Monday, January 03, 2005

Raiders Fans in the Mist, Volume II

You can learn a lot about Raiders fan on this site. But there is no substitute for actual hands-on experience. Book-learning will only get you so far.

But not everybody has the guts to go into the wild with Raiders fans and see how they work. And nobody is blaming them--it's dangerous work. But the Hater Nation is committed to giving you an upclose look from the safety of your computer screen.

The Hater Nation first made contact with Raiders fans in Raiders Fans in the Mist

And that was during a winning season.

We recently met up with Raiders fans in Las Vegas, a conceivably daunting task given the Raiders performance this season. Then again, most Raiders fans are likely convinced that their team is going to win the Super Bowl this season.

Without further delay, the Hater Nation presents:

Raiders Fan in Las Vegas

In the movie version of Stephen King's The Stand, the soldiers of Satan gather in the post-apocalyptic downtown Las Vegas for one final battle with the forces of good.

Fittingly it seemed downtown Las Vegas was the most appropriate place to find a Raiders fan.

But it's not easy to easily identify Raiders fans in this section of the city. Downtown is the home of numerous transients, looking for handouts. With missing teeth and dirty clothes, it's sometimes hard to tell them apart from the Raiders fans.

The homeless are the ones in nicer clothes. Plus a homless guy wouldn't be caught with one of those hideous beer-filled plastic footballs.

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The Vegas Club seems to be the preferred spot for Raiders fans to place their bets, as it was late on a Saturday night. Obviously the Vegas Club is the only place in town that allows fans to wager with food stamps. A group of parolees dressed in Raiders jerseys were conjugated at the Vegas Club talking about that Sunday's big game at Atlanta.

The Falcons were favored by 7.5 points, an insult to true Raiders fans.

"(Expletive) the (Expletive) Falcons. They suck, man," the first Raiders fan said.

"Yeah. Michael Vick is a (female dog). The Raiders are going to kick his (expletive) (donkey)," his buddy said.

"(Expletive) the Falcons, dude. Those (female dogs) got killed in the Super Bowl," a third added.

Nobody, except for those with intelligence and football knowledge (which obviously excludes Raiders fans), noted the irony of that last statement.

"Let's bet on the Raiders," the first guy said. "And (expletive) the (expletive) points. We don't need no (expletive) points. Only (kitty cats) take the points. (Kitty cats) like that (female dog) Michael Vick."

All agreed and took the Raiders on the money line.

The Falcons won the game 35-10.

How many Raiders fans families go hungry during the football season because of this logic? Obviously Raiders fans can't read, but you would think that they could listen to sports talk radio and figure out that their team is terrible.

The highlight of the trip was watching the Chargers battle the Buccaneers at Jillians, Downtown.

Actually, the highlight of the trip was sitting behind this guy:

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A lot of people believe that these stories are made up. There is no way that human beings could behave in the way described here. But looks at this guy. He has the classic "grey" jersey on that shows that he's a little too cheap to spring for the full-priced black jersey. That replica looks like it was bought at TJ Maxx for $12.95.

He must have had the Raiders on the money line, too.

But look at his feet. What in the name of Britney Spears is this guy doing? Does he know that it is illegal to be in a public restaurant bare footed? He's lucky that he's not in California. This could have been his third strike.

He did put his shoes on when he went to the bathroom, unlike Britney.

This ringer for Ice-T was in the establishment with his family (the one he didn't run out on) and his good friend who happened to be a St. Louis fan. Perfect. These things just don't happen any better. It's like sitting down at a table and being dealt two consecutive black jacks. It's the most you could ask for.

Both Ice-T and Martz's son noted that a Chargers fan was sitting behind them, so they both rooted for the Buccaneers. Seriously.

A Raiders and St. Louis fan were rooting for the Buccaneers. Obviously they both had money on the Buccaneers (and the money line). But what other fan would do this?

The Buccaneers embarrassed the Raiders in the Super Bowl two years ago (on the same field) and have been an NFC rival of St. Louis since 1999. Yet these two "fans" had no problem rooting for Tampa Bay.

Who else would do that? Gambling does make some strange bed fellows, but there are just some lines that you don't cross.

Would an Eagles fan ever put money on Dallas or Washington? No.
Would a Packers fan ever put money on Minnesota? No.
Would a Chargers fan ever put money on the Raiders or St. Louis? Never, never, never.

Only a Raiders or St. Louis fan would even think of this. So both guys rooted for the Buccaneers like it was the Super Bowl. It must have felt like a Super Bowl to both of them when Donnie Edwards returned an interception for the game winning touchdown.

Both guys were quiet as they were likely calculating how many hours of washing dishes they were going to endure in order to cover that $20 bet that they had just lost.

Both beaten dogs immediately went into typical Raiders/St. Louis spin, talking about how the "real" Chargers will lose in the playoffs, and Drew Brees isn't a real NFL quarterback.

Whatever.

The Chargers are going to the "real" playoffs. Fans of the Raiders and St. Louis can name their excuse, but it doesn't matter.

So it was a perfect Las Vegas vacation. The Chargers win. The Raiders and St. Louis lose on the field. Their fans lose their money. The only downer was that the poor server waiting on them probably got stiffed (but he should consider it a minor miracle if they even paid the check).

AND FINALLY

Does anybody watch "The Club" on Spike TV? We made a side trip down Harmon Avenue to take a look at the Venue. There's no way that we'd ever go to a place like that. In a town where they serve $1.75 beers in bars, why would you want to go into a club and pay $200 for a bottle of booze? But there is one more interesting question.

Which has more viewers... The Club? Or Hater Nation? Does the total even reach double figures? Probably not.

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