Oakland Raiders Looking for a Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IISeptember 11, 2009

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 5: Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis (L) and former Broadcaster and former Oakland Raider coach John Madden unveil his bust during the Class of 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Fawcett Stadium on August 5, 2006 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

You think Al Davis has got problems? How do you think it feels to have a shoe thrown your way while you are giving a speech in another country? How do you think it feels to have an elected official shout out during a press conference that can be viewed around the world?

While we demonstrate a loss of respect for each other, the international community is watching.

For example, how do you think a senior citizen feels who has accomplished an American dream, only to discover that some people of a younger generation know little about the struggle to get where you are, and have very little respect for the attributes that got you where you are?

This day is a day I remember exactly where I was when I got the phone call from my daughter, telling me that no one was allowed to enter the Federal Building in her city, because of some type of alert and emergency.

I remember that day so well, because I actually had tossed and turned all night long, thinking that a storm was on its way. I thought of Paul, and the 27th chapter of Acts.

Some people call it intuition. I don't know what to call it. I can simply document that I sent an email (very early that morning) to a Bishop that I had taught, and I asked him to pray. I told him I sensed trouble. He agreed. He prayed.

Trouble did come into our lives. It came in a powerful and open attack against all that America stands for.

It came, and people wailed, cried, and promised to do things differently. The instabiity that rippled through this nation, caused many to re-think their choices.

Those thoughts of "change" lasted; hopefully, for more than just a few days.

As I observed my students on that day, they listened to me more carefully when I gave my pep talks about the opportunities in America.

Don't blow it, I would say.

Don't make poor decisions and mess up your life.

On that day, eventually the school administrators told us to go home. The school was closed.

Moreover, after we returned to school, I implored my students to avoid a zigzag lifestyle, where you go up in the world because you are a talented sportsmen, but you tumble down to a nadir, because of a character flaw or legal problem.

I gave them examples of senior citizens I know who had it all, but blundered and are now nearly destitute in body and spirit.

I asked them to be better sportsmen such as NFL players, NBA players and so forth.

I declared, with passion, somewhat like a "country preacher lady," to show respect to their elders, to respect themselves, and as one song says, "Have a little respect!"

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Yes, remember 9/11 and show a little respect. Days like the one in 2001, make our nation travail, toss and turn, wounded by the infliction of death and pain from the outside.

Days like 9/11 make us suffer and purge us of hypocrisy and apathy.

Days like 9/11 remind us of God's grace and mercy; His love and kindness, which in Hebrew is called "chesed."

Days like 9/11 help to awaken our appreciation of those who have built powerful franchises which created jobs for people from all walks in life.

Days like 9/11 make us shiver, but also make us show respect for great men who are now old men, but, nevertheless, partook in the building of a foundation in America on which we now stand.

Days like this make us believe that even if we falter, stumble and fall, we can rise again to a level of greatness. Why? Because this is the American way, to fall down, but rise up, again, and again, and again.

Let's show a little respect to the forefathers, the octogenarian, and to those who helped to build the NFL enterprises which have buttressed the greatness and demonstrated the potency of the American dream.

Move from "yetzer hara," and move toward "yetzer tov." Move from an evil inclination to an inclination to love yourself, your brothers and sisters, your fellowman, and to love America.

One way to show that love is to love American sports, and the opportunities it has given so many young men and women.

As Aretha Franklin says in her song, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T."

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