Story and Photos By Hayden Nadolny
Special to Raiders.com
My name is Hayden Nadolny and I've been a Raiders fan for 15 years. Being a Raider fan has opened up pathways to developing lifelong friendships from all across the world. It has given me experiences that really are priceless memories, and this past weekend proved to be no exception.
Since 2007, I have traveled from Australia to the Bay Area to watch the Raiders at the Coliseum almost every year. This year, in addition to two home games, I decided to travel to St. Louis for a road game; something different I thought.
I flew from Chicago on Saturday night, and of course, there were fans repping Raider Nation at both O'Hare and St. Louis international airports. Such a great sight, we are always everywhere, 24/7. After arriving at our hotel in downtown St. Louis, I met up with a friend at a local sports bar. Once again, there was no shortage of Raider fans; it was packed with Silver and Black.
There is something special about road games in every sport, and football is no exception. As a fan, when you travel, you really do feel united by the shield, the colors, the creed, from the top down. As a few "RAIDERS!" chants erupted around the bar, you couldn't help but to feel the pride of Raider Nation swarming the city of St. Louis.
After finishing up at the bar, I called it a night and got ready for game day. As it had been 10 days since our last game, and coming off a win in the way we did, the excitement amongst Raider fans in my hotel was palpable.
As I drew the curtains of my hotel room open to welcome in a sunny Sunday morning, I could see Raiders fans walking to the dome, Raiders fans admiring the Arch, and I even saw some Raiders fans in a hotel opposite from where I was staying.
Raider Nation is known for always traveling well. The stadium had no shortage of fans cheering on the Silver and Black. Regardless of the result, Raider Nation once again united together this weekend.
We won't be deterred from adversity, and now that Sunday is over, Monday is a new day. The pain of defeat lingers, but the chance to knock off a Bay Area rival is right in our crosshairs. Raider Nation once again, is optimistic, that we will just win, baby.
Any Given Sunday.