This article is inspired by the appointment of Pastor Napoleon Kaufman, the man who has been chosen as chaplain to the Oakland Raiders' franchise. He is a legendary running back and he had an experience on the football field that caused his conversion. In order to get to know Pastor Kaufman, I visited his media website to listen to his sermons.
Four sermons got my attention. One was broadcast on March 4, 2012, my pastor's birthday, and one day after my son's 40th birthday. I selected it solely because of those connections.
In the sermon, I heard Kaufman say that he had a meeting with Mr. Al Davis, and that he presented Mr. Davis with a Bible. I found that interesting. It also says that Mr. Davis indicated that no one had ever presented this type of gift to him. That was amazing and it inspired deeper study.
Today, during class a student named Demetrius said that Kaufman will bring energy to the Oakland Raiders. He also noted that the removal of Tim Tebow from the Broncos removed a type of energy away from the Broncos.
Well, believe it or not, Demetrius' comment inspired deeper study.
Next, I did research on the 12th man because, for some reason, I consider Pastor Napoleon Kaufman a 12th man on the Oakland Raiders. He can bring "energy" to the team, according to the student.
Now, when I researched the 12th man, I discovered that it originated at my alma mater, Texas A&M University. I'm from the Class of 1986. Further, in the past there was a coach at A&M whose name was Dana X. Bible. Bible's father was a professor and reportedly often quoted scriptures.
Now, the amazing connection, in my opinion, is that Coach Bible had an experience whereby he thought that he needed an extra player in case of injuries. He asked a fan named E. King Gill, the original 12th man, to suit up in case he would need him on the field. Gill willingly did so.
Here is a quote:
Unfortunately, the first half produced so many injuries for A&M that Coach D. X. Bible feared he wouldn’t have enough men to finish the game, so, he called into the Aggie section of the stands for E. King Gill, a reserve who had left football after the regular season to play basketball. Gill, who was spotting players for reporters at the time and was not in football uniform, willingly volunteered and donned the uniform of injured player Heine Weir. When the game ended with an A&M victory, 22–14, E. King Gill was the only man left standing on the sidelines for the Aggies. Gill later said, "I wish I could say that I went in and ran for the winning touchdown, but I did not. I simply stood by in case my team needed me." Although he did not actually play in the game, his readiness to play was noted. As there were 11 men on the field, E. King Gill was the 12th Man, hence the term.
Now, let's get deep for a moment.
I truly believe that the man named Bible did so much for the team by asking Gill, the fan, to stand by and be ready to enter the game, if needed.
Furthermore, I believe that the man who gave Mr. Al Davis a Bible is a representative for the energy that will inspire unusual victories in 2012. Already, we remember that something unusual happened on October 9, when the number of men on the field was short by one, yet some believe there was another man on the field. Interesting!
Since Kaufman presented Davis with the Bible and since the student believes that Kaufman's role as chaplain will bring "energy" to the team, let's just say that "help" is on the way and will be standing by when the Oakland Raiders need it.
Now, what is the probability of a student making a comment about "energy" and then Kaufman revealing that he gave Davis a Bible? Next, the history reveals that there was a man named Bible who called out for help, and started the 12th man tradition.
I declare that the spirit of the 12th man tradition is going to be with the Oakland Raiders because Dennis Allen is an Aggie, and he understands the importance of the tradition and legacy since his father, too, was an Aggie. For that matter, I, too, am an Aggie.
We Aggies have every right to invoke the tradition of support, encouragement and "helping spirit" in whatever we do. We, therefore, impart that spirit to the Oakland Raiders in 2012.
The Oakland Raiders are going to be revitalized in 2012. Go Raiders! Receive that "energy"!
Source for Twelfth Man, Gill and Dana X. Bible: Wikipedia