A Raider Battle Cry


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Jan 22, 2006
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A Raider Battle Cry

You remember the scene in the movie "Brave Heart": Mel Gibson, playing the historical Scotsman William Wallace, gives a speech to the troops before they engage a numerically superior English Army. Knowing they are outnumbered, the Scots see a sea of battalion after battalion form ranks under Great Britain's Banners. They almost lose heart, but all eyes are on William Wallace who thunders these heartening words: "I am William Wallace. And I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men and what will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?" With these great words, Wallace rallies the sons of Scotland to a victory as the bagpipes swell to a crescendo.

Those brave hearted, yet unsure Scots, who stood their ground and then rallied to charge to victory, remind me of us, the Raider fans. Right now we are divided into two camps: the camp of optimists and the camp of realists as evident by the polls at RAIDER NEWS.com. Growing up at the Raider games in the 1970's when the Raiders won 80% of their home games, if you had a Raider ticket, you were almost guaranteed to see a win. Art Shell and the rest of the offensive line opened up some mighty huge holes while providing Kenny Stabler all day to 'read a newspaper' before seeking an open receiver. Those days put me squarely in the optimist camp for thirty years, and I stayed there right up until the last couple of years. Since then, the waiting after twenty-two years to see my team win another Super Bowl has moved me over to the realist camp.

There have been many debates between these two camps. But, contrary to what some younger junior Raider fans would argue, whether you are a realist or an optimist is not the deciding factor as to your so-called "real raider fan" status. So to the younger fan I say, "Sat down, Junior, and take notes from your elders." The Raider historical standards are high and we, the Senior most Raider fans, remember when the Raiders' overall historical winning percentage was above .750 along the way to winning three Super bowls.

Having said that, no matter how critical we seem currently, we will expect this team to maintain these same high historical standards next season in keeping with our proud history. Make no mistake about it, Raider football is about wining football, and we expect nothing less year in and year out. In addition to these expectations, we will hold this team's feet to the fire and let them know that anything less is not acceptable; and I agree with JT the Brick when he says this is what "real" fans do. When these historic standards are not lived up to and slip, like a standard bearer who falls in battle, we, the Raider fans, will rally behind that Raider flag. We will pick it back up, and will carry that flag and say this is the standard of Raider football, no matter what. Some don't like it but there is no greater honor in battle than to carry those colors and that is my role. In the fog of war the flag lets you know where your homeboys are and where to rally to. So I blow a trumpet and shout, "to the flag Raider Nation," for this is where the petty differences are put aside and we are one. I will carry that flag until we fly a fourth World Championship one from our flag poles and even more. But If I fall my question to you Raider Nation is will you pick it up? We have lost Hard Core, Big Dad and Raider Man and so will you pick up their flag? ( Please post any other Raider fans no longer with us at the end of this article.)

Last year was difficult, yes, and disappointing, I know. 'Raider haters' added insult to injury and mocked you, the Raider fan. Jason Taylor said he was disappointed in you and said that you Raider fans "are not what you used to be." Mike Shanahan said of you, " I guess they are getting older; they don't make the amount of noise they used to."

So it is I stand at the helm of the Raider Nation battalions and ranks arrayed in battle gear, in silver and black war paint and I call you to battle. Like William Wallace, I cry out to the Raider Nation, "I am the West Side Pirate". I see a whole army of the badest ass football fans arising in defiance of every team that would come to the coliseum to oppose us. I see you coming here to see your team win, but will you help them to win is the question? Will you buy tickets, will you come bring the noise and the return of that Raider intimidation?

Realists, I am calling you out. The Raiders have done almost all they could to improve this team, will you step up? Will you come and get off the fence and will you be the twelfth man you once were? I have seen what you can do and it is wondrous. I have seen you thoroughly shut down offenses with your astounding noise, bringing the nasty while radically changing the momentum of a game. As the twelfth man like no where else, I have seen you intimidate teams until the opposing players cannot hold your gaze. I have seen you get into your enemy's mind and jack up his plays. You Raider fan, are the reason no one wants to come to Oakland to play football and they shake their head when they see that name on their away schedule.

Arise, 12th man, and get your tickets! Arise, Raider nation, bring the noise and your noise makers. Psychological warfare is your contribution; noise is the nasty you bring to the enemy. Dissonance is the Psyche Opps that creates confusion in your enemy's helmet. Bring your noise makers, bring your small radios, bring your whistles, your cow bells, your noise sticks and anything else that makes noise. These are our tactics, this is how we shut the enemies offense down, so may the Raideretts stand down when the other team is on Offense. Let's read in the paper the next day what a difficult place the Coliseum is to play football once again. Let's laugh out loud with our hoarse voices as we read about the dissonance in the black hole that shut down yet another opponent. Let's get that win on the Monday night opener.

Do you remember watching us welcome Ryan Leaf into the NFL with a near riot in the Black Hole? It was such a distraction to Leaf, he lost all focus and broke down. Let's do the same thing to this kid Philip Rivers and fire up that defense as Lance Johnstone and Derrick Burgess come off the ends to rub his jersey in the dirt.

Arise, Raider fan, from your long and disappointing slumber. You are needed to get into your enemy's mind, man,--into his head, homes--and to trouble his dome dude, once again. On to victory once again. To victory, Optimist. To victory, Realist. Nothing less is acceptable in the Raider Nation. Sound the trumpets; cry out your battle cry. Onward to the coliseum. Onward to the valley of victory, put that Raider gear back on and represent, "West Siiiddahh."

( I am ready for some football, but just remember, though, the other teams fan is off limits and will take you to the Sant Rita County jail when we need you at the home games, homie.) Once a Raider always a Raider, so I say to you again, Raider on.
Good battle cry but the St. Crispin's Day Speech of Henry V is far superior to Braveheart.
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