Oakland Raiders, Rising Up Is More Challenging Than Sliding Down

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IIFebruary 23, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders in action  against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

What is more difficult in your opinion, an airplane lifting off the airfield or a plane descending, heading for a crash?

The power to rise up and above certain elevations is more difficult than descending to lower levels.

Great players in college like JaMarcus Russell surely worked hard to rise up to the level of excellence perceived by so many, and at first qualified him for the contract that he has.

Once he joined the team, his slide downward took less time, and virtually little effort.

Of the fifty year history of the Raiders, most of those years were years in which hard work and "centered" players pushed against the "gravity" and competition in the NFL and rose up to a dignified position of excellence.

It has taken seven years to slide down to a painful level of performance. The Oakland Raiders have experienced a level of performance that is less than excellent for the last seven years.

Can the Raiders rise up, again?  

Some believe that the gravity and tendency to slide downward may be a significant force to contend with, rather than focusing on harnessing the thrust it takes to move upward.

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The era of struggle is what proportion of the entire history of the Oakland Raiders? Let's use a simple measure to calculate the length of the "era of struggle." It would be, roughly. Seven divided by 50, which equals .14 or 14 percent of the entire existence of the franchise.

Now if we have a little fun and give the Oakland Raiders a grade for this overall rating of performance using this simple measure or parameter, it would suggest that they get a grade of 100-14 = 86.

Well, the team gets an overall grade of B. That's my opinion.

The Raider Nation is not happy with a grade of B which means "good." We want an A, which means "excellence."

So, during the off season and during the period of time the mock drafts are being posted, just remember the mistakes made in the past.

Some players who looked good in college just may not have the intangibles to play well in the NFL. Not only are the players who do not transition well accorded the blame, the coaches who should have trained and transformed the young players to successful and functional Oakland Raiders are also responsible for our dilemma.

Nevertheless, there is opportunity to get it straight and to get it right.

Choose wisely, choose carefully. Choose men who can become Oakland Raiders in the style and character of, for example, Jim Otto.

Remember, no matter which direction you looked at Otto's career, it tended to look real good, showing a high level of perseverance, persistence, dedication to practice, and centered and focused on excellence.

Go Raiders, both young and old!