"We're just around the corner, everything that we want is right there in front of us". That was coach Tom Cable's response to the media, in terms of his team's effort on the eve of their loss to the Denver Broncos.
As we wait and see how this Raiders team will respond to those words of encouragement Sunday, this writer is confident that they will do so in good fashion.
When I look at this Raiders team, from a distance I see a team that possibly due to these times, a lot of fans can relate to, even myself.
Its a story of ups and downs, highs and lows. It has all the makings of a Hollywood movie, but there's no Rudy on this team and whether fans will want to replay this season over and over after its done is still in the air.
It is, however, a lesson in perseverance that we all can learn from.
October 2009, I found myself without a job, without food, and frankly without options.
I, like the millions of other hardworking Americans, suffered the sting of the chronic layoff that has threatened to bring the country back into a great depression, and depressing it was.
Rent was due, bills were still coming and the weeks were getting shorter. I felt like giving up, I felt in some since of the word lost, as if I had failed at something but I could not put my finger on it.
It was the quintessential "moment of truth" for me. Either let the situation get the best of you, or get the best of the situation.
The Raiders may not have reached their moment of truth yet, but they appear right around the corner. Times are hard, wins have been few and far in-between and the criticism is not letting up.
Fans are demanding answers to questions that the organization seems unable to answer right now.
With that being said, one thing to marvel at when it comes to this Raiders team is there resilience, as well as their cool under pressure demeanor.
Some can take this as a lackadaisical attitude, while others see it in terms of an NFL poker face; you can't let them see you sweat.
I found that in order for me to get back in the game, I had to switch some things up, I had to let some things go and above everything else, I had to remain positive.
I took the little savings that I had and invested it in making myself better. I revised my resume, I started my own website for networking and with what was remaining, I paid off any bills that were due.
Is it the Raiders time to switch things up?
Not so fast according to Coach Cable. Darren McFadden will be the starting RB and JaMarcus Russell will continue to throw it downfield.
Maybe it hasn't gotten to that point yet.
Oakland sits third in the AFC West standings going into their showdown with the Texans this Sunday and by all accounts the team looks poised and confident.
We have seen this before however, things look good up until the coin toss and then all hell breaks lose, so it is yet to be seen if that confidence will translate over.
The Raiders have something to prove going into this next game, in the same way that I did.
They must prove that they're able to take a fall and get back up, both mentally and physically.
They must show us all what being an Oakland Raider is all about.
After sending out resumes, numerous interviews and phone calls, I was able to land a job. The process not only taught me a lot about myself, but it gave me something I did not expect to receive at the end, confidence.
It was my perseverance in the face of obstacles that got me to that point.
Can you see yourself in this Raiders team?
Take it from this sportswriter, a little optimism and perseverance can go a long way. So as we sit here on the eve of yet another statement game, let's remain positive and hopeful.
Granted this might be a little hard to fathom while in the midst of the storm, but let's enjoy the learning process and watch this team grow.
Pessimism, in retrospect, I've been guilty of using it when it comes to this Oakland Raiders team. I think I'll try something a little different this time.
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