Raider Nation cast of characters making mark on Vegas

Raider Nation passionate, loyal and eccentric
Posted at 2:44 PM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 03:12:53-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — If Raider Nation is a family, it's a big family with a lot of characters.

"I've always been a class clown so I needed something to fit my personality," said Raider Jester.


With only one other jester character known in the nation, Raider Jester was born. And with the look on, he said he feels like the team will win at all.

"Ain't nothing can take away this smile. Raider Nation for life."

Every family needs someone who knows what to do in the kitchen.

"Everybody knows me, I'm the chef. And we know what we do when we start cooking baby," said Dexter Croom, who's been a fan since 1975.

He's been sporting the chef look for 20 years.

"I'm one of the guys that used to design a lot of t-shirts and stuff like that and bring different things for people to wear. Everybody started calling me the chef because I would always have something cooking up," Croom said.

Croom said what fills him up is the interactions he has with kids on game day. They often ask for photos with the chef and autographs.

"Then we go in to see the game and no matter the outcome, this is the family you're going to get. You're going to come out and always be victorious somehow," he said.

And finally, there's the imposing but lovable steadying hand of the family known as Black Thanos.

"It's a mixture of an opera and chaos. It's musical but it's violent at the same time," said Sharrief Saalakhan.

From Brooklyn, New York, Saalakhan has been part of Raider Nation since 1977 and working on his current look since 2015.

"I wanted to put a look together that kind of encapsulates a lot of components of rebellion, of the downtrodden, of the misunderstood, of the wild ones - that's embedded in the Raiders tradition," he said.

And wearing it, he said feels like a second skin.

"Like an accountant wears a suit or a doctor who wears scrubs, it just belongs."

And for a family that has done some moving around, everyone in this group agrees that the Raiders belong in Las Vegas.

"I think a world class, global brand like the Raiders deserve it and Vegas is just the type of glamorous backdrop that can accomodate them so I think it's a perfect marriage," he said.