The Oakland Raiders' Bleacher Report team page is more than a place of "fussing and fighting" over who is the best player, coach or team.
It is also about educating young people to think, write and to have a voice. It also gives them a chance to use words, statistics and their love and knowledge of sports to make good decisions.
On April 1, 2010, the Mathematical Association of America and other math groups celebrated Mathematics Awareness Month. The theme in 2010 was "Sports and Mathematics."
A B/R senior writer is flanked by college students who have read many of the articles written on the Bleacher Report Oakland Raiders' page.
As one of the "most read" team pages on the Bleacher Report, a wealth of educational materials are loaded on the Internet for enjoyment and learning.
The Oakland Raiders also have a special edition of an educational activity guide for students at various levels. Visit the link to see the depth and scope of what can be learned from the Raiders' experiences.
The students pictured are discussing the recent article on the coaching situation with the Oakland Raiders. Afterwards, a forum was held to discuss what the students would do to improve the Oakland Raiders.
It would take another article to report the heated discussion engaged in by the young, sharp college students who are studying college mathematics.
These students enjoy the articles on Jason Campbell, Jacoby Ford, Tom Cable, Hue Jackson, JaMarcus Russell and many others.
One of them told the class that he aspires to participate, somewhere, in Pro Day at a certain university. This year he is going to try out for professional football. His B/R name is Mike D, and he plays defensive end.
When he was asked if he was a good player, he did not hesitate to say yes. Then the students began to Google his name to see his statistics.
The excitement and energy of seeing the use of statistics and mathematics to engage in an intelligent and well-informed discussion of NFL football has served as a spark in the collegiate experiences of some of these students.
The B/R writer asked Mike D if he might like to play for the Oakland Raiders. He answered, "He likes the Oakland Raiders."
Then, Mike D offered to take the B/R writer on a tour of the museum in the athletic department of Texas Southern University to show her more photos and displays of some of the outstanding athletes who became professional football players.
One photo that stood out was of Mr. Winston Hill, who played with the New York Jets and covered the blind side of the great Joe Namath.
It just goes to show you that synthesizing sports, mathematics, writing, and having a presence on Bleacher Report serves as an inspiration for many young people.
So let us continue to say, "Go Raiders."
In order to see the vast educational materials in the Oakland Raiders edition of an educational activity guide, visit the link.