raiders

As many of you know, I am a HUGE fan of the Oakland Raiders, but not many people know the story behind it. So as @doglooo requested on my twitter (@NatalieSaar) here it is: Being a girl, you’re not really raised to like sports like football, but I was. So instead of doing the normal thing and rooting for the local team (BOO CHARGERS!) or the team your family likes (all six of us have different teams), I chose to pick the winner of the Superbowl. In 1995-96 I watched every game and loved all teams equally, knowing that at the end of it, one of these would be my favorite. As you football fans know, the Raiders didn’t win in 1996; the Packers did.

Yes, I was a fan of Green Bay before I became a Raider fan. So for years I rooted with all my heart and soul for the Pack, proudly sporting my #4 jersey (which I’m now slow to admit) and wearing my cheese head. I had all the paraphernalia (Favre signed ball, Reggie White autographed shirt, etc.) but as I got older I realized a few things.

The main thing was that the Raiders and Packers nearly always played at the same time: 10am on Sunday. This meant I NEVER saw games since my dad is a die-hard Raiders fan and bogarted the TV. So I’d only get to see what was on Sportscenter, which wasn’t much. Also, as I grew up I realized no matter how hot the girl is, yellow and green will never look as good as silver and black do. While the Packers are a team with rich history, I learned the Raiders did too! From the moves to and from LA to Davis’s AFL involvement to the tuck rule. Then, the icing on the cake happened when I turned 16. I got a new, white F150 which my dad proudly gave to me… with a huge Raiders sticker that took up the whole back window. So, that was it. I gave in an joined the nation.

The Packers will always hold a special place in my heart and I’ll always root for the soon-to-be Superbowl Champs, (as long as they aren’t playing the Raiders), but thanks to my dad’s influence, the team’s history, the bitchin’ colors (I always appreciate that Davis individually inspects everything to make sure it is silver and not gray), the drive and dedication of our players and, most importantly, the love and support of the nation I now live by the motto: Win, Lose or Tie, Raiders till I die.

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