It could be coincidence or providence. Let's take a look.
A Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF) display tags the Oakland Raiders as a dynasty between 1965 and 1986. Al Davis was in charge for all of those 22 years and has been to the mountaintop.
I think it is safe to extrapolate that Al Davis wants to get the Raiders back up to that mountaintop again. Is it time to go back to the beginning and work toward a new era of greatness?
During those 22 marvelous years, the Raiders had 241 wins, 100 losses, and nine ties. Their winning percentage was 70.1 percent, or .701.
Of the 241 wins during that era, John Madden is credited with 112 of them. Madden and his team hugged and clasped 46.5 percent of those sweet victories. They might have even shouted, "How sweet it is," a Jackie Gleason phrase from the good old days.
A HOF document says, "Beginning in 1965, two years after Al Davis took control of the club, the Raiders dominated pro football for the next 22 seasons."
The trend was upward; they were good in the 1960's, better in the 1970's, and at their mountaintop in the 1980's. They won three Super Bowls in eight seasons, which is a statement recorded in a HOF display.
Is there a type of "gematria" in the career of Al Davis and his Oakland Raiders' club?
Much like the Hebrew alphabet, is it finally time to go back to the beginning?
If so, then expect a new beginning in 2009, the year Al Davis had his 80th birthday. For old time's sake, he has looked back on his career.
As we mature, we embrace the memories of our past successes as passionately as we remember other comforting moments in our journey. The lyrics to an Elvis Presley song captures a little of this:
Just for old time sake,
Won't you give my heart a break?
Let's get together again.
Let's relive the time I was yours and you were mine,
Life was so wonderful then.
As a mature Oakland Raiders fan, I rehearse in my mind those great moments of the Raiders. I, like so many other Raider fans, desire to embrace more moments of victory in 2009. Why? Just for old time's sake, do it again!
It is fair to say that perhaps Al Davis lost his way at some point; might his 80th birthday, and realization of his own mortality ignite nostalgia in his heart and fire in his belly?
22 years have passed since the Raiders began their descent down the mountain.
If there is a numerical pattern embedded in Raider history and heritage, then we can, indeed, expect a new beginning. Repeating patterns of victories, starting in 2009, and extending into the future, are our great expectation.
Raider fans are looking for 22 more years on the NFL mountaintop, starting this fall!