My name is Felipe Amaral and I’m very happy to join the Silver & Black Daily team. To start things off, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside-down, and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, and I’ll tell you how I became a Raider Fan living in Brazil.
In south Rio de Janeiro, born and raised, and even though I spent many days on the playground, it didn’t take a couple of guys up to no good to get this all started. My story with the Raiders began on a trip to the United States in 2001. I was in a toy store looking at a Nintendo64 game called “Madden NFL 2001″. I knew little about football, but I was intrigued by it. So I decided to purchase it, and it turned out to be a great idea. Not only did I got hooked on it, but it was also an easy and fun way to learn the rules and ideas of football strategy.
At that time, the 2003 playoffs were happening. Pittsburgh and Tennessee were going to play that day and I gave it a shot. It was a great experience, and I couldn’t wait for the next TV game. It was going to be the day after, between the Raiders and the Jets. Another cool game, I thought. But it was much more than that. The Black Hole was packed and the Raider Nation was at its best. I just fell in love with that Raiders atmosphere, the crazy painted faces in the stands, the black uniforms, the badass logo and, of course, the high level of football that they played that night. The game against Tennessee was confirmation that the Raiders were just special. The decision was made, I was a Raider Fan.
I was pretty hyped about the Superbowl, but unfortunately things didn’t go our way. And then came the long off-season, which is way longer in Brazil because nobody talks about football, neither the media nor my friends. Football is nowhere near as popular here. The country is widely dominated by soccer, with sports like volleyball, basketball and now the up and coming MMA having their share as niche sports. So then came the next season, and with no Raider games on TV here, and not being able to watch games via internet, my football interest faded away.
But on the last day of 2005, I caught the Raiders on TV again, versus the Giants. And I just remembered how awesome that was. Even though we lost that game, and even though it was the last game of the season for us, I knew I couldn’t let the Raiders get out of my life again. From that day on, I started to follow the Raiders as a die-hard fan. I can count on one hand the number of Raiders games I’ve missed these last years. Thanks to the internet, I’ve been able to follow and watch the Raiders almost like I was right there in the USA. I’m certainly part of a huge minority here, but gladly I’m not the only one, so I can share this silver & black love even if it’s through social media. There is a Raider Nation here, filled with people who don’t let the distance between Brazil and Oakland destroy our passion for the Raiders. Al Davis once said that one of his dreams was to have the Raiders known all around the globe. I’m just honored to do my part and proudly call myself a member of the Nation.
The Autumn Wind blows worldwide, folks.
Until next time!