On game day mornings, or when there is a Raider event I am attending, I transform from a 23 year old college student and restaurant server into a big shoulder padded, black rain boots wearing, silver with black face painted, hardhat with a knife Mohawk sporting Raider character. The point of this get up is to create fear in the opposing team and take advantage of that ‘home field advantage’. But do not let my ‘scary’ look fool you.
Although my intentions are to channel my passion and energy towards Oakland Raider football games, I also use that same passion and energy off the field to help and unite all .jpg”>people no matter their race, color, or team of their preference. I welcome all fans, including fans of opposing teams, to come experience game day with the Raider Nation. All fans should feel safe enough to scream at the top of their lungs while rooting for their team even if they are visiting an opposing stadium. I welcome the banter that sports brings through fandemonium and passion. I think I can speak for most Raider fans (especially the scary looking characters that are consistently seen on TV with spikes, bones, skeletons, silver and black face paint, or even that scary gorilla costume.) We represent the Raider Nation with a love, respect and passion for our team and for others. This is how we should all be. Since the media does not use their journalistic duty to investigate both sides of fandemonium, I felt the need to inform every one, Raider fan or not, what true Raider fans are really like.
My name is Dr. Death and I consider myself a super fan of the Raider Nation. What most non Raider fans do not know, is that there is more to me than just the silver and black face paint, chains, bones, and costumes. As with the other characters, Raider fans and various groups I have gotten to know personally, there is a kind-hearted love and passion that goes beyond the fandemonium for the Raiders. There is humanitarianism a respect for community.
What most people do not know about Raider fans and its characters, is that most of the characters with face paint you see on TV have at least ONE charity to their name, if not more. Characters like Gorilla Rilla, Raider Jerry and others have put in countless hours to help charities. including ones that benefit children or troops overseas. I am personally involved with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Breast cancer Awareness, and recently became involved with No Kid Hungry and Fans Against Violence. For our efforts with these causes to be successful, we need the support of Raider fans. Without the support from other Raider fans, characters would not be successful in helping raise money. Unfortunately, most people do not know how involved in the community, Raider Nation really is. The reason for this is that the media rarely report this information.
There are Raider groups that do charity events year round such M.O.B, which stands for Making Oakland Better. The San Jose Raider Drive booster club recently helped raise money for kids going back to school and helped raise money for the March of Dimes. This isn’t just a handful of Raider fans, these efforts are comprised of thousands of people that use their energy and passion for the Oakland Raiders and use it in a positive direction and cause.
I sometimes hear even my own friends call Raider fans hoodlums, violent, and angry. My question, is why? Is it because the way we dress? The way we look? The colors that we wear? What does that sound like to you? I ask the public, don’t just judge us on our looks or who we root for, but on what we do in our community. Judge us on your personal experience with us not on what other people think of us or second hand stories. I have been a part of the Raider Nation since my first game, at the age of seven years old, and I have never experienced or seen a violent act in Oakland. But I have experienced passionate people that love their Raiders. Once again, I invite everyone, Raider fan or not, to come to Oakland and experience the real world of the Raider Nation, not the world the media incorrectly paints on TV.