Raiders Nation

“You don’t know what you’ve got yourself into…”

Well, yeah, maybe not, but… “we still want to go and experience this madness hand’s on, in the pit, in ‘Paint it Black’ nation with all the crazy fans in… Oakland” (damn that was… long). And, so we did. Oh hell yeah we did. D to the I to the D, and no, I’m not trying to spell out P Diddy so you can relax now. Yeah, breathe in… and breathe out. You’re good.

So… what I was TRYING to say was “WE WENT TO A FUCKIN’ RAIDERS GAME.” In the N.F.L. The end.

No, just messin’ with ya’.

Hey, wait a minute; when did I become Snoop Dogg?! No, this has got to end. Back to reality.

So, once again, what I was trying to say was that after having checked off MBL and NHL (or mostly Sharks, since I’ve already had been to an NHL game eight years ago), next up on the list was NFL. National. Football. League. When in SF, you have two different teams to choose between – San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders. Even though the 49ers are named ‘SF’, the Stadium is situated way off, about an hour southbound, in Santa Fe. So, Oakland is actually the team closest to the city, with the stadium situated in the actual city the team is named after (Oakland), even though they’re very open with having the will to identify themselves as a rival to SF.

After having decided on which game to attend, with the choice ending up being Los Angeles Chargers (the team that moved from San Diego to LA ahead of this season, making sure LA scoring TWO new teams in the biggest league in the country after being left out for the last couple of decades), I was up for a Sunday for the history books. SF and LA, no matter which league, always have a big rivalry going which made for good conditions for an interesting matchup.

After checking potential interest from other people at school I ended up having four German(speaking) guys (Denis is from Switzerland but exerts the “oh maybe not so beauti(ful) but still power(ful) language on top of the Germanic language tree) by my side. As already mentioned, Denis, accompanied by Stefan, Julian and Jakob. After having (a lot of) trouble while trying to score us tickets through different partnering platforms I finally managed to get us all really good seats on the low section, or ‘the 100’s’ as they like to express it here, and right in the middle, above the 50 yard line. The problem was that, for some reason, these American ticket sites prefers to offer tickets in “even numbers” (2, 4, 6, yeah, you get the point), and, there were five of us…

Having to puzzle together different seats, from different sites, it came down to three different rows, with me sitting by myself while the others had “two and two” a somewhat ten rows higher up. No matter what, we had our tickets secured and we’re ready for a day to remember for the rest of our poor little lives.

When arriving at Oakland Alameda County Coliseum we walked through one of the most insane parties we’ve ever witnessed; the whole parking lot was one big barbeque, colored in black and white. And that was just the beginning…

One of my biggest concerns regarded how to be able to change our tickets into “real” ones; having no option but to buy a digital ticket being sent to your e-mail, this was a big issue for a guy who saves all his American bucket list-tickets as a memory to be put into a frame on the wall further down the line. It ended up with all of the others being able to exchange their paper print out into real tickets, having been bought on a specific site, while I, since there were no possibility to buy a single ticket on that same site and therefore had to choose another one, ended up without that possibility. That was one big let down for me, I can tell you that. One that left a scar.

Finally inside, we were welcomed by a roaring crowd that was insanely loud. The DB-meter actually went all the way up to 111 as most; this is only the crowd itself, nothing else. That truly is insane.

The game was not one of Raiders best performances but the experience as a whole definitely was. Being surrounded by a bunch of lovely fans who made me feel as welcome as potentially possible, with a little girl sharing the words “this is my first game, and my mom promised me we would win…” as the highlight, made this day what I had hoped it to be. Then being able to share this with my friends, where me and Julian ended up “being caught up in the atmosphere” and decided to buy our own Raiders jerseys (much to the delight of my fellow “neighbors” around me) was the “icing on the Black and White insane kind of cake”.

And what about the result? Raiders lost by one, after having missed an “easy” field goal after their penultimate touchdown. That means four out of four losses for me regarding this trip. Impressive.

By the way, to all you Swedes; I had to think more than once before I could ruled that guy out from being Ola-Conny. Trust me, you will understand which guy I’m talking about when you go through the pics.

To my football brothers, Denis, Stefan, Julian and Jakob: Thank You, for sharing this experience with me.

To everyone else…
Welcome, to Raiders Nation.

 

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〈 Oct 15 〉

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