied the team around himself; persevering until you reach the top. In short, a Commitment to Excellence in wanting to Just Win , Baby.
In the words of the late yet always great, Gene Upshaw in the 1980 Raiders America’s Game,
“We always told each other that guys, there aren’t many stops after Oakland. The reason the Raiders thrived so well is because Al Davis let players have a second chance and let them be who they were.”
Why is the Autumn Wind a Raider... because its cold, its ferocious and its mean and it will never stop blowing on the land or the sea.
That’s what Raider Nation and the Raiders are all about. We are all Raiders and the Autumn Wind.
Never giving up, putting in your best and getting the fruit of your labor through your own determination and commitment.