The Origin Of A ‘Nation’

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In today’s sports, it seems every team’s fans like to coin their base as a “nation.”   There’s Falcon Nation, Bulls Nation, Jet Nation, Marlin Nation (REALLY?).

There has been one constant in that of the NFL when it comes to the “nation” of fans. That is Raider Nation & Steeler Nation.  And these two bases argue over who the originators were.

It all started in 1974 with a poem, narrated by the legendary “voice of god,” John Facenda.   Steve Sabol’s football masterpiece, named “The Autumn Wind” is synonymous with the Oakland Raiders as they have made it the unofficial team anthem.

The Autumn Wind

The late Al Davis, considered it as “the epitome of what the Raiders stand for”.  And it soon became the battle hymn of Raider Nation.

This, however, is NOT the birth of the known Raider Nation.  It is only simply the origin of where the Raiders got their anthem from.

Some say it is directly coined by Al Davis himself in 1968, in which Davis allegedly makes a comment after a game, saying, “toast to the nation.”  This doesn’t necessarily reflect that Al Davis created the “Raider Nation” through that comment.  There’s also little to no evidence or documentation to support the idea that Davis created the term.

Another theory is that the origin is more based upon the traveling Raiders fans from the Oakland area to Los Angeles to support their home team, which built the numbers of the Raider Nation and turned it into what it is today.

There are different theories to support that the Raiders are the “originators” of having a nation, but little evidence to prove that they are.

Conversely the evidence that the Pittsburgh Steelers are the originators of the “Nation” is documented.

The same John Facenda who narrated the poem that eventually became the Raider anthem was the first to coin the Steeler fan base as a nation in 1975.  “The Blueprint For Victory” was the team highlight film for their 1975 Super Bowl X winning team vs. the Dallas Cowboys.

“The Dallas Cowboys played their hearts out, but they were a single team against an entire nation.”

Thus, the Steeler Nation title has it’s reputation solidified in NFL history.  Raider Nation is still quite valid and also an innovator, and all nations after it are simply imitators.  However, Steeler Nation was crowned first.



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24 Comments on “The Origin Of A ‘Nation’
  1. I’d love to view a copy of that film. Is the term “Steeler Nation” actually used, or is that reference in the penultimate graf the “proof” we’re basing it on. … If that’s all we got, we’re talking about as flimsy and dubious a claim to the whole Nation thing as the supposed Al Davis quote from ’68. …

    • This report is absolute garbage if it sites al Davis as saying it in 68 in the same fashion as was said in 75 after it was officially coined by the raiders in 74. There’s only one nation and it’s raider nation

      • Exactly!

        I’ve heard some RIDICULOUS ones like Clemson nation, Niners nation, Lakers nation and the most ridiculous one of all Cowgirls nation! These so called sports analysts, commentators and everyone else in between use the term “nation” too freely! Don’t they know (especially being from espn and involved directly with the nfl that there is only ONE nation in all of sports:

        The Raider Nation!

        Al did indeed coin the term in ’68!

        • Lmao the first ever team to coin the term “Nation” wasn’t even a football team you imbecile, it was first used by the Boston Red Sox as RedSoxNation, Raider fans are so delusional and try to hold on and claim they created the “Nation” when in reality they were far from it lmao

          • Sounds just like a Red Sox fan. First of all the earliest account for the term Red Sox Nation I was able to find was in 1986. And it wasn’t even a fanbase considering themselves “RedSox Nation”. And it was only mentioned in an article I’m a local newspaper. Big whoopty Doo. As far as the earliest any sports franchise has ever had the word Nation attached to the team name that has to go to the Steelers. But like the Red Sox that term was only used to describe the team by the same guy who voiced the poem The Autumn Wind. Everybody knows the Steelers are known for being recognized as the Steel Curtain. And now to make you feel like the imbecile, the term Raider Nation, and only team in sports that is allowed to use that term, was created by an actual Raider fan. He start a website when they were moving back to Oakland and even trademarked the term. It is Well documented and even has its own Wikipedia page. Is the most legit use of the word Nation so much as the NFL had to buy the rights from that fan that trademarked the term. And by the wait, the first time the Red Sox started using nation was when the franchise has decided to start this little cute thing and offer fans unofficial car to carry around with them that states they are residence of Red Sox Nation. Could you imagine two strangers who happen to be Red Sox fans meet at a bar but one is not an official member of the Red Sox Nation because he didn’t have the car to pull out. Nah Homie, Raider Nation don’t play that gay ass bullshit. Are you need to see somebody else where in the shield and you either yell out Raider Nation, or a long and intimidating Rrrrrrrrraaaaaaaiiiiiidserrsssss.

          • No way AL would copy something from the Redsox he was a Newyorker and loved the BAY!! Raider Nation lives forever!! Thank you uncle Al

          • Red sox fans you’re way to late coming to the party. It was 1986 you are using it The Raiders are using it since 1968. So try again.
            RAIDER NATION FOREVER!!!!!

  2. Steelers “nation” came first. The raiders somehow “coined” in on it and have been expressing it ever since. Never forget the origins of the original steelers NATION.

    • JT the Brick just said on his program that steeler nation doesn’t exist. He said raider nation is the only one. But it is documented steeler nation came first. As usual this guy doesn’t know what he is talking about!

      • Really that is the truth. JT the brick is also a Jets fan why would he lie ?? Steeler Nation is some made up BS I never heard any Steeler fans yell it like RAIDER NATION does

  3. See only under the freedom that she provides can you even speak of such things is the Nation above all nations and that’s the United States of America.Bam top that.

  4. If AL DAVIS(THE GREATEST OWNER OF ALL SPORTS FRANCHISES EVER) coined the phrase in 1968, why does that not count, but as soon as someone says it for the steelers(and he was probably just copying AL DAVIS anyway), why does that count.I DO NOT get that.

Let us know what you think!