On both coasts this week, the Raiders are a topic of conversation.
Certainly there’s a lot to talk about, from Oakland’s 2-1 start and Darren McFadden’s game-breaking speed, to head coach Hue Jackson’s “build a bully” mantra.
Also, there are the Raiders fans and the atmosphere at the Raiders’ O.co Coliseum. The fans are getting some attention this week as Oakland prepares to host the New England Patriots Sunday.
The atmosphere was electric in the Raiders’ home during their victory over the New York Jets in Week 3, and it didn’t go unnoticed.
Speaking in Foxboro, Mass., this week, Patriots guard Brian Waters – who played for the Kansas City Chiefs for 11 seasons – said the environment in Oakland is especially hostile for opposing players.
“I don’t care who it is, when you walk in there, I don’t care who you are, I think they’re not going to like you,” he told the New England Sports Network. “And they’re not going to like you, your family, your friends and they’re going to have no issues of letting you know from the time the buses ride in.”
Waters says that as a visiting player, it’s important to tune out the Oakland crowd.
“Try not to pay attention to those things, because they can be a great distraction if you allow them to,” he says.
Waters even cited an instance as a visiting Chief when a woman in a wheelchair flipped him the bird with both hands.
“That’s about as crazy as you can get,” he says.
As San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler wrote this week, the coliseum is re-energized after the awful JaMarcus Russell era and a long run of futility. On Sunday against the Jets the crowd was “rocking the house” and “Raiderville is no longer a ghost town.”
Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who’ll be facing his former team Sunday, says the Raiders have their swagger back and play a brand of football their fans associate with the Raiders of old. Seymour told Ron Borges of the Boston Globe that the Raiders are more than just another NFL team, and if you’re a Raider, “you’re carrying a culture with you.”
“We play Raider football,” he told Borges. “Nasty, rip-your-head-off brutality. As a lineman, that’s the ultimate.”
Added Seymour: “Come Sunday, we’ll have the Black Hole rockin’.”