Oakland Raiders fans have a pretty terrible reputation.
Fights are common at games—so much so that even home fans are choosing to stay away, which is affecting ticket sales. There was that terrible stabbing incident from a few years back, in which a Raiders fan knifed a Chargers fan during a scuffle. Still, the Raider Nation remains defiantly proud. "Football's Most Notorious Fans," boasts the Raider Nation banner hung at home games. An Outkick the Coverage post lists Raiders fans among their "Ten Dumbest Fan Bases in America" (No. 7).
But a group of local Raiders enthusiasts are changing that negative perception. For years MC Mystic (Aaron Chambers), a local DJ and silver-and-black blooded Raiders supporter, has been looking for a place his fellow Bend Raiders fans can call home and has found one in Volcanic Theater Pub. Their group, Bend Oregon Raiders Nation (BORN) has gathered at VTP in droves for the last two football games. And though they like to scream and shout at the big screen TV, they're a sweet and peaceful bunch. They're inviting any and all Raiders fans to join them at the next VTP-hosted game (1:30 pm Sept. 29 vs. Redskins) and keep in touch via their Facebook page.
“It was really awesome,” MC Mystic said after the first game (a loss—the Raiders are now 1-1) at VTP. "I didn’t know what to expect, but there were 50-ish people decked out in old-school gear...It was bigger than I expected."
MC Mystic has been busy. He's working to get BORN an officially recognized Raiders fan club and recently cut a verse with a LA-based super fan. Together they re-tooled Bob Marley's "Soul Rebel" into "Soul Raider." It should be available on iTunes soon.
MC Mystic and his band of merry brothers and sisters are looking forward to a full season of good, clean fun at VTP. And all that negative stuff? He says it's just a few isolated fans who have gotten out of hand. The Raiders' skull-and-cross bones motif just happens to attract a, err, lively crowd.
"It embodies a more aggressive, outspoken rebel that’s been put down and wants to rise up," says MC Mystic. "The media just depicts it wrong."