August 26, 2012
May 11, 2012
May 7, 2012
May 3, 2012
In Honor of Warren Wells has yet to fill out a bio.
I have been asked to write an article on why I have a passion for writing sports articles. One of the NFL players that I have researched in now recognized as a notable alumnus of Texas Southern University. This project has made impact. It is a successful venture.
RNT Writer Interviewing Legendary Clem Daniels on Book-Writing Project
Damali Binta – Mar 31, 2015
By Peter O’Loughlin and Jacqueline Brannon Giles
This article discusses the project of writing a book entitled Oakland 1970 which is about half-completed. It is being co-authored by Peter O’Loughlin, a Harvard Law School graduate and author, and Jacqueline Brannon Giles, a college mathematics professor. Under the pen name Damali Binta she has been a long-time Raider Nation Times contributor of articles on Oakland Raider themes.
This book project traces through the Oakland Raiders 1970 season, while inter-twining professional football’s issues of race, education, and treatment of players that extended over years before and after. A central strategy is to obtain current interviews with players of that era to build an oral history of plays, games and issues.
It is worthwhile to sketch out how the book’s concept evolved.
Jacqueline Giles’ connection to Oakland Raiders football began in 1962 when Warren Wells and she were both students at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. They met when he was on the way to Mrs. Corrine Newell’s mathematics class in the Nabrit Science Building at Texas Southern University. He paid close attention to how she was headed toward a career in college teaching in mathematics. Their friendship continued as Oakland Raider Warren Wells became the most effective deep threat wide receiver of the 1968, 1969 and 1970 professional football seasons.
Jacqueline Giles often talked about how Warren Wells and George Atkinson personally delivered a ticket to her for the December 6, 1970 game against the New York Jets in New York. She was a mathematics graduate student there. The game was spectacular! With eight seconds left, with Oakland on the New York 33-yard line and behind by six points, Daryle Lamonica passed to Warren Wells in the end zone. The Jets defense tipped the pass, but with his flexibility and speed, Warren Wells made a great catch. The extra point kick gave the Raiders the game. The next day the New York Times made Warren Wells’ catch into the headline for the story about the game.
Her writing on Oakland Raiders football started in year 2008 with a mathematical periodical article on statistical data analysis of the effectiveness of famous wide receivers, including Warren Wells. From there it moved—at the invitation of Raider Nation Times and Bleacher Report into writing articles on Oakland Raider issues, both current and from the early years. She mentioned the possibility of writing an historical novel set in the early years of the Oakland Raiders and received numerous comments posted from readers encouraging the project.
She also talked about a Raiders novel with her students. In her Calculus II class in 2008 was a Harvard Law School graduate, Peter O’Loughlin, who was re-taking a math class he had taken 40 years earlier and who was writing an historical novel. Its main character was a U.S. Air Force Security Policeman who had competed in Armed Services football and was investigating espionage in an overseas setting in the last year of the Vietnam War. The two of us stayed in touch and talked about this book on the Oakland Raiders, especially after he had finished his novel, The Archimedes Signal. It was released by publisher Black Rose Writing late in 2014 and is available through Black Rose, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
In their discussions, Peter O’Loughlin and Jacqueline Giles decided that together they would write a non-fiction book on the early Oakland Raiders. It would follow the team through one season. The one-season structure would provide a clear beginning, middle and end. She talked about my recent conversations and dealings with Warren Wells. The first player interviewed for the oral history perspective would be Warren wells.
They chose the 1970 season, which continued the series of successful Oakland Raiders seasons. It picked up the December 6, 1970 Oakland-New York Jets game. It included 43-year-old substitute quarterback George Blanda’s famous five-game streak in which he came off the bench for last-minute touchdown passes and field goal kicks for Oakland wins. The 1970 season was also Warren Wells’ last season.
Another factor that would propel the book was the re-telling of Al Davis’ central place in building the American Football League in 1960 onward. He devised the wide-open five-receivers-far-downfield passing offense, turned to recruiting players from the historically black colleges and universities, and drafted, traded for and coached players to the Raiders’ string of successful seasons.
Al Davis’ widow, Carol, learned of Jacqueline Giles’ Raider Nation Times articles through mutual friend Cynthia Foreman, who is heavyweight champion George Foreman’s ex-wife. Carol Davis has encouraged Clem Daniels, legendary Raiders running back in 1962-1967, to start writing on his life and accomplishments. His oral history insights are being incorporated in the Oakland 1970 book. Clem and Jacqueline Giles appear in the attached photo, going over parts of the draft of the book.
The co-authors work well together. As for finishing it in the way it deserves, they judge they have the staying power to accomplish that. Jacqueline points to Peter having completed a full-length novel as well as to her output of Bleacher Report and Raider Nation Times articles. Sometime in 2016 is the target date they have calculated for finishing it, contracting with a publisher, working through the revision process, and getting it onto the market.
Note: The authors are interested in oral history interviews (focusing on Oakland Raiders' players and events in 1970) for inclusion in the book project. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Editorial Committee: Juan Castillo, University of Houston, Accounting Major; Amanda Davis, HCCS Central College, Hotel Management; and Reginald Bailey, HCCS Central College, Computer Science
A Tribute to Art Powell, Forceful and Forthright
Damali Binta – Apr 14, 2015
By Clem Daniels
I have lost a great friend in Art Powell, a man who will be remembered for his forthright character, buttressed by his determination to win football games and to win in life. Art refused to accept failure.
He was a close friend. We were roommates for four years in the early days of our career with the Oakland Raiders, of the American Football League. Some may have perceived us as gladiators, trained to entertain thousands of fans in magnificent stadiums, but we were more: we were men who stood up for equality and equity in professional football. Over the years we were cited as the first two players who openly protested unfair treatment of professional football players in certain cities in the United States. And, when we opposed incidents of discrimination, Al Davis always stood with us.
We were in harmony in our thinking about the strategies we used to express our voice against discrimination and segregation.
Art Powell always played to win. He did this in football, in golf, and in life. He was a great competitor. He joined the cadre of football players in the prime of his career with the Raiders under the coaching genius of Al Davis. We were a team in those days who hated losing games. Art had a significant role in running routes that were difficult to stop.
I will always treasure so many wonderful experiences in football, on the golf course and socially with Art. The Associated Press photo which shows us in 1963 is kept visible above my desk when I work and reflect on the outstanding accomplishments of players like Art Powell.
Art pressed toward many honorable goals in life, for he was determined to win at the game of life just as he helped win football games on the playing field. I have lost a great friend in Art.
I remember in 1966, the League scheduled the All Star Game in New Orleans, and when we got to New Orleans we ran into a lot of bigotry and segregation. Taxi cabs would not pick us up. Restaurants did not welcome us. We both had a meeting with Dutch Morial and others to discuss issues that concerned us and other players. This quote reminds me of one of the leaders who listened to our concerns: “Ernest Nathan Morial, known as Dutch Morial (October 9, 1929–December 24, 1989), was a U.S. political figure and a leading civil rights advocate. He was the first black mayor of New Orleans, serving from 1978 to 1986. He was the father of Marc Morial, a subsequent New Orleans mayor.”
I respected Art as a family man, with a loving wife, Betty, in Southern California and family that we will continue to encourage and to express our condolences. We think they are a wonderful family.
Art Powell’s character and career impacted us all. He will be remembered and honored by us as we continue to reflect on what we learned from him, a man who was and is a winner who has planted his feet on higher ground.
Mr. Warren Wells listed on Pro Football Hall of Fame, Football and America page: http://www.profootballhof.com/history/general/war/vietnam/honor_roll.aspx
STANDING IN THE GAP AND
EXPECTING A MIRACLE…..
Edwin Markham : There is a destiny that makes us brothers, No one goes his way alone; All that we send into the lives of others, Comes back into our own.
A ninety-one year young matriarch often complains of her memory. Yet, she is able to quote Edwin Markham’s words exactly and poetically. This beautiful woman was in need of help more than 44 years ago. A wide receiver and native of Beaumont, Texas responded to her need. He went to the Oakland Raiders’ doctors and inquired about a doctor who could help a young boy who had a serious leg injury resulting from a major car accident. The young boy was the son of the matriarch and the mother of Jacqueline Brannon. Jacqueline called Mr. Warren Wells, and depended on his counsel. Mr. Wells was able to identify an expert orthopedic surgeon named Dr. Brodsky. In order to get a full perception of the echelon Mr. Warren Wells was a part of, the obituary of Dr. Alexander Brodsky is shared for the next generation to learn of the accomplishments and affiliations of a Beaumont resident who was outstanding in professional athletics.
ALEXANDER E. BRODSKY, MD, 72, died Friday, February 1, 1991. He was born on September 29, 1918 in Romania and came to the United States at age 4 with his parents. He grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and earned his Bachelor's and Medical degrees at the University of Maryland. He served in the Army Medical Corps between 1942 and 1945. After the war, he received his orthopaedic and surgical training at Lenox Hill Hospital and the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City.
He came to Houston on January 1, 1950 to join the full time academic faculty of Baylor College of Medicine, as the first member of the newly-formed Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. In 1954 he became a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and for 17 years served as an examiner for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. In addition to his 39-year full-time private practice of orthopedic surgery, he was Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Associate Clinical Professor of Pathology at Baylor College of Medicine, and Associate Clinic Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. He was attending orthopaedic surgeon at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital for over 30 years, at Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, VA Hospital and Ben Taub Hospital. He gave over 40 years of continuous service in teaching medical students, residents and graduate physicians. Since 1975 he has been a contributor and active lecturing member of the prestigious International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, and held membership in the Cervical Sppine Research Society and in the North American Spine Society.
In 1974 he established the Orthopaedic Pathology Laboratory at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, and in 1975 began a Spine Fellowship Program through which he trained 34 physicians as specialists in spinal surgery. In 1979 he originated the Orthopaedic Pathology Lectureship which has been given in the Texas Medical Center on an annual basis since that date. He was also one of the pioneers in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal stenosis. In 1989 he and his wife received the Max H. Nathan Human Relations Award presented by the American Jewish Committee.
Dr. Brodsky was contacted by the mother of the injured boy. This mother would never have known of a doctor as expert as he was without the contact and counsel with Mr. Warren Wells. She was able to take her boy to this expert doctor in the Medical Center in Houston, Texas. The boy’s leg was infected and it was withering. Dr. Brodsky acted quickly and performed surgery. Years later, the sister of the boy who is now a minister asked him how many stitches were in his leg after the surgery. The answer: 81.
It is a miracle that Mr. Warren Wells’s number with the Oakland Raiders was 81 and the help he gave Rev. Edsel Brannon Jr. will always be remembered because of the 81 stitches which repaired Brannon’s leg. Rev. Brannon walks straight, and he is a caretaker of his 91 year young mother, Mrs. Clotiel Brannon.
Mr. Warren Wells sent a good thing into the lives of others including Prof. Jacqueline Brannon, and now it is time to send good things back into his life.
By God’s grace and on the homestead site of Mr. Warren Wells’ family, we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Mr. Warren Wells and other good Samaritans like him—those who help others.
Mr. Warren Wells stood in the gap for me several times over the years and he did not know it. He studied me quietly, and he prayed for me.
When he called for me in past years, he ministered to me. When he asked for my help many years ago, he actually was providing a way for me to share. When he entreated me to help him, to pray for him, he reminded me of a greater call in our lives. When he wrote me a three page letter when I was working at Pleasant Grove Church, he reminded me that he was a child of God, and that Jesus Christ is his Savior.
I was so touched by a three-page letter from Mr. Warren Wells that I have it in my possession now for safe keeping.
Yes, believe it or not, he is my inspiration to write the more than 1200 articles read by more than 715,000 readers. He is the inspiration for my persistence and my determination to be victorious even if it is the last eight seconds of a struggle or battle. What the Holy Spirit directed in his life in 1970 when I saw him catch that fantastic touchdown pass to tie the game in the fourth quarter between the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders, and then as I watched the great George Blanda kick the ball that was held in position by the center with an injured hand by the name of Jim Otto—it was a miracle. It was a lesson that I learned: never give up. In the scriptures we learn: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Mr. Warren Wells has been strengthened, and we are strengthened by the witness of his testimony of Jesus Christ.
In 2014, let us stand in the gap for the young NFL players from Beaumont, Golden Triangle, and other cities. Let us celebrate today, knowing that they, too, will be strengthened and will be victorious!
by Damali Binta Sara
(Beautiful Vision, with God and with Perseverance)
Looking forward to a great season for the Oakland Raiders in 2014