It may be an urban legend, but years ago many people would migrate from Louisiana, to Texas, and then to California.
California was considered a place where a person could work their way up in their social and economic standing. The Oakland Raiders symbolized that spirit of opportunity and fairness.
During the Sixties, especially, more people from southern states went "West" to improve their lifestyle. Also, some of them migrated "East."
During those years this writer began to pay attention to the Oakland Raiders and Al Davis. It was clear to me then, and even now, that Al Davis gave women and minorities opportunities to achieve. His thoughts were progressive and fair in my opinion.
For example, Davis drafted the first African American quarterback, Eldridge Dickey. He hired Amy Trask as the highest ranking female in the Oakland Raider franchise, and in the NFL. He made Art Shell one of the first African American coaches in the NFL during the modern era.
Now that I reside in Texas, most of my students and colleagues are cheering for the Titans and the Texans. The Titans were once the Houston Oilers so many of them stuck with that team.
Many people in my circle ask me why I cheer for the Oakland Raiders. Let's just say that the loyalty that the Raiders have demonstrated in measurable and observable decisions for civil rights has elicited loyalty and commitment from many of us in the Raider Nation.
We have got to remember from whence the Oakland Raiders have come. We must stay the course for we know that brighter days are ahead.
Just as there have been, according to one book, a rise and fall of great empires and nations, there was, to some extent, a fall and yet an expected rise of the Raider Nation and the Oakland Raiders.
In 2010 we expect a rise, and a return to a winning attitude.
We anticipate a rise because there are indicators pointing in a winning direction. We expect great things, great plays, and great upsets.
The chart shows that Oakland (blue line) has allowed their opponents to score too many points in the past seven years. And, if you compare the Raiders to the Titans and the Texans, we get the observations in the decade from 2000 to 2009.
During this decade there were periods when Oakland dominated. The longest period of holding down the cumulative scores of the opponents ranged from about 2000 to 2003.
Another observation is that Oakland outscored the Texans (green line) and the Titans (red line) between 2004 to 2007.
In the past three years, when a comparison is made between Oakland, the Texans, and the Titans, both the Texans and the Titans outscored the Oakland Raiders, overall.
And, observe that the Titans did well in 2007 and 2008. The Texans did well in 2009, with a positive cumulative score at 55.
A new decade is here.
Some of us are sticking with the team that represented measurable, observable, and tangible gains for women and minorities, for those with problems in their youth, yet were forgiven and given a second chance, a chance to play in the NFL.
Some of the members of the Raider Nation have a love for the Oakland Raiders that is deep and long-lasting, loaded with faithfulness and passion.
Our love for the Oakland Raiders and Al Davis is armored with memories of what has been. The history is what fuels our passion to plead a cause of what can be and will be, if we only believe it.
Go Raiders! Rebuild that winning attitude!
Just win, baby!