Today is the day that the Oakland Raiders will trim the team to 53 men. The thought of the decisions today may already be causing some players emotional pain.
The men who are on the roster knew that this day was coming.
Some of them put their whole heart into making the team. Some fell short using their own standards to judge their performance.
A coach's perception may not agree with the individual player's perception of how well he did during preseason.
It's sort of like the phrase "For whom the bell tolls." As Oakland Raiders and other NFL players sit and think today, the players may wonder if the bell tolls for them.
Cutting the team to 53 men is like having surgery to remove dysfunctional parts of the body. Think about the team as a body that should be functioning in a healthy, victorious way.
If the doctors or coaches see that someone cannot function, will not function or has not functioned, the job of the Oakland Raiders coaches and staff is to make the decision to cut that player.
Although the cut may be painful, the player who has been cut just may see another door open. The door that closed may not have been the door he should have entered.
Times are hard. Families are in transition. The news that a friend, family member or parent has been cut may be painful to someone.
If the readers have been fired from a job, or laid off, they know the pain or stress of being cut.
On the other hand, there may be those who look back on the job they lost and now realize that it was a good thing to be cut from one job, and then to move on to another job or career.
One thing is paramount. The Oakland Raiders franchise is being shaped and transformed into a new type of team. The shaping can be done by training and molding, by bending and stretching the talents and capabilities of players.
The goal of building a powerful team requires removal and/or replacement of certain players in certain positions. The old saying, "May the best man win" is a good one for this situation.
If an NFL player is cut today, and if he truly loves the team "All the way" like Frank Sinatra sings, then he will go forward with no regrets and no bitterness, because he will realize that what is the best thing to do for the organization is what must be done.
Finally, a commitment to excellence sometimes requires tough decisions. Be a sport, and understand that the Oakland Raiders and other NFL teams are focused on building the best teams for the sake of the best performances in the NFL.
It's all about giving the customers or the fans the best product. It may be painful, but it all works out for the betterment of the teams and the NFL, in general.
You are probably wondering if this writer has ever been "cut" or fired. Yes, I have.
In the 1970's the funds ran out for one job, and I was laid off. On that same day, I called an attorney who I had done community service with in Houston, and he hired me that same day. I packed my files and drove about three blocks and set up shop in a new job and never looked back.
The second job was better than the one I was fired from.
Now think about some NFL players. Hasn't this happened to many of them. The team that picked them up was the team that helped them to have an outstanding career in the NFL.
Yes, some men will be cut. Yes, the team will be sutured and sewn together differently. Hopefully, however, the Oakland Raiders will optimize and become more effective in 2010.
So, as difficult as it may be, think positive and remember, "All things work together for good...."