We never pass up an opportunity to take shots at the Raiders and their fans. So it gave us great pleasure today to read this GQ piece from Lauren Bans, in which she spends some time in Oakland with two Raiders fans known as Metal Cindy and Dre of the Dead:
In all of Raider nation, there are about fifty or so "superfans," and Metal Cindy and Dre of the Dead are two of them. Along with other "characters"—including Gorilla Rilla, a dude who shows up every game day in a full ape suit, plus a jersey and sunglasses over the ape suit, and who, according to Metal Cindy, got married in that getup—Cindy and Dre never miss a Sunday. They're like walking and waving Disney World mascots for the drunk-at-10-A.M. set
Do Raiders fans pack heat to the games like we thought? Apparently, they do, just a different sort:
...By 11:30 A.M., every man, woman, and more than a few children are buzzed. And all the ceaseless picture-taking has turned into its own little sideshow. Fans keep trickling over, hoping to score a quick shot with Cindy and Dre. GQ's photographer is here, too, snapping away. Another gussied-up character, a woman named Rhinestone Raider, has also wandered over and is casually trying to get in on the photo action. Rhinestone is a middle-aged blonde with blown-out pageant-queen hair, and she's shivering slightly in her black miniskirt, pink lace tights, and sleeveless halter top bedazzled with pink rhinestones. "I'm not cold!" Rhinestone protests, when she's offered a blanket. "I've got something to keep me warm!" she says, waving her travel mug filled with Captain and Coke.
Rhinestone Raider sounds like my sort of woman--bedazzled and ready to hit a Poison concert. I'd certainly hit her up for a picture in full Broncos attire just to see if she'd do it.
As you might have guessed, all the attention that these chicks are getting is pissing off some of the more traditional Raiders fans (do they exist?), especially the men:
Some of the men are starting to get annoyed by all the showboating. One of the regular tailgaters gives me a slow shake of his head. I'm not sure what's drawn his disapproval—Rhinestone powdering her nose in the side mirror of a truck or Cindy posing pursed-lipped with three cute girls in Raiders tanks. "Some people here," he murmurs, "are just in it for the wrong reasons." He lets that sit with me for a moment, and then he walks away.
Awww, poor babykins. Bans must have found the one Raiders fan who wasn't as high as a kite.
Finally, Bans lays down a pretty reasonable explaination for the pyschology of these women:
The women? Sure, they want a Super Bowl trophy, too. But they don't need it as much. For them, that's not what this is all about. From what I can surmise, a major reason they get up early and put all that time into their face paint and shove their cleavage up to the base of their neck is because, well, they get attention for it. That may sound unflattering, but it also makes sense—who wouldn't want to be the queen of some kingdom, somewhere? To go from struggling model to bona fide celebrity, just by showing up and caring enough?
I completely agree with Bans's take, and would add just one more point: men are the same way. The Violator (who gives a damn what his real name is?) gets off on being a celebrity fan the same way as these ladies. If you don't agree, check out this clip, in which The Violator compares himself to a '57 Chevy:
Do they really let these people breed?