Raiders fans showed their loyalty and hearts today in Alameda County and the players all have noticed. There is no doubt that they appreciate everything that the fans did today and then some. This is the type of thing that doesn't just make them appreciate the fans, it makes them more motivated for success.
There are few franchises in professional sports that have shown the type of dedication that Raiders fans have shown today. There have been plenty of times where fans have shown up to support the team but to show up for a free agent signing in droves like this is a site to behold.
When you show this amount of love good things are bound to happen. Hopefully it will be an immediate response that includes Charles Woodson signing with the Raiders but even if he doesn't sign, today has been a special day in Raiders history. This has been a day that the players on the Raiders will never forget and one that they will always cherish. I can only hope the Raiders organization themselves embrace the show of support that was their headquarters on May 21st, 2013.
It is amazing to see such an event unfold before our very eyes and something that wouldn't have been possible without the power of Facebook and Twitter. As simple as a few fans getting together and inviting others to show their support resulted in a flashmob unlike many have seen before. To have seen it start up right here was a real joy to watch and fills everybody associated to this site with a great sense of pride.
Think of it this way, the type of gathering was reminiscent of the midnight welcome the Raiders received when they returned from the first game played after Al Davis had died. The emotion involved in that and the adrenaline from that emotion made it an understandable time for the fans to rally and unite for the team. This gathering on the other hand is happening in the middle of May and outside the OTA practice facilities at a time where it is normally quiet around the facilities.
The reason that everybody rallied together was to show Charles Woodson their support and try to convince him to sign with the Raiders but the effect is so much more than that. This type of support, especially to a team that had just finished 4-12 last year, is one that is impossible to ignore. This is the heart of Raider Nation at it's finest and the players understand unlike ever before what it means for them to play for this franchise.
The players that have never experienced the love of Raider Nation before were told of it but now they have witnessed it. Now they have felt it. There is an aura about the love unlike most had experienced before, it is a family feeling unable to be known unless you have felt it. The fact that all these people showed up for the recruiting of a 36 year old Safety speaks volumes, they respect their legends and love them at an unimaginable level.
When seeing players like Lamarr Houston and Marcel Reece react like they did to the fans today you can't help but notice that they really do understand what it means to be a Raider. Its not just another team to them and its not just another fan base either. There is no doubt that they understood that today was special and something that other teams players wish they could feel. That is why they got out and embraced the fans like they did.
Raider Nation will never give up on their team or their players and if you show us love you will receive it back. Raiders fans love their team, and Raiders players love their fans for that. It is a community that we all will cherish forever. This is the type of thing that the Raiders organization want their fans to be known for and this is the type of thing that they know their fans are capable of.
The fans made the team proud today and showed them the reality of how much they mean to us. It will only help serve them all in knowing that they have made the right decision in joining the resurrection of this great franchise. Each and every player that saw today realizes now better than ever how loved they are. They are lucky to play for fans like the Raider Nation has, and they absolutely know that as the truth after today.