Jack Tatum had a gift.
His departure is but a sign that his gift must be passed on to younger Raiders.
It reminds me of the story about Elijah and Elisha. At the departure of Elijah, the older man, the anointing and gift of this old man was passed on to the younger Elisha. What's more is that Elisha desired the blessing.
Who desires to exercise gifts similar to Jack Tatum? Now is the time, and this is the season that he must come forth.
Do you think this concept is unreasonable? Even if you do, there are examples in history of men who were grateful to the ancestors for leaving a history that they desired to emulate.
One example is Sir Isaac Newton, the physicist, who said in reference to Rene DesCartes, "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants."
The young Oakland Raiders are standing on the shoulders and accomplishments of the senior Raiders. If they have fallen short, then they must study and prepare to do better in 2010.
In fact, the shoulders and accomplishments of the senior Raiders have been so broad and outstanding that the team has been "coasting" for about seven years.
The cumulative statistics are so strong that the Raiders still outperform many other teams because their overall win-loss average is strong. Even with the losses, the previous data, with its remarkable outliers, yields a decent average at the end of 2009.
So, the seniors left a legacy, and Jack Tatum, Gene Upshaw, and others who died so young are contributors to that legacy.
The least we can do is recognize Jack Tatum in the Hall of Fame. The least we can do is say thanks for the sacrifices and misconceptions in his career. The least we can do is rise up and advocate that if a man has been a powerful and unique contributor to the Raiders and NFL, give him his recognition.
Otherwise, it signals the inconsistencies in the guidelines of the selection process for honor.
Go young Raiders!
We honor the memory of Jack Tatum and others.