The Raider Nation is one of the most ridiculed fan bases in all of sports. As a general rule, when discussing opposing fans, the national media use one of two convenient stereotypes. But the vast majority of Raider fans are knowledgeable, hard core football fans.
The first stereotype that fans of other teams love to latch onto is calling Raider fans a bunch of criminals. They love to make the jokes about prison buses bringing the fans as part of a special day out. This is where many of the outsiders use the ethnic diversity of the Raider fans to add to their own barbs. However, diversity is part of the great strength of the Raider Nation because the only color the fans see are Silver and Black.
As Gorilla Rilla once said to me at a Raider event, "The Raider Nation is like grandma's quilt. We come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, but when we come together it is a beautiful thing."
The other archetype of Raider fans that the national media loves to focus on is the costumed fans. Those guys are the unofficial team mascots and some like to mock them for their outfits. However, what it comes down to is these guys have developed their fan personality over the years as a creative way of showing their devotion. The networks love to show these guys in the stands at every game, but there are only a select few who don the costume week in and week out.
What those who are on the outside clinging to their negative stereotypes fail to understand is that the bulk of the Raider Nation consists of intelligent fans who are knowledgeable of their team's history as well as the team's current state. They have been quick to boo during the downtimes, but they can also discuss whether or not their second team gunner is up to snuff.
Ultimately, the Raider Nation is composed of people from all walks of life who all have one thing in common; they share a love for the Oakland Raiders football team. They don't all get along, but for several hours on Sundays they all come together as one.
The national media loves to hate on the Raider fans, and they will do their obligatory stories on the "criminals" in Oakland, or how the "constumed fans" don't know it's not Halloween. However, the Raider Nation should hold its collective head high as one of the best fan bases in all of sports.