There are more than 80 roses in this article's photo. The picture is posted to honor the octogenarians in the Raider Nation.
Did you smirk? Some of you, young "whipper snappers" need to learn how to honor the seniors in our midst. Sometimes it seems we are too busy and too selfish to do so. What is encouraging is that there are many young people who do honor their elders.
When I think about the recent birthday of Al Davis, who turned 81 years old, I have to admit that I wonder what he did to get a chance to live so long. Did he eat right? Did he think right? Did he live right? The questions go on and on.
Recently I heard a talk about a former Nigerian president's favorite words of wisdom. He said, "Teach us to number our days that we might apply our hearts unto wisdom."
Then the speaker did a calculation. So, I am going to apply this little lesson to the Oakland Raiders.
Since Al Davis has lived 81 years, we would multiply 81 times 365. It equals more than 29,000 days. Now, for about 2,555 of those days, the Oakland Raiders have been a bit challenged, but things are looking better.
Now, logically we know that some of us have lived more days in the past than we may live in the future. Since some folks say that man is promised 70 years, our beloved Al Davis has already exceeded that promise by 11 years. He must be doing something right. What do you think?
Now when I think about the good times and the bad times, I repeat what a popular song says, "I won't complain." No doubt Davis says the same thing with more force than some of us, for he has experienced more years, and more good and bad times.
Realistically, however, we know that there may not be another 29,000 days remaining and so we will treasure each and every day that we have Davis with us. Some of us have learned to have respect and to have a heart for the senior citizens in our midst.
Did you say that you agree?
I hope so. And, because we are realists, we will, at this very moment, re-commit to our motto "Commitment to Excellence."
We will cheer our team, the Oakland Raiders. We will treasure each day. We will give it our best from this day forth.
We will do as I heard a former president of Nigeria say, "Teach us to number our days..."
As such, we will pursue excellence with a passion and we expect the young Oakland Raiders to do the same.
Give the octogenarian his desire, his vision. Oakland Raiders, move quickly, and give the Raider Nation and Al Davis more victories in 2010.
Go Raiders! Enjoy the roses as a symbol of the joy and beauty of winning another AFC Championship and maybe even two more Super Bowls.
Do it for the octogenarian, Al Davis, who gave us so much during these many years of leadership of the Oakland Raiders franchise.
Thank you, Al Davis.