Oakland Raiders Will Exercise the Art of War within NFL Guidelines

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IIJuly 26, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  Madison Hedgecock #39 of the New York Giants defends against the Oakland Raiders on October 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Raiders 44-7.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Recalling the fine works in military literature can equip the Oakland Raiders to win more games in 2010.

Here are some words of wisdom, translated from The Art of War, a historical document. Where did I learn about this work? It was in the comment strand of one of my articles.

A new state of mind or attitude needs to be developed in the Oakland Raiders. Here is an excerpt:

Verses from the book occur in modern daily Chinese idioms and phrases, such as the last verse of Chapter 3:

This has been more tersely interpreted and condensed into the modern proverb:

The Discussion

You may wonder why a female mathematician who loves football and data analysis would write about the art of war. Well, years ago at Polytechnic University, located in Brooklyn, New York, a professor named Larry Narici taught me "Game Theory." The mathematical theories were developed during World War II. It was the mathematics of the art of war.

This course awakened my interest in the logic, mathematics, and psychology of "war games." This awareness went as far back as the Sixties.

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When I was studying these topics at the engineering school in New York, folks like George Atkinson, Gene Upshaw, Daryle Lamonica, Fred Biletnikoff, George Blanda, Warren Wells, and others were making a version of those concepts operational on the NFL playing field.

The connections have taken years to mature, but they do exist.

This generation of Oakland Raiders have not yet learned to push to the edge in their strategic thinking and aggression on the football field. No doubt their upbringing has not pushed or formed the types of "football personalities" we witnessed in the Sixties and the Seventies.

Nevertheless, once the balance between a smarter and more aggressive O-line, etc. and an excellent working knowledge of the new matrix of NFL regulations are attained, the Oakland Raiders will be able to emerge victorious with minimal penalties. Do you believe it?

Another person who taught me well was my father. He grew up in Fifth Ward in Houston, Texas. He had some "worldly experiences" before becoming a powerful, and studious minister and pastor. He drove his children down the rougher parts of Houston and point out the pimps and hoodlums. He gave advice, and he often bragged about how he could out-think and out-fight guys like Lloyd C. A. Wells, the first African-America NFL scout. Lloyd Wells spent most of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he also worked with Muhammad Ali, another type of warrior.

What can be learned from this? Well, if someone in my environment pointed out the attributes of the "warriors" in the community, then he was preparing his daughter and other children, in general, to discern what it takes to either be protected or victorious in encounters with opponents, if per chance we crossed paths with them.

So, these lessons are to be shared, and this generation of Oakland Raiders need to increase their acumen and discernment, strategies, and tactics to eventually overcome their oppressors and opponents.

The thesis in this lesson is to "learn your opponents." The thesis is captured in the Chinese excerpt, and in the wisdom of surviving in certain neighborhoods in the United States. My first teaching job was in Harlem, New York. Because of my father's counsel, I did not walk with fear while attempting to transform the lives of students on 125th Street and Seventh Avenue, near the Apollo Theatre.

So, as an observer and associate of some of the NFL players, and as a teacher of some of the younger ones who aspire to play for the NFL, I discern what they may need, and I honestly give guidance based on what I witnessed in the past and what I see in the present.

In conclusion the battles of the Oakland Raiders are but simulations of the battles in our larger society. If the Oakland Raiders can prepare and rise up again, then it symbolizes that any disenfranchised people can do the same.

Yes, the game is on a rectangular field, and a prolate spheroid is tossed up and down, but some of us see the "game theory" in action, and we connect, extend, and apply those lessons to life.

Go Raiders! Just win, baby!


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