It's a good day. I have time to think, research and write.
I thought about the Oakland Raiders and the discussions about "blackout."
Then, I thought about a powerful question: Do you love me?
As a reader of sacred and secular literature, an example came to mind.
There is a story about a man named Peter who was asked a question three times.
Three times, for goodness sake!
Do you love me? Peter answered
Do you love me? Peter answered, again.
Do you love me? And, Peter answered a third time.
What does this mean? Well, you do the research and get your interpretation.
I will use the sequence of three questions (all the same) and three answers. This is my analogy.
First, the poser of the question may not believe the answer because of a lack of enthusiasm in the voice (of a Raider fan).
Second, the poser of the question may not believe the second answer because of an attitude that did not relay unequivocal commitment and dedication (of a Raider fan's blog entry).
Third, the poser of the question insisted on a pronouncement indicating that "Yes, I love you (the Oakland Raiders) and I will support any and all that you ask of me, through thick and thin. I will "say love" and I will "do love." I will move from words to action."
Now back to the Oakland Raiders.
The fans say they love the Oakland Raiders. Now a question: What do you, the fans do to demonstrate that love?
Do the fans buy so many tickets that it minimizes the possibility of blackouts?
Do the fans buy sports stuff to demonstrate their love for the Raiders?
Do the fans demonstrate an unwavering love for the Oakland Raiders, in spite of the rank of the franchise, the emerging rumors about the coaching incident, and other matters swishing about in the media to tempt us away from our long-standing love for the Oakland Raiders?
No. I don't believe the Raiders should even think of leaving Oakland.
To me, leaving Oakland is like a woman who leaves her husband, gets knocked around socially and financially while separated from him, then the husband takes her back, and she thinks about leaving him, again.
Are there members of the Raider Nation who are Gomers?
Let's find them and forgive them and invite them back to a level of "unwavering, committed and true love" for the Oakland Raiders.
Learn from this quote:
"So he began his search, driven by that indestructible divine love, love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, love that never ends.
"And he found her, ragged, torn, sick, dirty, disheveled, destitute, chained to an auction block in a filthy slave market, a repulsive shadow of the woman she once was.
"We wonder how anyone could love her now. But Hosea bought her from her slavery for fifteen shekels of silver and thirteen bushels of barley (Hos. 3:2). Then he said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you” (Hos. 3:3).
"He actually paid for her, brought her home, and eventually restored her to her position as his wife. While we do not find anything else in Scripture about their relationship with each other, we assume that God used Hosea’s supreme act of forgiving love to melt her heart and change her life."
Now here is what can be learned, among other lessons:
We, the Raider Nation, will stand strong and committed to the Oakland Raiders, through thick and thin.
We will buy the tickets to the game, so that ticket sales will soar, upward.
We will support the Raiders in our blogs and in the media when we are interviewed.
We will demonstrate the kind of love Hosea had for Gomer.
And if we do so, here are the projections:
Increase the number of wins in 2009
Increase the value of the franchise
Increase the morale of the Raider Nation
Increase the truthful and positive media and blog coverage of the Raiders in the future
Increase in our belief that a man can change, a team can change and a nation can change, all because of our unwavering belief and love for a great team, led by a great man, Al Davis
Increase in our belief that the coach, Tom Cable, has selected a great team with great potential and that potential will transform into "kinetic energy and wins" for the Oakland Raiders.
Again, do you love the Oakland Raiders?
What is your answer? What will you do to demonstrate that love?