Raiders Super Fan -- Carla Conley, Sparkle Raider


Carla Conley is among a number of Oakland Raiders Super Fans who add excitement and delight to attending Raiders games. Carla is pictured with Super Fan Shea Ohlott, aka Skullz (left).

They call me Sparkle Raider, a name I was given because of the sparkle in my eyes. My cubicle walls at work are blanketed with pictures of Raiders legends, a reflection of the love I have for the Silver and Black. Between us, my husband and I have five children; not all Raiders fans, but we love them just the same.

My love for football started in elementary school when I lived on the Stanford University campus, where my father was enrolled as a post-graduate student. During the summer months a small group of us children would ride our bikes to the football practice field to watch the team workout. We also went Stanford football games. As a youngster, I was in awe of the Oakland Raiders Soul Patrol. They were bad to the bone.

However, it was Lyle Alzado, the Oakland Raiders defensive end (No. 77), who caught my attention as a young adult and really got me hooked onto Raiders football. I have been going to Raiders games since they returned to Oakland in 1995.

These days I am "all in"; attending games, booster cub meetings and events and joining Raider Nation groups online and in person, for activities.

As an event planner for the Raider Nation my focus is on planning and holding events to honor U.S. military veterans. I have established Operation Roundtree, named in honor of the soldier I adopted in 2011. It's a coordinated effort between Raider Nation groups throughout the United States. We hold Raider Nation Salute to Veterans events annually, during the month of February. I also organize donation drives, collecting basic need items for homeless veterans in Oakland.

My family's military history consists of many relatives, including my father and grandfather, who were both Army veterans. My mother retired from the VA Hospital. She was a psychiatric nurse specialist.

Currently I am working on a very interesting project with local Raider Nation musical artists, of various genres, to create a "We Are The World" style-song to honor veterans. A music video will follow.

I am very proud of the work we do with veterans, all in the name of Raider Nation.The veterans deserve our honor and respect. This is a very exciting time for me. I truly love my Raider life.