Through all the ups, downs, and in-betweens, one thing has remained the same: the Raiders have one of the most loyal fan bases in the NFL, and it’s not close. The Raiders have not been to the playoffs since 2016. They haven’t won a playoff game since 2002 and they haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1984. They have moved states, lost coaches, and busted more draft picks than you can count, but the loyalty in Raider Nation has never wavered.
In a year as unprecedented as this, we decided to ask Raider Nation why they are so loyal to their team. Here’s what we found out.
Names of fans have been removed for privacy.
What We Learned
One of the most interesting things learned through this interview process was how many Raiders fans have been fans of the team since they were young.
“It’s the only team when I grew up as a kid that I knew would always make me feel like a real fan,” one man said.
“Growing up, no matter what happened. I could look forward to the Raiders on Sunday,” another fan said. The Raiders have been an integral part of so many lives and families since the beginning.
“Because it’s football. You pick what side of the scrimmage line you are on, then you stay there and fight. No matter what,” another fan told us.
“No matter what” has included more than any fan could imagine recently. Losing a head coach mid-season, releasing your star WR1, and moving to a new state during a pandemic, to name a few. The loyalty of Raider Nation stayed consistent throughout.
More times than I can count, fans told us, “it’s in my blood,” or “it’s who I am,” or “it’s family.”
The Raiders organization has created a family that stretches to every continent. The team they have in Las Vegas is supported by millions of people in the United States and beyond. They would never dream of their life without the Raiders.
“If they aren’t Raider Nation they would never understand.”
The Effects of Loyalty
The Raiders organization has benefited from Raider Nation every season since its inception. Teams never wanted to play at the Oakland Coliseum, and it wasn’t because of the baseball diamond dirt. Opposing teams never wanted to hear the loud roars that would come while they were on offense, or the noise that would erupt when the Raiders scored. The Oakland Coliseum was the epitome of home-field advantage and now, Raider Nation travels to every game.
The fans are as important in the offseason as they are during the season. Free agents have chosen the Raiders because of the fans and the environment they create.
“I felt like I was a Raider all along. It just took me a while to get here,” First-year Raider Yannick Ngakoue said to the media in July.
Fans of the Raiders have made the organization what it is. Whether they are winning, losing, or moving, you can always count on Raider Nation to be there as loud as they can be. They love their team, no matter what.
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