|Joseph Barone at a Raiders game.|
It was the Raiders vs. Eagles. I traveled out to the West Coast with a group of 50 Eagles fans or so. Eagles fans love to talk trash even though they have never won anything that means something, so the entire trip the small group of Raiders' fans took a verbal beating for a couple days before the game.
Then it was game day, we packed the bus and headed over the bridge from San Francisco to Oakland. Immediately upon arrival, the bus got quiet; all of a sudden the ever cocky Eagles fans knew they are in Raiders territory and didn't feel as confident as they did the night before.
The tailgate party was great mostly because we parked next to the Bakersfield party bus and those guys know how to do it. After a few hours of Eagles fans trying not come in any contact with the Raider Nation they headed in a single file line into the game.
From the first few plays of the game you could tell that things weren't going to go as predicted by Eagles fans. Zach Miller ripped one off up the sideline and the Raiders defense ensured that McNabb knew what the field looked like from the ground up as they sacked him play after play.
Seymour and Scott were playing out of their minds and me and the other East Coast Raiders fans were losing ourselves in it all. As the Eagles fans slumped into their seats, we stood proud and confident that this was our day in our house. The entire stadium was rocking and engaged in the game; we upset all odds and sent the birds packing back East with something to remember us by.
At the two minute warning, all of the Eagles fans got up and left the stadium in a single file line, but we stayed back to relish in a true Raider victory. I must have taken five pictures of the scoreboard for memories and proof to take back home that even though I live in Eagle territory, the Raiders will always have to be reckoned with!
Leaving the stadium, it felt like we won a playoff game since we were such underdogs; everyone was high-fiving and yelling in celebration of victory. As soon as we got to our bus, I stepped up on it and let off a nice and loud RAAAIIIDDDEEERRRRRSSS for thoseEagles fans. It was great hearing how disgruntled they were about the performance their team put up. To cap it off, one Raiders fan from the Bakersfield bus got on and gave off a hilarious quote "guess it aint always sunny in Philadelphia."
On a personal note, it was a memory that my uncle, my father, and I will never forget. Each great play we were jumping out of our seats high fiving everyone around us. We were so pumped up it felt like I played in the game by the end of it all. Living around nothing but Eagles fans this was more than just a win; it was a personal victory and a game I will forever be able to bring up to those Eagles fans that were with us. Just being in the stadium and being able to watch first hand a team I related with and idolized growing up was a memory of a life time.
To continue in tradition, I became a Godfather last November and of course my God son will be a Raiders fan, his "real kids wear black shirt" is ready to roll for the upcoming season. One day I will take him out there and hopefully relive that same memory.