Raiders fans are some of the most passionate fans in sports. They’re a colorful group. Members of the Raider Nation cheer loudly and wear silver and black outfits, but some of the most devoted Raiders fans take their fandom a step further dressing up in eccentric and intimidating costumes on game day. Many die-hard fans, especially in the famous fan section of the Oakland Coliseum known as the Black Hole, have created alter egos for their characters.
Arien Beierle a.k.a. Scar (Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Raiders Italia had the privilege to interview some of the most notorious Raiders fans. Today we are pleased to introduce you to Arien Beierle, also known as Scar.
(NOTA: la versione in lingua italiana dell’intervista la trovate in questa pagina)
Raiders Italia: Who is Scar in the “real life”? How old are you, where do you live and what do you do for a living?
Arien Beierle: Scar in real life is a 23 year old college student, finishing up school at Sacramento State University! By the time the season starts, I will be living in a small suburb north of Sacramento. As for jobs, I’ve done a number of things from sold energy drinks, to coach baseball teams, to work at a Buffalo Wild Wings!
RI: When did you start dressing up as Scar?
AB: Scar started in 2007, as a joke between friends. I was seen as meek, and relaxed for a Raider fan, so some of my friends said, “I should dress up like those guys on TV.” I did, and well, it took on a life of its own, and has been that way ever since.
RI: How long does it take to become Scar?
AB: It takes about an hour to become Scar. It would take less time if I ever mastered the whole ‘One thing at a time’ approach, but often I am doing numerous things at once while making the transition.
RI: Given your strong passion for the Raiders, did you ever have Scar take on Arien’s place in real life?
AB: There are points in time where Scar and Arien have been intertwined. Sometimes, it takes Arien’s ‘cool under pressure’ approach to watch those last minute drives without dropping over, and sometimes life calls for a little extra tenacity that Arien wouldn’t typically have, but Scar is willing to pick up the slack on.
RI: Can you explain what makes the Black Hole so special?
AB: The Black Hole is special because it is one of a kind. It’s the only place like it in the league, left largely untouched by regulations applied to almost everyone else. Where else can you stand the entire game, make as much noise as you want, at any time you want without being talked to by security?
RI: Is there another fan base that can be considered at the same level of the Raider Nation?
AB: I think the Raider Nation too is a fan base unlike any other. Not many fan bases in any sport have the wide following that the Raiders do. I think there are many other passionate fan bases out there, but I can’t see any others out in such force in venues on the opposite side of the country, and in London’s case, the other side of the planet.
RI: With the team’s move to Las Vegas now official, will the Black Hole vanish?
AB: I can’t say for certain, being that I don’t know what the opinion of those who own the Black Hole trademark on the matter, but I know it is trademarked, so it will depend on what those guys decide to do with it. It’s a very real possibility, being that the Black Hole started in Oakland.
RI: What is your fondest Raiders-related memory?
AB: Has to be my first experience with the Raiders if I had to choose one. Channel surfing one NFL Sunday afternoon, not having a team yet, but enjoying football as a whole, and deciding to stop on the Battle of the Bay. Raiders vs. 49ers, 2000. The Raiders winning in overtime, 34-28. The colors, attitude, and build of the team drew me in from that point on.
RI: Who is your favorite player?
AB: I don’t play favorites, but more often than not, the longer the player is on the team, the more they grow on me.
RI: The Raiders have received approval from the National Football League to relocate the franchise from Oakland to Las Vegas. For the second time Oakland will lose his football team. We feel for the Oakland’s fans, we understand the emotional implications of this move, but looking at this from afar it seemed that the Raiders had no choice, that it was impossible to find a viable solution in Oakland. What’s your take on this?
AB: Not to get too political about it, but it’s a shame all around. It’s a shame one of the most passionate cities in America will lose its football team for the second time. It’s a shame a corporation that nets $14 billion a year in profit still thinks the average Joe should pay for its toys. It’s a shame the public has been led to believe that this status quo is morally sound. I commend the city of Oakland for standing up for this principle, but support the move or not, the reasoning for it is wrong. If the NFL NEEDS new stadiums so badly, it should foot the bill for its own stuff. You know, of like the rest of us do.
RI: The team will play at least two more season in Oakland. Do you think that they will sell out every home game or the stands will be half empty?
AB: I think they will sell out every game, or close to it. The people still love this team, there are some of the most marketable names in the league on this team, and it is a legitimate Super Bowl contender for the first time in a while. It will be hard for people to say no to all of that.
RI: Will you still be a fan of the Raiders?
AB: I will always be a fan of the Raiders.
RI: Will you travel to Las Vegas?
AB: I don’t attend new stadiums for the first few years, and never have, but after that who knows?
RI: Here in Italy there are often clashes between opposing fans, especially in soccer. Have you ever had any of these problems during Football matches?
AB: It happens. Not nearly as often as people assume, or as often as it used to be, but as expected when 70,000 people are all packed into the same place, not everyone will be on their best behavior.
RI: Are you happy with McKenzie’s choices in the last Draft?
AB: Time will tell. It’s too soon to say, but this year’s rookies do look promising!
RI: What are your expectations for the 2017 season? What can this team achieve?
AB: I think this year it is a deep playoff run or bust. It seem as if every media outlet has the AFC Championship game as the Raiders vs. Patriots, so I say we give them what they came to see!
RI: What are, in your opinion, the strengths and weaknesses of the team? What are the remaining holes on the Raiders?
AB: The strength is without a doubt the offense as a whole. This offense looks like it could put up 40 in its sleep. The run defense, like many other years will have to prove itself. It is too soon to say if it is a weakness or not, but it has a lot to prove.
RI: Marshawn Lynch came out of retirement to play for his hometown Raiders. what are your thoughts about this? Will the running game improve with him in the backfield?
AB: It still seems surreal that Marshawn Lynch is a Raider, but it is going to be fun to watch! I think the running game will take on a whole new life with him back there. There are only a handful of running backs in NFL history that run the way he does. Any time you have that on your team, you’re doing something right.
RI: Is Jack Del Rio the coach who can lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl win?
AB: Without a doubt. The attitude he brought the last two years is something special. He will be sporting a Raiders Super Bowl ring at some point.
RI: Thank you very much for your time, Arien!
Arien Beierle a.k.a. Scar (Photo: Arien_Beierle)