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IN THE KNOW: Raiders are more than a team — they’re a nation

January 27, 2019 by  
Filed under Community

Raiders are more than a team — they’re a nation


Sheryl Thornton-Burnham

Unless you have lived in a city with a strong sports culture, it can be hard to grasp what having “your” team means. Growing up in Los Angeles, the fortunes of the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, Rams, and Raiders had significant bearing on our way of life. The win-loss records for storied franchises known by their colors — Purple & Gold, Silver & Black, Dodger Blue — changed moods, governed interactions with family and friends, and informed a civic spirit shared by the entire community.

When it came to football, I chose Silver & Black — and they chose me. When  I went to work for what were then the Los Angeles Raiders, it seemed like a perfect fit. It was a pleasure to be a part of such an amazing organization, and it was heartbreaking for so many people when they returned to Oakland.

As they were packing up to go north, I was preparing my move to Las Vegas — and never in a million years did I imagine our paths would cross again. But two years ago, the team began the process of relocating to Las Vegas. Could this really happen? Football in Vegas? My heart said yes — and on March 27, 2017, we heard the long-awaited words: The Raiders are coming in 2020!

Love or hate them, this is a huge win for Las Vegas: the NFL Draft is already locked in for 2020, as is the Professional Cheerleaders Alumni Association Conference; there will be Super Bowls played here, and growing potential to bid for the Olympics and World Cup.

All of that will bring tremendous economic benefits to the city, but I also hope the people of Las Vegas will embrace what the team brings on a community level. The Raiders are among us: the current and former players, the legends, the foundation events, the charitable causes. The Raiders are our neighbors. Their kids are your kids’ classmates. Get to know them as I have. In future articles I will introduce you the personal side of the Silver & Black. Then you will come to understand why they are a nation. Raider Nation!

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