Raider Nation: Best Fans in The NFL?

OAKLANDRAIDERCorrespondent IApril 28, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 8:  A costumed fan of the Oakland Raiders looks on prior to the NFL game against the Denver Broncos on September 8, 2008 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 41-14. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Over the years I have heard the debate on which NFL team has the best fans. However, in terms of style, there are no fans in the NFL that can compete with the Raider nation. For Raiders fans, it goes way beyond just "going to the game."

What sets the Raiders fans apart from the rest of the NFL is that no team best represents their city/state better then the Raiders do Oakland, California.

Oakland, California is home to drugs, thugs, pimps, players, mac's, slick talkers, and money walkers. Oakland for the most part is ghetto and only getting worst year by year.

In 2009, two major killings which were covered in the national media occurred in Oakland, California. 

The first was the Oscar Grant shooting on New Year's Day, in which a cop shot Oscar Grant while he was handcuffed and laying face down.

Then in March the killings of four on duty Oakland Policemen during a routine traffic stop. In Oakland you always have to be on your toes, or you might get caught slipping.

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This is the city the Raiders call home. While some teams represent their individual states (Tennessee, New York, Arizona), the Raiders rep the city of Oakland, population 398,000.

Compared to other NFL franchises locations, the city of Oakland is much smaller, thus giving it the us vs them attitude which we use at home and on the road.

The cities of Oakland and Long Beach, California, are the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States, with over 150 languages spoken in Oakland.

If you aren't from Oakland, you have no business riding around the city at night just for fun. You will most likely get robbed, shot, stabbed, or get your car kicked in. Oakland is cut-throat—always has been, always will be. The Raiders are cut-throat, always have been, always will be

Located in East Oakland, some of the best known streets around the Oakland Coliseum are 98th AVE, Hegenberger, International, and 66th AVE.

It is without question the grimiest, dirtiest, nastiest stadium in the NFL. Walking through the Oakland Raiders parking lot during pre-game tailgate parties is an experience that true Raiders fans love.

Thousands and thousands of Oakland Raiders fans walking around wearing nothing but black. Any other team colors stand out like Wesley Snipes in a room full of white people.

There is only one true nation in sports (NFL, NBA, MLB) and it is located in Oakland, California. Over the last 10 years, you might have heard of Red Sox nation, Celtics nation, or Tar Heels nation. No disrespect to those teams, but the only nation is Raiders nation.

Only in Oakland will you see fans dress up so crazily and to such an extreme, in costumes, face paint, and with swords. Anything that is black, and anything that goes along with the pirate theme of the Oakland Raiders logo.

It's not a few crazy fans, we're talking about thousands and thousands of grown men, women, and little kids dressed in war gear ready to watch their beloved Raiders go to battle on the field.

Inside the stadium, walking around looking for your seats you will hear chants of "Raaaaaaaaaaaai-Deeeeeeeeeerrrrsss" over and over. Without question, you will also see tons of drunken fights break out. Raiders fans are so thugged out that they will fight right in front of little kids without a second thought.

Everything is out-dated at the Oakland Coliseum. The bathrooms are dirty and you might see a few Raiders fans smoking a blunt or taking shots of Hennessy in them.

Wearing the visting team's jersey in NFL stadiums is for the most part OK, but not in Oakland, California. If you choose to show up at the Raiders game with a Broncos, Chiefs, or Chargers jersey, you are asking to be messed with. You will get food thrown on your jersey and people will get in your face and say cuss words to you, to the point that it becomes a fight.

However, last but not least is the actual game played on the field. After waking up, drinking all day, and making your way to your seats, when you see the Raiders take to the field wearing their black home jerseys and you hear those bells the Raiders play—nothing in the NFL beats that. No fan base, no team, nothing beats seeing the Oakland Raiders play live in Oakland.

Which brings me to my final point. As great as the fans of Raider nation are, they deserve better than the product which we pay to see every Sunday.

If you go to an Oakland Raiders game, you would think this is the home stadium for the defending Super Bowl Champions and not for a team who is 24-72 over the last seven years (or whatever it is).

Raiders games are so much fun—they're loud and exciting. The city of Oakland is overdue for the Raiders to start winning again.

Regardless of the outcome, Raider nation fans will still be there, repping for the city of Oakland. There is too much pride in our franchise to think any other way. Real fans go to the games.

So, to answer which NFL team has the best fans? Come walk through the Oakland Raiders stadium or parking lot wearing a non-Raiders jersey and you be the judge...