Its was early 1970's, I was 6 or 7 years old when I began to take an interest in football. Growing up in Orange County, I had several "local" teams to choose from, the Chargers, Rams, 49ers and Raiders. But there was this one team who donned Silver and Black. Rejects. Criminals. Guys thrown together who didn't seem to care much for authority. These guys, even in a loss, physically BEAT THE SHIT out of the other team. The stadium shaking hits of Jack Tatum. Atkinson. Matuzak. Villapiano and the Stork. I remember watching interviews of other teams after playing the Raiders, they would often lose the next game after, just because they were so beat up and physically drained after playing the Raiders.
Their leader was this long haired dude with a whole lotta swag. Cool as a cucumber. A Snake. It was a no-brainer. I still feel the Raiders chose ME. I knew then they would be my team and always would be. They match me, my attitudes, who I am. I don't care where they go or where they play, I am a Raider for life.