Oakland Raiders: The Pain Of Progress (Part One)

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IIApril 30, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 3: Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens tackles JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders 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

Part One

Did Al Davis give in to pressure when he drafted Eldridge Dickey back in the day, and did he make history by doing so?

A historian seems to believe that the peer pressure and social pressure of having an African-American quarterback was too much for the Oakland Raiders' fans to handle in the Sixties.

Could that same covert pressure be present in both the fans and media as it relates to JaMarcus Russell?

T.J., a biology major and former football player, says:

"When you are a first round draft choice, there are a lot of expectations on you to turn a losing team into a playoff contender."

T.J., who watched the games in 2009, observes:

"JaMarcus Russell is not consistent in the pocket. And, without an OL to protect, that will lead to Russell running out of the pocket, and ending up throwing an interception. I've seen him do that several times in 2009."

T. J. continues by stating:

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"In order to have a successful team, you have to put offensive weapons around the quarterback."

Often we look at the physicality of an Oakland Raider. Is it time to pay more attention to the psychological impact made on the minds and spirit of an Oakland Raider?

There is more than one way to cause the failure of a quarterback.

One way is for the quarterback to refuse to improve his work ethic.

Another way is for the other players to refuse to respond to the quarterback. In such a case it makes the quarterback look incompetent on the playing field. It can be so subtle that onlookers can not discern if it is the quarterback's error or an error in the surroundings of the quarterback.

The intent of a series of articles inspired by interviews with a historian and doctoral candidate, Ric More, is to raise some issues of the past that may very well be issues in 2010.

It is an attempt to fill in the historical gaps and possible "whitewashing" of American history, even in NFL football.

Are you going to try to tell me that we have reached a "utopia" in America as it relates to race relations or multicultural relations? I hope not.

There is always room for progress in the area of human relations.

All you have to do is counsel, teach, or coach this young generation and you will see that there is a disconnect and an emerging problem.

So, an attempt to tell the story of what really happened to Eldridge Dickey may be an attempt to put to rest the "demons" that may be lurking in the memories of many senior NFL players.

Many of these older men do not want to talk about the "truth" of their experiences in the NFL. However, the truth must be told, sometimes, to even redeem a nation (or at least the Raider Nation), called the United States of America.

Think about it in another way: sharing the truth with this generation may be the silver bullet that puts NFL "vampires" to rest. Those "vampires" suck the life out of the spirit of the team, causing them to fail to play with the passion of the sport. 

Nevertheless, this BR writer believes the Oakland Raiders can be restored to greatness, and we all can live happily ever after.

The pain of progress can cause discomfort, but pain often precedes healing, and discomfort is often the first stage of learning and elevating to the next dimension.

We will bear the pain; we anticipate progress toward excellence and victory for the Oakland Raiders.

The second interview with historian Ric More will be conducted on Saturday, May 8, 2010.  

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