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I am Oaklandish: PLAY

The I Am Oaklandish campaign features true Oakland originals from all walks of life. They give our city its oddball spirit, its passion for justice, and its creative vigor. They lift us up with laughter, peace, nourishment, and authentic hard work. They make us proud to call this town our home. They are Oaklandish.

From home runs to body slams, Oaklanders bring a special brand of style and showmanship to every competition. While the Town has produced its share of legendary pro athletes, it's arguably even more famous for the fierce dedication of its fans. From mustaches to pies, from face paint to capes, we're known for stealing the spotlight and defying expectations. Here are some of the Town's greatest unsung enthusiasts and athletes.

ADAM KAPP is a member of Oakland’s pioneering curling team the Curling Dervishes. Curling has become a big part of his life, and he shares that passion with the world by volunteering as an instructor, spreading news about the club, and endeavoring to curl his best and support his awesome teammates on the ice.

Tell us what you do, and why you do it.

Well, in this context, I'm a curler! And I do it because it's social, it's competitive, and because it always looked like a lot of fun in the Olympics!

What's your favorite part of your job?

Curling-wise? Traveling. Our team has been to Vegas, LA, Salt Lake, Seattle, Vancouver, and even Fairbanks, Alaska. And of course, folks are always a little shocked to hear how big curling is in Oakland!

What do you love about Oakland that you can't find anywhere else?

Bakesale Betty's ginger cookies. The bocce ball courts at Make Westing. The organ playing at the Grand Lake Theater. And, of course, the rockingest curling leagues in the Bay Area!

What does it mean to be Oaklandish?

To find your own way to represent your community, and to show people a unique side of Oakland culture.

CHARLES YBARRA (aka Darth Raider) is a proud member of the Raider Nation. He is the black-caped embodiment of the Nation’s commitment to excellence, and has given himself over to the Dark Side and its overlord, Al Davis.

Tell us what you do, and why you do it.

Darth Raider is a famous Oakland Raider Mascot that started way back in the late '70s. I continue to honor that tradition. When the Raiders came back to Oakland in 1995, the original DR retired. The Lord of the Sith had to be reborn in me! I have NEVER missed a game since then and don't plan on missing one anytime soon.

What's your favorite part of your job?

The fans, the accolades and the simple beloved tradition of being part of "The Dark Side." In the past I have done multiple interviews, TV spots, blogs. I even have a spot in the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio as the 2002 World's Greatest Raider fan.

But honestly? I'm just an idiot in a suit.

What do you love about Oakland that you can't find anywhere else?

Oakland has such an eclectic and diverse group in the area for such a long period of time. The people will always be what I admire the most. Oakland is the city the world never gave a chance to. Its popularity and respect? That all came from within. Rest in Peace, Al Davis.

What does it mean to be Oaklandish?

Oaklandish is an attitude, an idea and a badge for being something truly different and better than the rest, yet remaining humble. Oaklandish is a hero and fights for the common good. They also help others in need. To all good things, team... I'm tipping the saber for you all.

RICK TITTLE is a host on SportsByline USA, 95.7 The Game, and KQED 88.5 FM. As a third-generation native of the East Bay, Rick is a lifelong fan of the Oakland Raiders and Oakland A's. He has personally watched them win world championships (yeah!) and fail to win world championships (ouch!). He considers the Oakland Coliseum hallowed ground and his second home.

Tell us what you do, and why you do it.

I talk about my teams on the radio: A's, Warriors and Raiders. They belong here, a place where all three have been World Champions.

What's your favorite part of your job?

I get to represent countless thousands of people who, like me, grew up here at the Coliseum. Most radio hosts have no interest in anything outside of San Francisco. I'm a voice for the Oakland fans because I am one myself.

What do you love about Oakland that you can't find anywhere else?

Everyone lived here until the Gold Rush. It turned San Francisco from a lonely army outpost into the commercial center of the Bay Area. But we who are from the 510 know that Oakland is true center of the Bay Area — sunny but not hot, foggy but not freezing, and the best views in the US.

What does it mean to be Oaklandish?

My great-grandfather came from Germany to Oakland — he made most of the stained glass you see in many of the churches here. Oakland is a place where creativity is inspired by true ambition without fake pretentious culture, like how it is across the bay.

JORGE LEON is an Oakland educator and A’s superfan. He works with the Green Stampede, a free tutoring program for East Oakland youth. Tutoring sessions take place during weeknight home games at the Coliseum, where students head to the bleachers once they’re done with their homework.

Tell us what you do, and why you do it.

I run a non-profit homework help program that takes kids to select Oakland A's home games. I’ve also been called an A's freedom fighter for my protests, and for hanging signs critical of A's ownership. I do it because I believe in the beautiful minds of the East Oakland youth and I want to keep the A's in OAKLAND.

What's your favorite part of your job?

Everything! It's baseball and helping the kids from the area I grew up in. I don't see it as a job because I do it for the love of the game and this city.

What do you love about Oakland that you can't find anywhere else?

The people, the culture, the pride for loving a city so much, the food, the style and most importantly the colors! Green and gold: the green of the hills and the gold when the sun shines on all the people from OAKLAND.

What does it mean to be Oaklandish?

It means to be different, to have pride, to have love and to know that you represent a brand that is bigger than clothes. It's the branches that keep growing like the oak tree that never stops into the land that we all love, Oakland. Oaklandish!

JIM HINES was the fastest man in the world for fifteen years. Just four years after graduating from Oakland's McClymonds High, he won gold in the 1968 Olympics and became the first person to run 100 meters in under 10 seconds.

Tell us what you do, and why you do it.

I work with young people, I do many different sports endorsements throughout the year, I'm writing a book… I do the work that I do because I love to see the development of young people.

What's your favorite part of your job?

The people.

What do you love about Oakland that you can't find anywhere else?

It's my home. I went to McClymonds High School, which produces the more athletes and entertainers than any other high school in the country (at least it feels that way).

What does it mean to be Oaklandish?

You have to be positive. You feel good.

HUCK SINN and BONNIE DOOM are members of the Bay Area Derby Girls. Their mission is to provide amateur athletic entertainment while skating competitively on a regional and national level. Driven by a passionate love for the sport, and aided by a national sisterhood of like-minded and dedicated women, the B.A.D. Girls are a skater-owned and operated non-profit league with a commitment to helping other grassroots organizations in the Bay Area.

SHEIK KHAN ABADI represents Hoodslam, one of Oakland’s best-loved productions. A Persian professional wrestler for over 10 years, he travels across the country to do battle, always hailing from the hometown of “Oakland, Iran." His goal? To rock your body and melt your face. Hoodslam’s monthly bouts at the Oakland Metro are a whirlwind of girls, booze, bodyslams and profanity — all officiated by a corrupt guy in a dirty Pink Panther suit. The ring is also occasionally haunted by the ghost of Charlie Chaplin. Seriously, don’t bring your kids.


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