“What Does It Mean to Be a Good Raider Fan; Solving The Mystery”
I have no issues with confrontation but I really don’t like fighting. Life is just too short to take things so seriously and get so angry. That is why it’s hard to see the social media wars that fans wage with each other sometimes, especially Raider fans. I’d like that energy to be used to cure a disease or help kids with cancer. It’s a waste of energy yelling at each other over a sport.
Losing does something to an NFL fan base, and for 12 years, no team in history has lost more than the Oakland Raiders. It has put a strain and stress on a fan base that has been beaten up like no other. From moving and coming back to another possible move, to terrible losing seasons; being a Raider fan is a test of will and patience. Let’s look at the different types of fans and finally what makes up a truly good fan.
Our culture has changed. Millennials especially are really obsessed with being “ultra” positive. They aren’t into conflict or being told something they like or follow isn’t very good. The word hater is in their vocabulary holster ready to come out as fast as a Doc Holliday pistol at a gun fight. I love the positivity they show but it can get pretty strange and sticky sometimes.
Win, Lose Or Tie, Raider Til I die is their mantra and it drives the Cynics crazy. Many Optimists feel that if anyone doesn’t see the silver lining in even the worst of situations, that they are not loyal and they are not real supporters. Their feeling is that you need to stick by your team through thick and thin with kind words of support, or you are not being a true fan.
They talk a lot about their loyalty and how they are great fans for constantly showing a positive vibe, and they refuse to face the negative even in the darkest of times. They are very emotional about their support and rip on those that are not positive about the next game or the next season. They tend to rely on opinions over the facts of what really is going on.
Their Raider mantra is “Just Win Baby”. They don’t want to lose or tie, they want to win. They tend to live and die with the team each week. If they win one week then 10 and 11 wins are ahead and if the Raiders lose, the sky is falling and they need to get rid of everyone.
They clash with the Optimists for not seeing what they feel is the obvious. The gooey sweet support makes them kind of sick. They tend to be the over 35 crowd who have been through a lot with the team and they are ready to start winning again. They are OG Raider fans, and winning is the focus. Their feeling is that the Optimists dont even remember much of the winning tradition and they don’t understand their apathy. Cynics enjoy facts but their opinions are strong and tend to be more close minded.
The Realist tends not to be too emotional and they don’t have a mantra. They love the Raiders but are usually more seasoned fans that have seen it all. They can be young or old but they are more laid back about it. They are not dressing up for games or have Raider stickers on their cars.
They go more by facts and what is, instead of opinions, and they look at the results. Realists are more analytical than the other groups. They drive the Optimists and the Cynics crazy because they are not as emotional about the team as others are, and they have a more philosophical approach to following the team. They don’t fall in love with every draft pick, and they have an opinion that isn’t all negative or positive. At times the other groups question their loyalty and their fervency for the Raiders.
What Makes a Good Fan:
What all three types of fans forget is that people in ALL of these groups can be good fans. A good fan is loyal person who loves their team and supports their success. They may go to the games or not, dress up and tailgate or just enjoy the games on television.
A good fan can be either very positive, negative, or somewhere in the middle. They care about the team and would never switch to another organization. They may have a busy family life, and their priorities are not as much on sports as it previously was but they still hope for the Raiders to do well and follow them.
In reality if you are a good fan you shouldn’t really worry about other fans. If you know that someone is a front runner or only cares about the team when they win, then don’t sweat it. It doesn’t hurt you. Their joy in the teams winning really isn’t very rewarding and it shows how shallow of a person they are. You have a relationship with your team and they have one night stands. They just want to be seen and get the attention of being a fan on a winning team where you actually care what happens.
For true fans, the joy of their teams success after years of futility is an amazing feeling. Sure the Golden State Warriors had a lot of young bandwagon fans that wanted to be a part of the fun and attention, but you also saw some fans who had waited decades to see their team win.
I saw more than a few tears shed in the last few years by long time Giants and Warriors fans who had waited so long for a championship. The bittersweet joy of winning touched their hearts like a child in springtime, while also bringing back amazing memories with loved ones that had passed away. They went to games against last place teams when each were laughing stocks and they cared deeply about how their teams did. Even with the passing of time, they still loved their team whether they cheered, complained, or booed them off of the court or field. They emotionally invested into a team that they loved, and the happiness of success was epic.
In the end we all want to be successful in life, be happy and have loved ones stay healthy. In all this, Raider fans will hopefully someday again feel the extreme joy of winning. Just remember the passionate joy that Warriors and Giants fans recently experienced, and remember that the more you invest into something, the more joy and contentment you will feel when they win. So don’t worry about what another fan does, and don’t get upset when your loyalty is questioned. Be confident in your passion. Being loyal to the Raiders is for life, no matter what type of fan you are.