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.
Endy Rivas a.k.a. Storm Raider (Photo: Shawn Jonas – Edited by Raiders Italia)
Raiders Italia had the privilege to interview some of the most notorious Raiders fans. Today we are pleased to introduce you to Endy Rivas, also known as Storm Raider.
(NOTA: la versione in lingua italiana dell’intervista la trovate in questa pagina)
Raiders Italia: Who is Storm Raider in the “real life”?
Endy Rivas: “Storm Raider” is just a regular hard working man…
RI: How old are you, where do you live and what do you do for a living?
ER: I’ve been told I look 28, act 18 but I’m 39 living in the Central Valley of California. Recently promoted to manager at Fedex.
RI: When did you start dressing up as Storm Raider?
ER: The passion for the Raiders has been life long, Storm has been around for 5 years.
RI: Why did you choose the name Storm Raider?
ER: I’ve always had the passion as many of us do for the Raiders. I didn’t want to take anything away from anyone else that dressed up; I wanted to be original. I along with some other good friends that assisted me did our research to make sure we didn’t copy 1) anyone’s style 2) anyone’s name. I played with many names in my head but couldn’t decide. “Storm Raider” came upon as I was doing a interview at the Bonfire, a Raider Nation event that was held at Bolsa Chica State Beach. I was asked what my character name was, Storm Raider was my reply and the journey began.
RI: How long does it take to become Storm Raider?
ER: 10 minutes.
Endy Rivas a.k.a. Storm Raider. (Photo: Endy Rivas)
RI: Given your strong passion for Raiders, did you ever have Storm Raider take on Endy’s place in real life?
ER: I keep each separate from each other but I use the passion in all aspects of life.
RI: Can you explain what makes the Black Hole so special?
ER: So hard to put into words, hmmmmmmm. In my opinion the word “FAMILY” best describes the Black Hole!
RI: Is there another fan base that can be considered at the same level of the Raider Nation?
ER: Complete strangers travel far and near to many destinations and upon arrival it’s a BIG family reunion. Can’t count how many times I’ve heard “Raider fans are the best” and that’s from opposing teams fans lol
RI: With the team’s move to Las Vegas now official, will the Black Hole vanish?
ER: In my opinion sadly “yes”.
RI: What is your fondest Raiders-related memory?
ER: My first game I ever attended. As a child I mainly saw the Raiders on TV. We rarely had the opportunity to attend a game. The first game I attended was the Los Angeles Raiders vs Denver Broncos don’t remember the season unfortunately but as a kid I was just excited to see the team I had only seen on TV and see Howie Long up close and personal. Honestly I don’t remember if we won or lost but I was hooked for life!
RI: Who is your favorite player?
ER: Current: Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack. Past: Steve Wisniewski, Jack Tatum. All time: Howie Long and Lyle Alzado.
RI: What do your family and friends think of your passion?
ER: At first they where against it but now they support me 100% and have started attending my events.
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?
ER: This is a very touchy subject as many have strong opinions. Me personally I started following the Raiders when they were in Los Angeles and while I loved having them in LA I always believed they belonged in Oakland (and still do). When there’s multiple people involved and all are on board one way or another something could’ve been done. I’m saddened a deal couldn’t be done in Oakland.
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?
ER: The Raider Nation has proven year after year regardless we’ll support the Raiders. The Stadium will be ROCKING AND SOLD OUT every game!
RI: After the move was approved in March, Mark Davis offered to refund Raiders fans if they felt they didn’t want to keep their season tickets. Did you applied for this refund? Do you know how many in the Black Hole have?
ER: If I said “Hell no” I’d be lying. The thought did cross my mind but I remember all the great people I would miss seeing every Sunday and how much I’d miss Black Sunday at the Coliseum.
RI: Will you still be a fan of the Raiders?
ER: I’m a Raider fan with my personal wants (as I personally believe the Raiders belong in Oakland) but I am a Raider fan first and foremost…, and will continue to be one…
Shea Ohlott a.k.a. Skulls and Endy Rivas a.k.a. Storm Raider (Photo: Shawn Jonas)
RI: A coalition of Oakland Raiders fans and community officials have recently retained Attorney James W. Quinn (here the press release). Are you involved? What do you think about it?
ER: We all have our own opinions about the matter and I rather not comment at this time.
RI: Will you travel to Las Vegas?
ER: I don’t like Vegas and rarely travel there so no won’t go outta my way to do so especially in the 100+ weather lol
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?
ER: When it’s all said and done we have to remember it’s a “GAME”. Don’t let the adult beverages get the best of you lol Unfortunately yes I’ve witnessed a few fights during game day.
RI: Are you happy with McKenzie’s choices in the last Draft?
ER: EXTREMELY!!!!! I’ve been a strong supporter of Mr. McKenzie since day 1
RI: What are your expectations for the 2017 season? What can this team achieve?
ER: Sky’s the limit for the 2017 season! My personal wish of course would be a Lombardi trophy…
RI: What are, in your opinion, the strengths and weaknesses of the team? What are the remaining holes on the Raiders?
ER: Not to play couch coach lol but my personal opinion we need a dominant defensive tackle, a beast on the line to put pressure on the quarterback and stuff the run. Also our safeties are suspect. The talent is there, the coaches just have to put it all into place. I do believe Karl Joseph and Reggie Nelson will solidify those positions.
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?
ER: It’s Lynch, of course it’ll strengthen the running game.
RI: Is Jack Del Rio the coach who can lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl win?
RI: Anything to add?
ER: Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts with the Raider Nation overseas! I’m extremely humbled and blessed. GOOOOOO RRRRAAAAAIIIIDDDDDDEEERRRRRSSSSSSS…!!!!!!!
RI: Thank you very much for your time, Endy!