Some folks say things are in the stars. Some say there is a destiny that is within grasp if we just believe.
For some reason I started charting a map to see what connections, both strong and weak, that I may have to NFL players. The findings are interesting.
When I sat in a classroom and started writing this article, I looked over at one student who knows "Mean" Joe Greene, since he frequently visits the University of North Texas. She saw "Mean" Joe Greene in the fall semester of 2009.
Then, during another class session on a Tuesday night, I discovered that one student from Robstown, Texas actually knew Gene Upshaw. The college student's father coached Upshaw when he was in middle school in the small Texas town.
The student actually asked me if Gene Upshaw was mean. I told him, "Yes," on the playing field, but "No" in terms of my conversations with Upshaw.
Next, I realized I work with the son of Ernie Holmes, who was a Pittsburgh Steeler. Holmes is a young, historical mathematician who knows a lot about football. He grew up studying and watching football.
One semester, I taught a former NFL player named Jermaine Fazande. He actually supported my project to do research on the careers of wide receivers such as Warren Wells.
Now I started sports writing when I published an article comparing two senior Oakland Raiders, Jerry Rice and Warren Wells. The article focused on intensity and integrity. It made use of a mathematical model to compare certain factors.
The article was edited by a West Point (USMA) professor, Prof. Don Small, and it was published in a newsletter, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the United States Military Academy.
Next, I did more research and published an article titled "A Gleam of Dawn" under the editorial wisdom of Bob Carroll, now deceased, of the Professional Football Researchers' Association. It recounted the historical play on December 6, 1970 when the Oakland Raiders defeated the New York Jets in the last eight seconds of the fourth quarter. I was at that exciting game in Shea Stadium in New York.
Now, if I, as a senior writer, can recall so many memories and experiences in just a couple of years of writing for B/R, I am convinced that the Oakland Raiders can take hold of things, and grasp their destiny of winning the AFC and more Super Bowls.
What do we expect? Excellence, nothing less.
Who do we support? The Oakland Raiders. No one can take their place.
Why are we so passionate? One answer is because our leader has demonstrated his integrity and commitment to excellence. And since the Raider Ladies can brag that our leader has positioned Amy Trask in a top position in the NFL, who else would we support? Nobody but the Oakland Raiders.
"To whom much is given, much is required" is a wise saying.
The Oakland Raiders have given the Raider Nation, national and international, so much. We must, therefore, give back our love and support. And, we are doing just that!
Go Raiders! We believe the Oakland Raiders are less than six degrees away from a grasp of victories and championships. Do you believe it?
Why not believe that the task for the Oakland Raiders in 2011 is to grasp and clasp (hold tight) the victories and to attain, again, a prominent position in the NFL.