Today is my 45th birthday. Now, before you crack the petty jokes, we all get older. However, as a Raiders fan, my perspective is different. Granted, I am not one of these clowns that tell you how their long-term fandom is better than most. Nah, this ain’t that. On this day, we are keeping it moving.
The above number represents the number of days since the Raiders hoisted a Lombardi trophy. In that time, six presidents, five Rocky movies and 25 members of Menudo happened. I remember hopping the bus to elementary school that Monday after. In my little nine-year-old mind the Raiders would win the championship again. Still waiting. Bay Area native Bruce Lee said it best.
“Patience is not passive, on the contrary, it is concentrated strength”.
If maintaining frustration over the lack of Lombardi appears too much, drop down to a reasonable level: the playoffs. Since that last championship, the Raiders can claim six postseason wins. Yes, in the 35 years since Marcus Allen’s famous run, the Raiders boast a half-dozen postseason victories. While that number stuns and angers me, I cherish each of those wins. Yet, the hope always remains that each year brings a deep playoff run. While everyone respects the organization, that futility is alarming.
“You can bail water 24/7, and no matter how good you are at not sinking, you still have a hole in your boat.”
In my life, as a Raiders fan, I am lucky. My team hoisted multiple trophies. Yet, recent years did not smile down on fans. However, hope remains eternal. My oldest daughter saw her first Raiders victory on November 20, 2014. That little four-mouth old giggled and cooed while watching her father scream at the TV. The Raiders snapped a 16-game losing skid. From that moment, football became a part of her life.
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Two years later, in the magical 2016, my son entered the world on September 9th, a Friday. His first post-hospital onesie sported the Silver and Black. While holding him in the hospital, I saw one of the boldest playcalls in recent Raiders history.
Overall, being a Raiders fan is a highlight of my sports fandom. While recent history still pains fans, the allure of the hope stays strong. Therefore, raise a glass, shot, whatever. Celebrate your fandom.