In just a few days some players are going to get cut from the Oakland Raiders. The roster has to be trimmed. Next, the coaches must select the 11 starters on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
11 men on a team at one time. 11 men who supposedly have a commitment to excellence, according to the Al Davis motto for the Oakland Raiders.
This motto causes one to think. A player cannot have a commitment to excellence without having a personal pursuit of excellence in his own performance.
In other words, an Oakland Raider is not really competing with another player. He is competing with a standard of excellence for himself.
The pursuit of excellence involves a process. A player attains a certain level of performance in one game. He then attempts to outperform his previous performance.
If each and every player uses this definition of "pursuit of excellence" and each one realizes that they must elevate their individual standard or criteria for excellence, then the entire team will perform better each time they get on the playing field.
The job is not to compete with the Seattle Seahawks or any other team. The job is for each player to exceed the performance he has had in previous games or seasons.
No doubt this type of thinking has already shown itself in the Oakland Raiders. Why? Several records of the past for the Oakland Raiders are now being exceeded by the present Oakland Raiders.
Now the team is seeking to elevate the standard of performance using a criteria based on the team itself, and not on the opponent's performance.
Functioning on a level so that potential matches execution for the individual players is the new way of thinking.
Brian Harbour seemed to realize that each player has unique talents and physicality when he wrote in Rising Above the Crowd:
“Success means being the best. Excellence means being your best. Success, to many, means being better than everyone else. Excellence means being better tomorrow than you were yesterday. Success means exceeding the achievements of other people. Excellence means matching your practice with your potential.”
This writer believes that if each and every Oakland Raider embraces the new perspective of what it means to pursue excellence, more remarkable accomplishments will be made in 2011 and beyond.
Go Raiders! Show a true commitment to Al Davis' theme and make an aggressive and passionate pursuit of excellence as individual players and as team members.