Only 1 Nation is your new go-to site for all things Oakland Raiders. Our mission is to bring Raider Nation relevant news, thorough analysis and thoughtful opinions. We have a podcast and we also have future plans for an app, a forum and a merchandise store. We plan to build the best Raiders community on the web.
Below are the stories of how each member of the staff became fans of the Silver and Black.
Having grown up in San Jose in the early 90’s, the 49ers were all the rage in the Bay Area. Coming off of a run of Super Bowl victories and with the Raiders playing in Los Angeles, Red and Gold dominated the area. The majority of my family were Niners fans, and a smaller portion of them — Dad’s side, who were from Minnesota — were Vikings fans. I’d often go to school wearing a Niners or Vikings shirt or jersey, without a second thought.
But after the Niners won their fifth Super Bowl — January of 1995 — things began to change. At the age of six, I began to fall to the dark side.
The Raiders were coming back to Oakland, and news of this was becoming increasingly relevant in my little world. ESPN was just about the only thing I watched growing up, so seeing news of this on TV was the first stage of my transition to trading in Red and Gold for Silver and Black. At home with my family — my Dad and my older siblings in particular — this was a common topic of discussion, and the common discussion revolved around one thing — my family HATED the Raiders.
The Niners fans hated the Raiders because of the cross-town rivalry. The Vikings fans hated them because of the Super Bowl loss, and then also because of the team’s villain reputation. I, on the other hand, was drawn to the Raiders being “the bad guys”. The more and more I learned about the Raiders, the more and more I began to like them.
The colors, the logos, the mystique, the villains — I was drawn to the Raiders like a moth to the flame. And so at the age of six, I told my parents that I was now a Raiders fan. I was grounded for an unknown length of time, but I’ve been a Raiders fan ever since. And even though being a fan from 2003 to 2013 felt like I was still grounded, vindication is just around the corner.
I became a Raiders fan in elementary school. I lived on an Air Force Base in Germany and really loved playing most sports, and football was my favorite.
The four years I played, my team name was the L.A. Raiders, and that spawned my interest in the team. It was also great that the kids on other teams were jealous of our black jerseys.
Living on base, you only had one TV channel and with the time difference, watching football didn’t happen. Everyone recorded the Super Bowl on VHS (Google it if you have to) and I watched the Raiders beat the Redskins four or five times a week.
That game really cemented my love for the team. While my friends wanted to grow up to be “football players” I wanted to grow up to be a Raider.
I firmly believe that I was divinely destined to be a Raider fan. Growing up in my native Sydney, Australia, NFL was a very distant sport. It had little to no following in Australia in the 90s when I was growing up. I remember watching a game on television when I was quite young and being drawn to one of the two teams playing. All I knew was that they wore Silver and Black.
Several years later, I found an old, worn, and deflated Oakland Raiders ball in my backyard. No one in my family had ever seen it before and it didn’t belong to any of my neighbours. It became my favourite thing to throw around on weekends.
I was also lucky enough to have an aunt who lived in Oakland at this time as well. I never got to meet her, but every Christmas she would send American chocolate to us that was absolutely divine. One way or another, all the pieces came together and by the time I hit high school, I was playing ‘Madden’ most afternoons and watching Sunday’s highlights whenever I got home from school on Mondays.
So many things nudged me in the direction of the NFL and the Raiders specifically. I’m glad it worked out the way it did!
When you grow up in East Los Angeles in the 80’s and 90’s, there is no other team. You wear Silver, and you wear Black. You root for the Raiders because they personified everything that your city was — dirty, full of crime, and full of castoffs.
The Raiders were only 7-9 the year I was born (1981) but my father was a diehard fan of the team and their promise nonetheless. Two years later, they were 12-4 and Marcus Allen completed his famous “Running with the Night” touchdown against Washington to win the Super Bowl. That was it — with my father hooked, and even though I was only 2 years old, so was I.
Being a child, all I wanted to do was impress my father. As a “street pharmacist”, he had very little time for anything other than his job of choice. But that didn’t deter me — I was young and had no idea what that meant or that it was bad. The only thing I knew was that he loved the Raiders and I wanted to share that with him.
My dad would often bet on games. One weekend, my cousin came over for the Rams vs. Raiders, and as a Rams fan, he began to talk a bunch of trash to my dad. He calmly laughed and told my cousin to bet a jersey on it — so it was my cousin’s Eric Dickerson jersey up against my dad’s Howie Long jersey. Winner got to burn the loser’s jersey. A lifelong Raiders fan was born that day as I watched that Dickerson jersey burn, tears streaming down my cousin’s face.
I began to immerse myself with the team, cheering for players such as Allen, Bo Jackson, Napoleon Kaufman, Raghib “The Rocket” Ismail, Rickey Dudley and many others. As the days and years went by, the Raiders became less and less about my father and more about my absolute love for the team. My dreams have shifted from playing for the team to working for the team (I wanted to be just like Amy Trask, discovered by Al) to being a writer for the team.
There have been good times and a whole lot of bad times cheering for the Raiders, but never once did I waver. Even if I was tested a time or two, like the 2002-03 Super Bowl against Tampa Bay when I was roommates with a Buccaneers fan. That stretch until 2013 was filled with some rough season with not much to be proud of (shoutout to Ronald Curry) but Raider Nation endured, and we are now basking in the sun.
My favorite book/movie said it best:
“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo.
As someone who has grown up loving the game of football, I am naturally drawn to compelling stories within the sport. I find the Raiders to be the embodiment of compelling.
My love for the Raiders began back in the late 80’s when I was a young boy. For me, it was my infatuation with Bo Jackson that drew me to the Silver and Black. My obsession with Raiders football has only grown stronger since those early years as a fan.
Some of the players I have enjoyed watching the most over the years includes Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Charles Woodson, and Rich Gannon. Now, a father of two young boys, I can’t wait to share my love of the Raiders with them.
I’ve been a Raiders fan since the age of 6. If I remember correctly, it was Jon Gruden’s second year as the head coach when I first laid my eyes on Raiders football.
To be honest, I’m not sure what quite led me to becoming a Raiders fan, but if I had to take a guess, it would have to be for geographic reasons. They’re the nearest team to my hometown, but I’m also a fan because of the mystique and aura the Silver and Black has carried for so many years.
You can go to any other sporting event and I promise you, nothing can ever or will ever match a home game in the Coliseum.
I’ve been an Oakland Raiders fan since the day I was born, and I’m located in New York! This leads to a lot of people asking me, why? Well, my older brother has always been a positive role model and we have always connected with our passion for football. He was born on January 22nd, 1984 and that was the night the Raiders dominated the Redskins in Super Bowl 18.
He felt like it was destiny to follow the team and he passed that along to me. I started passionately following the team around 2006, when I was starting to get old enough to really understand and follow the information. It’s been a long time coming but it’s good to have the Raiders back among the NFL’s best teams.
Growing up in Southeastern Ontario, Canada in the 80’s, the NFL was pretty scarce. We’d get Monday Night Football games and the Super Bowl — and little else. If you wanted football, the CFL was a better bet.
I hated the Broncos from day one, because my older brother loved them — and because of John Elway’s teeth. I didn’t pay much attention to football in 1988 — I was 11 and couldn’t skate well despite being a Canadian male. So I turned my love to baseball.
That’s where I saw Vincent Edward (Bo) Jackson for the first time, and it was awe inspiring. Snapping bats like twigs – hitting mammoth home runs, running up walls like Spider-Man then gunning runners down. Surreal. And unprecedented.
Wait, he played football too? The Raiders weren’t available often here at that time, but Bo brought them to the forefront. I started hunting down any Raiders clips I could find — not easy in the late 80’s and early 90’s. But Bo was magical, and so his highlights ran on television frequently. He was already my idol, but when he ran through and over the hated Broncos on the way to pay-dirt he became my all-time legend. I was sold — he’s still my hero, and as a kid anything associated with him immediately became my favourite anything.
That included football and the Raiders. They were in Los Angeles then, and Bo was sadly gone too soon shortly after, but my love for the team remained and has only grown stronger over the years. I was DJ’ing at a club during the tuck rule game and my tirade on the microphone nearly got me fired. I like many others stayed loyal and true despite the dark years and JaMarcus Russell, among other things. Cable, buma ye.
I’ve enjoyed writing online for various publications about the Raiders for some time now and am excited about this new venture. Raider Nation are the most loyal and awesome fanbase in sports and the team is on the rise. 2017 should be a great season!
My love for the Raiders developed young, from the first time I saw Napoleon Kaufman score a touchdown. My family from Los Angeles were fans of course, but it took the short-lived show “In The House” featuring LL Cool J to make the team to appeal to me.
LL was cool to me, and I was just drawn to the Silver and Black. The drafting of Charles Woodson in 1998, my childhood idol, really sealed the deal. I’ve suffered through terrible years, bad coaches, arrests and awful quarterbacks, and I’m proud to still be a fan.
I was born in Fremont, California but grew up in Placerville, with a family that loved football and had an unwavering passion for the Oakland Raiders. Caring about any other team wasn’t an option in my family, and as long as I can remember, I have tried to learn as much about the organization as possible.
My family grew up with season tickets through the 80’s and into the early 2000’s, when Gruden Era 1.0 was underway. I was fortunate enough to attend the AFC Championship game against the Titans — which I consider the most memorable football game, in a positive way, of my lifetime.
I grew up playing football and was a three-year two-way starter in high school as a cornerback and slot receiver. At 5’9″/160 with a 4.7 40-yard dash, I wasn’t getting much attention other than some small D3 schools in California. I decided to let go of playing football and take to academics at Santa Clara University, where I could study business and hopefully find a career in sports.
I ended up working for the Raiders from 2011 to 2012 in the Public Relations department under now PR Director Will Kiss, who is a great dude. I got to attend Training Camp and watch practice every day alongside some longtime beat writers such as Jerry McDonald, Jason Jones and Steve Corkran. It was a great summer where I learned a ton about football and covering the sport.
I ultimately decided not to pursue a career in sports as it was incredibly competitive, low paying to start and a complete grind, but I never stayed away from the game and always continued to evaluate players — which is something I have a real passion for. It wasn’t until last year when I decided to take my passion public and I have had an amazing time talking ball and sharing my insights with fans and analysts alike. I thank Only 1 Nation for giving me a platform to share my thoughts and ideas.
Growing up only 45 minutes from Los Angeles, you quickly learn that the Raiders are LA’s team. My Dad, his entire side of the family, a few family friends and even my sister were all Raiders fans, but I actually didn’t buy into the culture at a young age.
As a kid watching Raiders games, I wanted to rival my dad and would purposely root for the opposing team just so it would make things more interesting between him and I. But as I got older, he started taking me to Raiders games — two in San Diego versus the Chargers and two in Oakland against the Panthers (a team I had grown up rooting for because of Steve Smith).
The first two games I attended in San Diego were during the time when the Raiders were really bad. I made my first trip to the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum — then called McAfee Coliseum — in 2008, when the Panthers were playing the Raiders. The stadium was half empty, the atmosphere was dull and Carolina had defeated Oakland pretty handedly in an uneventful game.
Fast forward to 2016; my Panthers were playing in Oakland again, and my dad, my sister and I decided to travel to watch the game. The roles reversed as the Raiders entered that game as one of the best teams in the AFC and the Panthers had been struggling all season. That Panthers-Raiders game turned out to be one of my favorite sporting events that I have ever attended.
The game had everything, and just when the Panthers had taken the lead, Derek Carr returned from a hand injury to lead the game-winning touchdown drive. On the ensuing Panthers possession, Khalil Mack strip-sacked Cam Newton in the final seconds and the crowd absolutely lost it — imagine 50,000+ Raiders fans cheering at the top of their lungs. It sent chills up and down my spine. Oh, and you know that old stereotype that Raiders fans are dangerous, thugs and start fights? It’s not true — I was decked out in Panthers gear and did not have a single problem all game.
After that day, I had a new found love for the Silver and Black. I was heartbroken when Carr broke his leg against Indianapolis and then again when they announced the team was moving to Las Vegas. It’s safe to say I was disappointed by the 2017 season but at least things are looking up for the Raiders and I am definitely excited for their future.
Growing up in Fresno County in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, there was really only three teams you were even ALLOWED to root for — the Raiders, the 49ers, and the Cowboys. My Dad was a Raiders fan, my neighbors were Raiders fans, and my best friends were Raiders fans. It only felt right that I also became a Raiders fan.
I only experienced two years of good Raiders football — the “Tuck Rule” season and the Super Bowl blowout. Aside from those two seasons, I have experienced A LOT of bad Raiders football. 12 years of it, to be exact. Kerry Collins, Josh McCown, Purple Drink Russell, and Matt Flynn — I was there through it all. It almost became a point of pride for me, that I was loyal to my team through all of their incompetence. Kind of like Browns fans, but less sad.
With the unfortunate passing of Al Davis came a new era of Raiders football. The team hired Ron Wolf disciple Reggie McKenzie as General Manager and he quickly got to work getting the team out of cap hell. He also did something I could’ve only ever dreamed of — he drafted Derek Carr. The quarterback I rooted for in college was now going to be the quarterback of my favorite NFL team. As if I wasn’t already, that cemented my position as a Raiders fan for life.
My time as a fan of this franchise has had its ups (reaching the playoffs for the first time in 14 years) and downs (a decade of terrible football), but through it all I’ve stayed loyal to the Silver and Black, and I always will.
If I’m being honest, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a Raiders fan. Most people talk about the incredible players they grew up watching and the awe-inspiring performances they witnessed. Not this guy. I grew up going to the Coliseum to watch some of the worst teams ever put on a football field, but l loved every minute of it.
I was there when Nick Foles tied the touchdown record, but I was also there in the pouring rain on a Thursday night to witness Derek Carr’s first career win against the Chiefs. I was there to witness Doug Martin start his career by rushing for 251 yards and 4 TDs — the same game Carson Palmer threw a game-sealing interception. But I was also there to see Charles Woodson play his last game in Oakland.
One of my favorite memories came from one of the worst teams we’ve had over the last decade and a half — JaMarcus to Zach Miller for an 86-yard touchdown sprung by three blocks from one of my favorite Raiders, Louis Murphy. No matter how bad the team was, I couldn’t think of any place I’d rather be than the Coliseum.
Watching the Raiders with family and friends was the thing I looked forward to the most every week and that is still the case. I’ve been through the bad and I’m glad I’m still here to finally see the good. I was born a Raiders fan and that will never change.
Growing up watching reruns of Super Bowl 18 on VHS, hearing my dad regale me with stories of guys like Bo Jackson and Jim Plunkett, Three Mile Lyle and The Mad Stork, Ken Stabler and Gene Upshaw, it was a formality from birth that I was destined to be a die hard Oakland Raiders fan.
Sitting through the worst thirteen year stretch in franchise history was nearly unbearable, but having hope and knowing that you could knock us down but never out, I persevered. And with greatness on the horizon, with the bandwagon overflowing, and with hopes at an all time high, just know it has always been a great day to be part of the Raider Nation.
As a native of Houston, Texas with no direct ties to or experiences in California during my childhood, I became a Raiders fan in what I humbly believe to be the purest way possible — through haphazard indoctrination.
My father was a fan of the franchise, but was much more a real-life embodiment of it’s aura than anything else. I studied him intently — the way he swaggered around fearlessly, his baseball hat pulled low, and his Tupac CD turned high. He was confident, defiant, and determined, and more often than not, be it a hat, a shirt or a jacket, he was wearing something emblazoned with bold, silver block letters and a winking pirate. He never represented any other team, regardless of sport, so prominently or proudly.
I fell in love with the Raiders. Then I fell in love with football, and subsequently even more so with the team. My father, always wise far beyond his years, was way ahead of me; it wasn’t until I was a teenager going through baby pictures that I realized he’d outfitted me with my own Raiders beanie as soon as the chill of my very first winter hit.
“Destiny” can be a funny word, often overused and subject to cliche. But I can confidently say I was destined to be a Raider. More than a football team, it’s a way of life — a code, a culture, and a language all its own. I know no other way to exist.
The story of how I became a Raider fan actually starts with my Dad. He moved to the Bay Area from Nigeria in the late 70s and immediately fell in love with the Raider image and culture.
He stayed a fan when they moved to Los Angeles, and when they came back in ’95 — one year after I was born — he passed on the Raider fandom to me. The rest is history.
I became a fan of the Raiders when I was very young. Growing up in the middle of nowhere (rural Nevada), the closest professional football team was over 600 miles away, so no one would fault me for jumping on the bandwagon of any team with no regional loyalties.
I was 10 years old in 2004, when the Raiders were in the early years of a stretch of mediocrity (to put it gently), never the less, with a little bit of influence from my father — a casual but lifelong Raiders fan — I began to develop an obsession with the Oakland Raiders. Over the course of my teenage years, I began to educate myself on the Raiders and on football, and I fell in love with the sport.
My parents started a tradition of taking me to games around the country for my birthday and I was even fortunate enough to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton when I traveled to a Browns game in Cleveland. Now, living in Reno, I make it a point to make the short drive to The Bay at least once a year to see the team that has rewarded my patience with an incredibly exciting squad. I loved the Raiders even when it was hard to love the Raiders, and I can’t wait for what’s to come.
Growing up and living in New York City, the question I always get asked is “why are you a Raiders fan?” There is no simple answer to that question.
If you are reading this, you most likely bleed the Silver and Black and know it’s a foundation of your life. Aside from that, it’s also a way of life; whether it’s the colors of the suit I’m buying, the colors of the dog I love or the look of my car. There is only one choice for me — Silver and Black.
I can’t attend a family function, get together with friends or go to the supermarket without striking up a Raiders conversation. They know me, they know how animated I can become and how invested I am. If you ever find yourself in Bayside, NY on a Sunday afternoon during the football season, make sure to visit the Local Pour House so you can witness the experience first hand. We have built a community of Raiders fans, strictly on the passion we share for this team.
Some of you may know me from my hilarious tweets or my groundbreaking “Tuck Rule”, podcast, which featured many of the writers from Only 1 Nation as guests. My current podcast, “Raiders Insider VIP”, just launched in 2018 and I hope to bring Raider Nation plenty of humor, and of course, the latest and greatest in “insider VIP” information about the Silver and Black.
I may not remember what I studied in college or what I did with my girlfriend last weekend, but I know exactly where I was when Charlie Garner went 50+ yards against the Jets or when Rich Gannon went bananas on the Titans in a playoff game.
As an 80’s baby, I have been witness to A LOT of bad football and some horrendous organizational structure. I have a 40 foot container of worthless past player jerseys *cough* Lamarr Houston *cough*, among others. This team has had very limited success during my lifetime, but at the end of the day, how does one abandon a parent or a son? It’s impossible.
I enjoy interacting with Raider Nation and hope to meet many of you at The Coliseum and eventually at our new home in Vegas. This opportunity at Only 1 Nation will only help me get familiar with more of you and also let you guys learn more about myself and my dog Bert.
Sports has been a thing I have loved from a very young age. As a native to New Zealand, football — or as you American’s call it — “Soccer” was my first love. So when my Uncle Riki came back from America with two “football’ helmets, I didn’t quite understand. They were Chiefs and Raiders helmets.
I could have been the enemy, but after being told he had played for the Raiders, I had taken an infatuation with the Silver and Black colors and there was no going back.
I didn’t become obsessed with the game like I am now for another six or seven years. The year we drafted JaMarcus Russell. Since then we have been through it all and I’m glad to say, I stuck with this team and am thrilled to see them on the positive side of things for once. GO RAIDERS!