Noelle Gibbs, aka Raiderette Darkside


Noelle Gibbs is among a number of Oakland Raiders fans who add excitement and delight to attending Raiders games.

I am honored to have been asked to share my story by the Ultimate Sports Guide. I have been a Raider fan for 40 years. I was raised in the South Bay and I am the youngest of five kids and my older siblings were all brothers. So as you can imagine, I grew up in a sports-dominated household.

All my brothers played sports, especially football, as well as my dad. My dad was a relief pitcher for the Chicago White Sox in the mid 50s and coached Carney Lansford of the Oakland A's thru little league and mentored him into major league baseball, and myself as well. I even played County Pee Wee football for a year when I was five.

At that time I saw my first Raiders game on TV I fell in love with them. It was Sunday, October 24, 1976. I was looking for my dad and, of course, he was watching football. My Oakland Raiders were playing the Green Bay Packers and I saw my Raiders colors and I told my dad I loved their colors. (I was little and didn't know a lot about the game of football -- lol!)

My dad told me who they were and I sat down with him to watch the whole game, which my Raiders won, by the way. Ever since that day and every time the Raiders played, my dad called me in to watch the game. He taught me about the game and watching historic players like Plunkett, Stabler, Biletnikoff, Hayes, Tatum and many others made me fall more in love with them every year.

There is something about the Raiders that keeps you loyal thru thick and thin, which I have been. Thru troubled seasons, thru moving to LA and then back, my love and loyalty for the team has not wavered.

I have six kids -- one is my pit bull -- and all but one are die-hard Raiders fans, just like their mama. Even my pit bull loves her Raiders' pillow and will not sleep on anything else.

It's a lifestyle like no other and Raider families have the biggest hearts. I know we come off as rowdy to others but it's just because we are so passionate. We are also the first to step up and help when it is needed. I'm so proud to be a fan of this team and part of the Raider Nation family.