How I Fell in Love with Football


I was sent this article a little over a week ago. I think this is a good time to post it. It reminded me of the fact (not that I forgot) that everyone is here with a unique story. The one thing that unites us all is our love for our team. We come from different walks of life but this, this is something we all share. Be thankful for your friends and family. Be thankful our team is back to greatness. Be thankful for your brothers and sisters that make up this family we call the Raider Nation.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone,

-Kenny Stapler

I was a skinny kid and not very tall. But I loved to run and was quick and agile. In the summer of 1969 I was about to move from Patrick Henry Junior High School to Granada Hills High School in Los Angeles. That summer we had an ice cream truck guy that was probably about 23 who let us ride around with him. One day I jumped aboard and got up on the freezer box, sitting cross-legged. The ice cream guy started whipping around the neighborhood and when he sped around a corner, I rolled off onto the street and broke my right arm.

I showed up to my first day of high school with a cast on my wrist. I signed up for football anyway, and I’m still not sure why. I think it was because my dad had taken me to the Rose Bowl game a few years earlier. So because of the cast on my arm, I ended up being the “manager” for that year. Granada won the Los Angeles City Schools championship that year with an amazing passing attack. But I was only the “manager”, basically a water boy. I wanted to play.

I vowed I would come back the next season. I started trying to watch pro football to learn more. The Rams were the local team but my experience at the time was their fans were dicks. Then there was the Oakland Raiders. Bad boys. Outcasts. Hated… I took interest. Now, I wanted to play wide receiver, but I discovered I was slow. I also learned that speed and quickness were different things. I wasn’t going to outrun you, but I’d change direction easily and if the ball got anywhere near me I would catch it. So of course I modeled my game after Fred Biletnikoff.

I didn’t make the varsity team. I played bee football. Still I had a blast and we beat San Fernando and Monroe, our biggest rivals. After graduation I went in the Air Force. Barely avoided going to Viet Nam. After I got out I moved to Reno in 1979.

Then the Raiders moved to LA. I ended up moving back to LA in 1988 to pursue acting. I lived in Pasadena, got a job selling computers, and the company moved me to Seattle. I didn’t like it there so I moved back to Reno about the time the Raiders moved back to Oakland. I started working in the casinos and got more interested in the NFL as I could legally bet on games. It is the only team sport I follow.

I become more rabidly Silver and Black each year. And now our time has come…

Writen by: PlunkforHOF aka “WATERBOY”




Sorry for the delay, here are the prediction results from last week…

[embedit snippet=”week-8-results”]