For his entire 13-year career, Derrick Johnson has played just for the Chiefs. He knows the Chiefs fans pack Arrowhead for every home game and give the Chiefs a great home field advantage. Now he’s seeing how the other half lives. He’s seeing that Raider Nation isn’t confined to Oakland.
Today, they showed the Raider Nation presence in Los Angeles is significant and it took the former Chief aback, according to teammate James Cowser.
“Derrick Johnson was like ‘can you believe how many people are here?’,” said Cowser. “I was like ‘Dude, it’s like this every game. You’re gonna see, it’s gonna be incredible.’ You can just feel the energy when we do something right, that’s why you gotta love the Raiders, that’s why you gotta love Raider fans because they’re amazing.”
Everywhere you looked it was Silver & Black. From the walk up to the stadium, to the parking lots, to the stands.
Pre-game the Raiders players entered to cheers while the Rams players were jeered. Even the Rams cheerleaders were greeted with boos. And when the jumbotron asked “Who’s house?” the crowd responded loudly “RAIDERS!”
This, of course, was the reaction during the game as well.
To be fair, Los Angeles isn’t just any city for the Raiders. They made their home here for 13 years, so there are still a lot of fans in the area. They dominated Chargers games in San Diego and are even more dominant with the Chargers in LA.
“It was awesome being back here,” said Jon Gruden. “If you understand the Raiders, they have a history here, a championship history here. There’s still a lot of fans that remember those teams and rightfully so.”
Though most Raiders players will tell you the Raider Nation earns its monicker for how well they travel. Derrick Johnson is learning that. Welcome to the Dark Side.