Some fans are so fascinated by the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the Oakland Raiders that they go farther than most. They pursue a goal of writing a historical novel about the team. A character built around the personality and fiery decisions of Al Davis and others will spice up the imagery in the novel.
One such writer is Damali Binta YAEL. On May 21, she met with a senior attorney and novelist with a Bleacher name, Novel Man, who encouraged Damali to start her novel.
Novel Man has already written his historical novel, whose title was inspired by a concept Damali taught in 2007. Novel Man remembers Damali's talks about the Oakland Raiders, and her first sports and math article titled, "Take a Good Look, Using Mathematics," which was published by a USMA (West Point) newsletter.
Her second article on sports was published by the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA). As a member of the research group, she contributed an article titled, "A Gleam of Dawn."
Bob Carroll, now deceased, was the editor for her second article. She went through about five rounds of editing before her article met Carroll's approval. She says, "It was worth the effort to work with such a fine artist and editor as Bob."
Her first sports article was edited by Don Small of West Point. In Damali's article she compares players from two different eras using rankings and integral calculus.
In 2007, Novel Man was so fascinated by the creative piece and lessons given by Damali that he completed his historical novel about Vietnam and Korea, while also expressing interest in the progress of Damali's research on the Oakland Raiders.
Since 2007, and after a little over one year of submitting and publishing articles on the Bleacher Report Oakland Raiders page, there are 352 articles written by the senior writer Damali. Her articles rank in the top five of "article likes." She ranks on the Bleacher Report NFL history page in the Top Writer category.
Novel Man looked at several articles on Bleacher Report and requested the links to one of them recently published and tagged by one reader as "awesome."
This article discussed "situational football" and it has the unique approach of explaining the concept using simple ideas about structure and process.
A little mathematics is used in a metaphorical way to explain the skeletal frame of most concepts, procedures, and processes in the real world, including professional football and other sports.
Damali believes her developing historical novel on the Oakland Raiders will have a surprise ending, with the Oakland Raiders headed to a Super Bowl in just a few years, if not in 2011.
And, as the Oakland Raiders rehabilitate and ascend back to an era of glory and respect in 2010 and the future, some of the characters in Damali's novel will be modeled around a recovered alcoholic who regains his composure, independence, and respect during his senior years. The characters will be based on several retired Oakland Raiders.
Her novel will depict the rise, glide, and fall of some of the outstanding Oakland Raiders during the history of the franchise. She believes the eyes of a female writer will add dimension and sensitivity to the story.
A characterization of the ascension and good years before the truncation of the careers of some of the outstanding NFL players will be in the novel.
Novel Man, after a wonderful seafood luncheon meeting with Damali on May 21, stated that he will continue promoting his work to get it published. He has been inspired by the stories about the author of To Kill a Mockingbird , and the fact that it took more than one submission before the book was published and hit the best seller list.
Novel Man even referred to the inspiration he got from an ex-astronaut who was a part of NASA's Apollo 12 mission. The former astronaut has written two books, and he does space art. His name is Alan Bean.
Damali's eyes lit up when she realized that her former student has had direct contact with someone as accomplished as Alan Bean. It spurred her. She left the meeting and started writing the novel, and, of course, this article.
A commitment to organize her files and continuing her research on the Oakland Raiders was made. She started writing her historical novel on May 22. Her 352 Bleacher Report articles have been a part of her "offseason practice" before the launch of the book.
So, as the Oakland Raiders reconstruct to build an excellent winning team, Damali, a member of the Raider Nation, will be writing her historical novel on the Raiders.
Will the novel have a happy ending? Yes, of course.
As Tom Cable, Hue Jackson, Rolando McClain, and others do their job to get to the Super Bowl again, Damali will continue to build her dramatic thriller and episodic novel of the 51-year-old franchise.
The characters in the historical novel will be built around the mean, strong, fiery personalities of some of the Oakland Raiders of the past.
Finally, as the novel develops, let us also pull for the Oakland Raiders to do their part by giving Raider Nation a poignant and powerful ending: a Super Bowl win before the novel is completed.
Damali has committed to doing her part. Will the Oakland Raiders do their part and give us another Super Bowl?
Soon, very soon.