Brandi Weiman -- Raider Fan and Former Raiderette
Brandi Weiman is among a number of Oakland Raiders fans who add excitement and delight to attending Raiders games.
Growing up, the poster on this 12-year-old's bedroom wall was of Rich Gannon, Tim Brown, and Jerry Rice. Having been born in Oakland, it was only natural I was a Raider fan right from the start.
To this day, every Sunday my family meets up at my Mama's house. My grandma, who we endearingly call Mama, lovingly prepares lunch and while the kids play catch in the backyard the Raiders game is, without a doubt, on inside. So for me, Raider time has always meant family time.
My uncle had been a Raiders season-ticket holder for years and whenever I was really lucky, I got to tailgate with our family and friends. Most excitingly, I got to be a part of the action inside the Coliseum. No sound compares to the roar in Oakland. Cheering in the stands always felt like I was spending time with my big, extended family.
There are a lot of memories like these sprinkled throughout my life -- going to the Raider Nation celebrations with my dad; buying tickets with my mom and step dad the day of the game and sitting in the top row of Mount Davis right on the 50-yard line; laughing in the pouring rain; drinking hot cocoa in the bleachers with my mom; high-fiving other fans leaving the stadium when the Raiders won the AFC West. The one constant has always been that these are memories I made with my family.
In 2010 my season-ticket uncle was invited to tour the Raiders' Training Facility in Alameda. Because he couldn't make it, he passed the opportunity along to my mom and my cousins. It was during this tour I met two Raiderettes who encouraged me to audition for the team. This moment was the catalyst for what would be some of the greatest years of my life.
I auditioned for the Raiderettes in 2012 and made the team in my rookie season. I've represented the Oakland Raiders at the 2016 Pro Bowl, was named the 2015 Raiderette of the Year, performed with Def Leppard in London for the NFL International Series, was captain of Line One, and named the 2013 and 2014 Bud Light Raiderette, appearing on the pillars outside of the Coliseum and cardboard cutouts distributed throughout California and Mexico.
Through my final game at the 2016 Pro Bowl, my family members were my number one cheerleaders. They never missed a live stream of auditions, always had time to listen, and even let me use their living rooms as a practice dance studio. I always had someone in the stands, beaming with pride. I've really been fortunate to come from this support system, and I always felt like I had my family by my side whenever I stepped onto the field.
Raider time is still family time for me, but in an even bigger way. I've added many of my teammates to my family's roster. And being back in the mix with the fans has been so fun, including parading to the Super Dome for the Raiders' recent season opener. Being a member of Raider Nation is being part of a worldwide family -- I've seen it firsthand!
Away from the iconic boots and sparkling silver poms, I am a UC Santa Barbara graduate in Business Economics and English and work as an internal audit and financial advisory consultant, helping publicly-traded companies reduce their risk of financial fraud. I've been traveling quite a bit, since hanging up my boots, and hope to keep the adventures rolling in the years to come.