Since the passing of Al davis last year, the Oakland Raiders franchise has gone through dramatic changes in culture and on the field. GM Reggie Mckenzie came from a prestigious Packers Franchise and was installed to bring the franchise back to its winning ways.
First, lets not get things twisted, in the NFL there is one goal, and that is to sell tickets and merchandise. The only way to do that in sports is to win games, and put a product on the field that fans are going to buy into. Insert Reggie Mckenzie. Mckenzie has a philosophy of drafting and acquiring blue collar, hard nose, and smart football players. It is a philosophy that has brought many championships to green bay, but the Raiders are not green bay.
You see, there is a special ora about the Raiders. There is a reason why the team has one of the most reliable fan bases despite being irrelevant for over a decade. The Raiders are the Raiders because they are the gritty, underdogs. The Raiders have been the team renown for their toughness, explosiveness, and even recklessness. It is a reputation that has caused many people to hate the raiders, but many others to love the team.
The Raiders logo represents a grittiness and toughness in itself, so much that gangs and rappers have affiliated with the logo. I don’t see too many people in green bay affiliating with the packers. The packers are an organization partly owned by its citizens, it is a franchise build on heritage and tradition, but it is mainly an organization dedicated to the blue collar hard working meat packers of Wisconsin.
Thats the biggest difference between the Raiders and Packers historic organizations. The magic of the Raiders is found in the minority fan base that has claimed the team as its own. Besides being the logo for urban youth around the country the Raiders were the first team to have minority coaches, and executives. This organization is built on a culture of reckless, so if Reggie McKenzie hopes that fans will be patient while he “builds things the right way,” then he has another thing coming. Raiders fans want to see a product that reflects the recklessness and rebellion in themselves. The reality is they don’t care about hardworking smart football players. Raiders fans want to see deep balls, big runs, big hits, and mostly they want to see them win.
Raiders fans love the raiders because they reflect an enigma in our society. The idea that someone can win and be successful doing things their own way and not caring what others think is something that resonates with the hearts of Raiders. The Markets of Los Angeles and Oakland are both huge minority fan bases that love the Raiders. You see, the white collar fans have teams, in northern California those fans can see 9ers games, and in the south they have chargers games. But for everyone else, all the bad asses and people who don’t give a fuck, those are the people the raiders are built for. It is a totally different fan base than the Wisconsin folk who will live and breath green bay football regardless of how good it is. See in California, we have so many other choices as sports consumers that we dont have to follow all of the mediocre free agent signings that McKenzie has made. All we want to do is see wins, so if McKenzie keeps anything from the previous regime it should be “Just Win Baby!”