Raiders Nation Invades Glendale
By Scott Allen
Forget the fact the Oakland Raiders have not been a very good team over the past decade, save for 2002. Forget they have a nutty owner in Al Davis. Even forget they had a joke of a coach in Lane Kiffin and the current coaching staff was fighting each other to the point of possible litigation. All of that certainly describes the sorry state of the Oakland Raiders, but there is one thing that will always exist good or bad. Raiders Nation.
There is no middle ground with the Oakland Raiders. You either love them or you hate them. Those that love them, really love them. They dress up for the games as if war is about to break out. Those that hate them, really hate them. Ever been to a Raiders game? Not exactly a bring-your-family type event. A Raiders game clearly lies on the for mature audiences only side of things.
Arizona Cardinals fans know the routine though. They know how Raiders fans behave. They are one of a kind. This isn’t the first time the Raiders have been to Arizona. I remember going to see them one time and the only lasting impression was all the fights in the crowd. Of course that was easy to come away with only that impression because if there is a franchise that doesn’t have much room to brag about its successes over the past decade, it’s the Cardinals. The Cardinals aren’t run though in any way close to that of the Raiders.
Will things be different in the stands on Sunday? They might. The NFL now has a fan code of conduct policy in place. You will still always see people though try to push the envelope. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you get pushed around on Sunday, just a little, especially if you wend up in a Raiders heavy section.
Now, that’s not to say Cards fans won’t dish it back. There is the possibility of Cards fans playing right into the Radiers Nation hands and stirring trouble themselves. No NFL teams fans are exempt from trouble. Passionate fans everywhere tend to go overboard sometimes. A Raiders fan is a different breed though. Buyer beware if you go to the game on Sunday. If you’ve never been to a Raiders game, you’re going to quickly learn to ask yourself one question. Are these Raiders fans passionate or just crazy? You’ll probably find just a little bit of both.