Ten years ago, Hayden Nadolny, born and raised in Australia, became a Raiders fan. "One of my dad's colleagues is Canadian and came over to the states for the holiday and brought me back a Raider jersey," said Hayden Nadolny. "Ever since then I've been a Raiders fan." In 2007, his mother Suzy surprised him with a trip to Oakland to watch a game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Hayden and Suzy Nadolny made repeat trips to cheer on the Silver and Black in 2009 and 2010.
This year, Suzy and Hayden Nadolny visited the Raiders Alameda facility for the first time. "It's different. It feels weird," said Hayden. "It's a good feeling. This is where the magic happens, where it starts, so everybody is ready for Sunday."
Attending Raider games at the Coliseum is a unique and exciting experience for the Nadolnys. "It's crazy. There's nothing like it," said Hayden. "There's absolutely nothing like it. Back home you just go an hour before the game and get there into the parking lot and you go. Here, you arrive five hours beforehand with all the tailgating. We don't have that kind of stuff. It's just a whole different culture."
Each of the past two years, the Nadolnys have traveled to Oakland to watch the Raiders in two consecutive home games. Experiencing the Raider Nation multiple games per year has given the Nadolnys the opportunity to make good friends while tailgating. "We've met some great people over the last few years, made great friends," said Hayden. "And we've kept in contact and, every time we come, we see all our regular friends and it's really great."
The atmosphere at the Raiders games is a driving factor for the Nadolnys' trip each year. "The most friendly people," said Hayden. "It's a real family atmosphere. It doesn't matter where you're from or what your background is, everyone is family here."
Hayden's dedication to the Raiders has rubbed off on his family. His mom Suzy has grown to love American football, especially the Oakland Raiders. "We think you guys should come down under and play games down there," said Suzy.
Traveling across the Pacific Ocean for a football game has become a tradition for Hayden Nadolny. He has enjoyed the Raiders game experience at the Coliseum and watching his team fight for a playoff spot. Hayden's dedication from Australia is an example of the impact the Oakland Raiders have had on sports fans around the world.