Streaks Collide at O.co

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The two longest fan streaks for consecutive games attended collided in Oakland on Sunday when the Raiders hosted the Buffalo Bills.

Kenny Johnson, more commonly referred to as "Pinto Ron," attended his 340th consecutive Buffalo Bills game and spent time before the game with Ron Rickard who was attending his 246th Raiders game in a row.

Johnson's consecutive games streak began in 1994, and Rickard's, who is known as "Raider Ron," began in 2000.

"I had graduated from college and I was in my mid-thirties and I started going on road trips," said Johnson. "I just decided that one year, all good football fans need to pick one year in their lifetime and go to all 16 games. Then I hit 30. Thirty led to 40. Forty led to 50, and at 50 I suddenly realized I was at the point of no return. It's just a lot of fun going to these games."

Both men are also members of the Pro Football Ultimate Fan Association, an association designed to select fans that truly separate themselves from the rest and embody the best aspects of fandom. 

"In 1999 I went to 14 games," said Rickard. "I told my wife, 'One year I'm going to go to every game', so I did it the next year (2000). I did it without really thinking. It started rolling, but it never really was a streak until I approached 100." Rickard's streak caught the interest of several people in the Raiders organization, and when the streak hit 100 he was featured on the team website, and then once again when it hit 200 games.His support for the Silver and Black has been so unwavering that earlier this season Rickard was selected to travel to London to watch the Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins. 

"During my streak there have been two different times I went to a game with pneumonia," Rickard said. "One time, I got out of the hospital and went to the game two days later, so I've kept it going, not only for myself, but it's important for a lot of Raider Nation."

Sunday's game was especially meaningful for Rickard, who was chosen to light the Al Davis Memorial Torch prior to kickoff, and was also interviewed on the field during the first half by Lincoln Kennedy.

Since both Johnson and Rickard began their respective streaks a lot has changed in the football landscape, and the advent of social media has proven to be a valuable tool for both men when they hit the road.

"With social media, it has made it so much easier," Rickard said. "Back in the day, in the early days of my streak, it was all word of mouth and email back then."Saturday evening before the game, the two fans had dinner together and spent time reminiscing on their respective streaks.

"What was neat was last night just sharing stories and the parallels," Rickard said. "We're two all together different people, and the parallels of things that we've done and been through are really similar."

As the streak has grown, it has taken on a new meaning for Rickard, and the diehard Raiders fan, who has not missed a home game since 1985, has no intention of slowing down.

"A lot of people come up to me all the time and say, 'Ron, you keep us going,'" he said. "Not only has it become important for me now that the number is so high, but it has become even more important to me because of what it means to other people also."

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