California gold diggers were popular in 1849. Now it is 2010, almost 161 years later, and some of us are digging for historical nuggets to share with readers. NFL data is another type of gold.
I discovered another historical nugget earlier today. Imagine me with "gold pans and sluice boxes," comfortably dressed and bending and dragging through NFL databases to see what can be discovered.
Here is a nugget for you to value:
Of the 93 NFL players who have been recognized in the list of "NFL Year-by-Year Yards Per Reception Leaders," the Oakland Raiders had players listed in three different years: 1963, 1967, and 1969.
Another nugget is that, of the 93 players, an Oakland Raiders player ranks No. 5, and two others rank 38th and 54th.
Who are these men who brought recognition and honor to the Oakland Raiders? They are Fred Biletnikoff, Clem Daniels, and Warren Wells.
Here are a few observations:
1. Fred Biletnikoff had an average of 21.9 yards per catch.
2. Clem Daniels had an average of 22.8.
3. Warren Wells had an average of 26.8.
4. Only three Oakland Raiders have made this NFL list. Biletnikoff, Daniels, and Wells brought honor to their team when they were active players.
Ninety-three NFL players is a large sample group. Of the group, the average for all of them in the category is 22.15 yards.
Did the three Oakland Raiders who are recognized in this category exceed the average of the entire group? "Hell yeah" is the answer for two of the Oakland Raiders: Daniels and Wells.
Yes, Biletnikoff is a Hall of Famer, and his average is 21.9. In the list used as the focus of this study, Biletnikoff ranks 54th when compared to all of the other NFL players in the list. Daniels ranks 38th, and, to the surprise of this researcher, Warren Wells ranks fifth.
The Oakland Raiders were as good as gold when these three were on the playing field.
You probably wonder if I am getting tired of digging up these gold nuggets.
No, I am inspired to dig even deeper, look farther, and reach higher. This researcher is documenting the greatness of the Oakland Raiders, a team which can be a gold mine, if these young players will wake up and digest just how powerful and great the Oakland Raiders were and can be.