I wasn’t born an Oakland Raiders fan. The moved while I was still a young child, winning their last Super bowl when I was 3. I wasn’t even a Raiders fan in youth, as I have been a San Francisco resident most of my life and followed the 49ers along with other kids. It was during my time living in Spain in 97 that I finally chose my team, when I decided that the Silver and Black had more appeal and had my favorite player in Napolean Kaufman.
Ever since that moment it has been a life of dedication. Initially the success of the team was there along with mystique of the silver and black. Afterwards there was a long period of losing that could frustrate any fan. Still I persisted, through bad drafts, 2 for 1 special ticket prices, blowouts and more, it still didn’t matter to me they were my team. I felt that in these low points the team needed me and that when the winning happened I would be given back as much as I gave them.
This dedication all started with the small things. The first jersey I could afford was a replica jersey of Napolean Kaufman that I still have to this day (numbers still peeling off a bit). The games I could go to I would even with limited funds. Finally when I got a good job and stable employment my collection of gear grew and was finally able to become a season ticket holder of the Black Hole 6 years ago. My fandom persisted and with the winning that was happening it was all coming together.
Until this morning. with a 31–1 vote the Oakland Raiders are soon to be the Las Vegas Raiders and a little part of my died. My life will still carry on and everything should be the same save for my fandom of the Raiders. I don’t think I can follow the team to Vegas as the expenses for that would be too much, and for all the dedication I showed the team they didn’t how it back.
So here is my pledge as a fan. I won’t go to any games in Vegas for the foreseeable future. I won’t purchase any more gear. The Raiders and the NFL won’t see money from me anymore. I will support local bars and continue to hope they player and coaches get that Super Bowl but I will not support the NFL with my dollars.
The again who am I to the juggernaut of the NFL who has failed in 3 markets in the span of 2 years? To them I’m nothing, and I will now treat them the same with my wallet.