By now Dallas Cowboys fans everywhere know that tomorrow is a big deal for us all. The long wait is over and we finally get to see our team in action. This game is is just a little bit more of a big deal to me then to most fans. As I get into my reasons I ask that you, the readers, can bare with me. This may come off as a bio on myself but be patient and I think you may enjoy.
I was born and raised in Richmond CA. For those of you that don’t know it is approximately 15 miles away from Oakland CA. I was born into a “Raider Nation” family and all my siblings and even my mother were known for cheering for the silver and black. My Mother was a big fan for the simple fact that she used to personally know some of the players but lost touch with them after moving away from Oakland to Los Angeles. Even some of my older siblings had times with some of the players. I still remember as child my mother calling Al Davis all kinds of harsh names for years after moving the team to Los Angeles.
As a young naive child I may have been known to wear a Raiders shield from time to time, but as far as I knew the world only existed of the San Fransisco 49ers, and at the time, the Los Angeles Raiders. It was at the age that I thought touchdowns were exactly 7 points and didn’t even know what a field-goal, PAT, or even a safety was. My mother had always told me that the Raiders were the best team ever, that they never lose and could never be beaten. As any child would, I believed her and this one little exaggeration from her would eventually change my life forever.
When I was 8 years old I finally sat down to watch a Raiders game at its full entirety for my first time ever. It was October 25th 1992 and the Los Angeles Raiders, whom my mother convinced me were unbeatable, were hosting a team I had never heard of before. The Dallas Cowboys. Three hours later I looked at the score of 28-13 in favor of the Dallas Cowboys in utter shock. I then thought of my mother as the worlds biggest liar, especially after realizing that this wasn’t the first game the Raiders have lost that season. At that moment, in my juvenile state of mind, I thought that all Raiders fans were liars and I wanted nothing to do with them. I then decided to officially be a Dallas Cowboys fan.
That year I really got into football and learned all the teams. I threw away any Raiders clothing I had and focused on getting silver and blue clothes with stars on them just to let my family know that I wanted nothing to do with thier team anymore. That year really worked out for me because my new team made it to the Super Bowl and beat the the Buffalo Bills 52-17. I remember that day clearly. I also remember one of my cousins calling me a traitor. Then she stomped on my Dallas Cowboys helmet I had on top of the T.V. that I spent almost $10 on trying to get out of the quarter machine. I was very upset but deep down I had satisfaction knowing that an 8 year old child could get to a Raiders fan like that.
Over the next few years I got to watch my team win a few more Super Bowls. I also realized I had to hate the 49ers as much as every Raiders fan I knew. It wasn’t a battle of the Bay hate but a battle of the NFC hate. My whole family are still Raiders fans and I still get called a traitor every now and then even though its been 20 years since I made the conversion. I still have ill feelings for the Raiders. It’s their fans that are the only ones that I can make wagers on their games and not get paid when they lose. I guess my childhood feelings about Raiders fans being liars wasn’t just the juvenile thoughts of an 8 year old after all.
Tomorrow is really big for me for a few reasons. I have never been to a professional football game before and for the first time in my life I am going. I get to see my Dallas Cowboys play the Oakland Raiders. I am going with a fairly large group of friends and family, most of which are the family members that have called me a traitor for the last 20 years.
Although its only preseason and the game means nothing, it really means a lot to me. I get to have a 20 year reunion in a way. What better way to finally get to my first game that I have been waiting 20 years for, then for it to be the two teams that jump started my career as a football fan. It should be interesting to be with my family while me and a few other Cowboys fans are surrounded by a sea of silver and black. My family and I have been having a war for the last 20 years and this truly is Entering Enemy Territory.