An Ode to The Nation
Maybe it's a brilliant sunrise, or a breath of fresh dewy air, or the laughter of a child. Whatever the trigger, your sorrows fade, replaced by the redemptive knowledge that some things are just beyond your control, which ironically enhances your sense of freedom. And you realize that no matter how bad things get, God’s magnificent green earth will be forever yours to behold and enjoy.
If you can relate, then you know how I felt last Sunday.
The day got off to a surprising start when Cousin of Raider Take and I went to Safeway to grab some tailgating grub. As my receipt printed, the checker informed me that I’d been randomly selected to win an iPod Shuffle—a silver one, no less. Who knew that buying beer could be so rewarding? Alas, I also mistook it as an imminent sign of victory.
At our tailgate, we met three folks who’d recently moved from
Dave (a.k.a. memdf, a frequent Raider Take contributor) stopped by with his wife and daughter, and they came bearing gifts, which was very cool. They came all the way from
Cousin of Raider Take has a sharp eye for photography, and a new camera to back it up. So off we went, on safari, documenting the various species of the Raider Nation, individual in expression yet united by a common genus known as the greatness of the Oakland Raiders. Some of his snapshots are included here for your viewing pleasure.
Later, as I beheld the curious sight of a Josh McCown pass fluttering to the ground like a wounded bird lost in the green wilderness, I still had a smile on my face. Apparently, I had come to the new-age conclusion that “it is the way it is.” I had been enlightened by the realization that no matter how many losses we suffer, the Raider Nation will never disappoint.
It is, indeed, comforting to behold such loyalty, tenacity and good vibes amid the worst of on-field times. Consider that with each mounting loss by the 49ers, the colors of red and gold vanish from the streets, and are now verging on extinction. The same will be said for Patriots blue and red when their run comes to an end.
But Silver and Black never fade. These colors are not a trendy garment nor a bandwagon, but rather a tattoo on the soul. Winning is still everything, but I've been joyously reminded that it's not the only thing.