The Oakland Raiders inspired a professor to do research in 2007. Admittedly, 2007, 2008 and 2009 were not very successful years for the Oakland Raiders.
In 2010, the future was beginning to look bright. Ups and downs, wins and losses are all a part of the process to move toward excellence. A shift from a 5-11 record to an 8-8 record was encouraging, but not as good as some of us desired.
On a Friday in 2010, Atty. Pete, former U.S. Naval officer Mr. Larry and I went to a private high school, Christian Life Center, in Houston, Texas to make a motivational speech. The presentation was set up by Atty. Pete, a graduate of Harvard Law School, who presently teaches mathematics.
Atty. Pete is fascinated with the research this Bleacher Report writer has done in sports and mathematics, focusing on the Oakland Raiders and a few retired NFL players. He, too, keeps up with and cheers for the National Football League teams.
It just goes to show us that simple things can often get the attention of brilliant and great men like Atty. Pete, who himself was a valedictorian at a New England-area high school many years ago.
When asked if he was the valedictorian of his Harvard law class, he chuckled and did not answer. He did, however, make reference to President Obama, who served in a leadership position of the Harvard law school publication.
Being honest about the "ups and downs" of moving toward excellence is a good lesson for outstanding athletes in high school or college who aspire to play professional sports some day.
You win some games, as the Oakland Raiders won three consecutive games in the 2010 season, and you lose some games—as was witnessed at the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders. Yes, the Raiders lost on Nov. 21, but don't forget that in 2009, they defeated the same team.
During the talks, the lesson of continuing to pursue excellence was given, even if there may be bumps in the road to excellence. Real champions do not quit. They continue to strive, even when things look bleak.
Turnarounds, victories and positive circumstances are embedded in the "so-called" struggle. All an observer must do is to see the good in it all.
Anytime there was a defeat of the Oakland Raiders, it was a crude, rude wake-up call. There is still time to have a win-loss record exceeding that for 2010. Progress is all we want. The rate of progress is what we hope will accelerate. Time is of the essence.
Eventually, the students were told that success, excellence and victories will be attainable. Just do not quit. Always do your homework and when the doors of opportunity open, you can step in as a competent and smart player in school, life and sports.
Keep saying it and believing—"Just win, baby."
Atty. Pete said that the young students attending a school that has produced three current National Basketball Association players were "riveted" by the examples I gave. I used examples from my collection of more than 540 Bleacher Report sports and math articles. Now the list of publications includes more than 600.
Many fans in the Raider Nation, and this Bleacher Report writer, truly believe the Oakland Raiders are on the right track, although there may be bumps, potholes and obstacles in the road to make the journey a little uncomfortable.
Keep your eye on the mark, Oakland Raiders. May your journey toward excellence continue to inspire writers and speakers and, of course, the students who listen to them.
Go Raiders! Go CLC students and aspiring athletes!
So during the offseason, Oakland Raiders, please do continue to visit schools, colleges and even hospitals to let the public know that we care and share the good things that helped us achieve what we have. We realize that there are levels of excellence, and we want to reach the zenith in all that we do.
I don't want to be harsh but caution should be used during the offseason so that the bad news about Viagra and concealed weapons won't overshadow the good news of helping those in need in communities and schools.
Finally, let's salute Al Davis for using the theme, "Commitment to Excellence." It is an excellent motto for aspiring athletes in high schools and colleges across the United States.
The motto "commitment to excellence" not only applies to performance on the playing field, but also in our family, communities and in adhering to our belief system.
Go Raiders! Go young people and attain and continue the legacy of excellence in the Raider Nation!
Watch out, young Raiders. Don't let the bad news spread, but let's hear some good news about the Oakland Raiders helping young people and others who need encouragement.