Overcoming great odds in rugby certainly can be similar to overcoming the odds against the Oakland Raiders.
Clint Eastwood's 2009 movie, Invictus, is centered around the achievements of Nelson Mandela, the man who survived about 27 years of imprisonment and stepped up to become the President of South Africa.
Inspiration is the theme of the movie. Inspiration is also the theme of most articles about the potential of the Raiders in 2010.
If some of us had a chance to speak to the Raiders, we would probably sit them down, set up a DVD player, and show them Invictus. They would see the outcome of focus, unity, a great call beyond just football, and the possibilities that come forth from a changed attitude.
Next, we would have a Facenda-type voice to recite the poem, Invictus. At the end of the poem, each and every member of the Raiders' franchise would be required to say, "I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul."
What is needed is the power of practice, focus, having a cause greater than yourself, and seeing yourself as a person who has a great deal of decision-making control to improve the outcome of the games of life.
Unity is also important.
Oakland's Racial Demographic
- Black (35.7%)
- White Non-Hispanic (23.5%)
- Hispanic (21.9%)
- Other race (11.7%)
- Chinese (8.0%)
- Two or more races (5.0%)
- Vietnamese (2.2%)
- Other Asian (2.1%)
- American Indian (1.7%)
- Filipino (1.6%)
- Japanese (0.5%)
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (0.5%)
It's a diverse city with a rainbow coalition. In the movie, the character of Mandela was played by Morgan Freeman, and he talked about forgiveness. Everything started with one person in the rainbow of people in South Africa.
Each man on the Raiders must say to himself, "The change starts here with me."
What can the outcome be of embracing the concept that "You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul?"
It's sort of like when some people say, "If you believe it, you can achieve it."
Do you believe the Raiders can overcome the struggles and become victorious in the NFL, rising in rank and in prominence again?
In Invictus, South Africa and the Rugby team embraced a belief, and they became victorious.
You can do it, Tom Cable, Hue Jackson, and the Oakland Raiders! Go Raiders!