Me: Sweetheart! Are you excited to spend the day with your dear old dad?
Yes! Yes! Yes! Daddy, what are those?
Shh shh! Don’t tell Mommy. Those are our tickets to watch the Oakland Raiders play football.
Yes. They are Daddy’s favorite team in the whole wide world! He loves them so, so, so much. Not as much as he loves you!
How are we going there?
Mommy lent Daddy her car this weekend! Woo! Comfy car! Comfy car!
What is that?
This is my Darth Vader skull-and-crossbones mask that I painted silver. I even made my own scimitar! Boy, have these seen some crazy stuff! Yes they have, oh yes they have!
What is that big building?
That is the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Daddy remembers coming here with his daddy and some of his daddy’s bigger, meaner, and hairier friends when he was your age!
Where are we now?
We’re in line for garlic fries. The garlic fries are famous here. Also, Daddy is getting Daddy’s fizzy gold drink. Only three. Daddy is responsible and has to drive after the game.
What about now?
We are in the middle of the Black Hole. Where the most-favoritest fans of the Raiders sit—well in this case, stand. And sometimes jump up! And down! And up! And down!
Who is that?
This is Daddy’s pal, Mike. We share season tickets.
Mike: Well, hiya!
Don’t worry about the season tickets, pumpkin. Also: Mike always dresses like Chewbacca wearing shoulder pads with metal spikes jutting out from them. Isn’t he funny?
Where are you going?
Mike and Daddy are running down to the player’s tunnel because the Raider’s linebacker, Aldon Smith—can you say Aldon Smith?—was ejected for stomping on the other guy’s exposed ankle in front of the referee. We want to give him a high five before he gets to the locker room! Stay here with Daddy’s new friend, Cesar. I’ll be right back!
Daddy why are you all wet?
Well, sweets, a bad-guy fan thought I was being disrespectful to injured players and encouraging on-field violence by giving Aldon Smith a high five, so he poured a fizzy gold drink all over Daddy. But don’t worry about Daddy, he got a free fizzy gold drink!
Why did Al—Aldo—
Aldon, sweetie, like “All done!”
Why did Aldon do that?
When you want something, especially a week-14 win and a playoff berth for the first time in over 10 years, you’ll do whatever it takes. We can all learn from Aldon Smith’s passion for the game of football!
What are you saying?
We are booing—boo!—because the man in the zebra shirt called pass interference, when clearly it was just incidental contact! That’s what Daddy and his friends call bullshit, honey!
What’s happening now, Daddy?
That piece of garbage in a Chiefs uniform had the nads to come back over here to the Black Hole with some of his posse and try to mess with me. But when you mess with Daddy, guess what, you mess with Raider Nation. Mikey, do not go up there without me, not after last Sunday.
Mike: Hell no, Pops.
Where are you going?
Daddy has a small message to send to the loser who came from Loserville to mess with us, the good guys. Mikey, you have your brass knuckles?
Who are they?
In the brown shirts with the shiny stars on their shoulders? They are policemen. They help make the world a safer place for kiddos like you. But tonight, they’re piggies. Oink! Oink!
Daddy, where are you going?
Mike and Daddy are going for a ride in the car with the flashing lights. Exciting! Mommy’s here to get you, sweetie.
Because Daddy and his friends got in a whole bunch of trouble fighting for what we believe in: the Raiders. Remember, sweetheart. Always stand up for what’s important to you like Aldon Smith! Now say, “Daddy’s sorry, Mommy. And please don’t change our custody agreement.”
Mommy, what are season tickets?
Season tickets are what got Daddy served last year. Oh yes they are, oh yes they are! Go Raiders!
Illustration by Christine Mitchell Adams