This Raiders Nation Cheers For Sean Rosenthal With The Passion Of Some Of The Top Fans In Sports
They are the loud, proud – and funny – hecklers and fans of the sport, beach volleyball’s version of Cleveland’s Dawg Pound, Duke University’s Cameron Crazies and, well, the NFL’s Raiders Nation.
They are Rosie’s Raiders, a group of people from the Los Angeles South Bay who show up at events dressed in matching t-shirts to cheer their local buddy, pro beach volleyball player and one of the top players on the AVP Tour, Sean Rosenthal, and to heckle other players.
Everybody on the beach knows them, even the players they heckle. Most people laugh at their antics because they add flavor and spirit to the sport and they all know Rosie’s Raiders are the best fans in beach volleyball.
“It’s really about us and friends hanging out and having a good time, “said the lead heckler, a gentlemen named “Meat.” We like to hang out, drink beer and watch volleyball.”
And what does Rosenthal think of this group? Well, you can see him hanging out with the Raiders before and particularly after matches, tho his demeanor is quite different from those in his fan base.
“Sean’s the nicest guy,” Meat said. “We’re the guys who are his alter ego.”
It’s all in good fun and within the culture of the South Bay Beach Cities in that all that’s said during matches is laughed at later over beers (often, over many beers).
“The players come to the bars and hang out with us afterward,” Meat said. “Once the alcohol gets going, it’s all good.”
Rosie’s Raiders have been around since about 1998 and here’s the story behind it and the name.
“It started out with Raiders with an 8 in it cause we hail from 8th Street in Hermosa Beach,” said Dale Smith whom, along with his wife Kathy, are credited with forming the group. Although while in high school, Meat confesses some classmates said the group was like those fans in Raiders Nation.
“There was a guy back in the day on AVP.com that was heckling Rosie when he was young; he called himself The Volleyball God,” Dale Smith said. “So as we were heckling back I came up with the name Rosie and his Raiders and said we will beat you out there on the beach anytime, and it kind of stuck.
“Rosie was about 13 or 14. He was my paperboy, came out to the beach and asked if he could play and work out with us. After about a month my partner got injured, I needed a partner for warmups and he came out there and about 50 tournament later he had his AAA rating was was on the AVP Tour.”
Rosenthal’s success and longevity has turned the Raiders into a local legend and they sure to add a fun element to the pro beach volleyball tournaments in the South Bay.