A few days ago the hands of a historical Oakland Raiders wide receiver were pictured, showing those hands holding an Oakland Raiders cap. That picture inspired a young artist who approached me today, July 16, 2010 to tell me that she wants to do an oil painting of those hands.
Those are the hands of a No. 81 of the Oakland Raiders, which happens to be the age of Al Davis in 2010. When the retired Oakland Raider was asked to pose his hands for another picture, the pose in this article is what he chose.
The young artist said she saw something more in those hands. I asked what, and she said she would express what she saw in her art.
I asked what size would her oil painting be. She said that she did not know. I asked what colors would she use. Again, she said she did not know.
I then knew that she was waiting for some type of inspiration. I also knew that I should not ask any more questions.
I don't know what the young artist saw in those hands. One thing I do know is that those hands caught many footballs. Those hands made many big plays for the Oakland Raiders during the late '60s. I know that those hands made the headlines of the Sports Section of the New York Times on Dec. 7, 1970.
Daryle Lamonica threw a 33-yard pass to the senior wide receiver, and those hands caught the football, making a score that tied the game during the last eight seconds. Afterwards, George Blanda kicked the ball and broke the tie. The Oakland Raiders experienced a miraculous change in the last eight seconds.
In those days, the Raider Nation always expected a change to come, during the last few moments of a game.
Those hands are the hands of a man who John Madden said was one of the most talented athletes he had ever coached.
Those are the hands of a man who at 67-years old believes that a change is going to come to the Oakland Raiders in 2010.
Those are the hands of a man who chose to place his palms upward and only he knows what he intended to symbolize by putting his hands in that position.
Historically, however, hands held with the palms upward meant so many things to those who desired hope and change.
I can not say what the artist saw. I simply see what I see. And, because I do research I found a webpage that defined various positions of the hands.
When I look at the hands of the senior wide receiver in the article's photo, I see the hands of a man who is still ready to catch a football, in his mind. I see the hands of a man who realized that his gift is in his hands. Those hands were voluntarily positioned in a palms up position, a position that is used for meditation and prayer in some cultures.
I see hands that are not wrinkled or withered, indicating a degree of health and hope. His hands have not aged. They seem preserved and have a powerful contour.
In a recent article, a writer said that the Oakland Raiders now have their No. 81. Well, maybe this is a lucky year for the Raiders and their No. 81 wide receiver, and Al Davis, too, has a number 81. Now, in my own way, I lift up hands and ask that the young No. 81 has a gift greater than or equal to that of the senior player who has been called the prototype wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders.
What's wrong with asking for that gift to be imparted to the young No. 81. Nothing!
It reminds me of the story of Elijah and Elisha. The younger desired the gift of the older prophet and he got it. In fact, the story says that the gift was doubled in the younger.
Go Raiders! Many of us in the Raider Nation believe this is our year, the year that a change will come.
Listen to the song "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke