I was born in 1988, but I began following the Oakland Raiders when they were still in Los Angeles. I have vague memories of the 1993 season and started forming clearer ones during the 1994 season.
My dad has been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan all of his life, dating back to the 1970s. When I told him of my allegiance to the Silver and Black, I'm not sure if he was proud that his five year old son had chosen a historic team like the Raiders over the hometown Jets or Giants or if he was mortified that I had chosen a franchise that was exactly the polar opposite of his.
My guess is somewhere in between.
I had chosen the Raiders primarily because of my affinity for pirates. Every Halloween, I dressed up like a pirate. My decision came down to the Raiders or the Buccaneers. Even at a young age, I realized something was just...off about Tampa Bay's logo at the time. The Raiders' logo was simple and classic, and the figure wasn't as, um, dashing as the Bucs'.
As a Raiders fan over the years, I was ridiculed in elementary school. Everyone teased me for liking such a futile franchise, but I never wavered. See, for me, the Raiders gave me an identity.
My dad had liked the Steelers and I think part of me wanted to be different. I knew nothing about the Immaculate Reception, yet something deep down drew me to the Raiders. I relished in my team. They became a part of me. This is what being a true fan is all about.
Even through all the bad years, I have been proud to call myself a fan of the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. Here, I am going to present you with a slideshow celebrating Raiders at each position that stuck out for me. I said it was the 1990s in the title, but for all intents and purposes, it will be from when I jumped on board. Roughly 1993.