Raider Mecca 2012. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Raiders fans are in town for Oakland's regular season opener at O.co Coliseum Monday against the San Diego Chargers. One group of fans get ready for the game through Raider Mecca, in its 15th year, which brings together fans from all over the United States and the world. "Participants get to get that closeness with their organization," explained co-coordinator Jeff Payne. "Many of these people, and this year 23 states and five different countries [are represented], grew up somewhere watching [Raiders football] and all these years have never had the chance to come out even for a home game. So it gives them a chance to, not only come out to the Coliseum and see their beloved team, but also get completely immersed in the Silver and Black."
The Mecca participants spent the entire weekend immersed in Raiders activities. "This weekend we had a mixer at the base hotel that we stay at and then we headed over Saturday night to the Oakland Coliseum East Side Club and we invited in Lester Hayes, Raymond Chester and Willie Brown," said co-coordinator Bill Johnson. "They entertained everyone with autographs and pictures. We had lots of prizes and Raiderettes were there and just everyone had a great time. Today we're touring Raider headquarters and tomorrow there will be a private tailgate out in a special location at the Coliseum."
Check out the photos from Mecca's visit to Raiders headquarters and the Raider Image where they met WR , G Tony Bergstrom and LB Carl Ihenacho.