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Oakland Raiders and Texas Southern University Made Us Half-Happy With New Trend

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IIDecember 8, 2010

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 05:  Quarterback Jason Campbell #8 the Oakland Raiders breaks the tackle of Brandon Siler #59 of the San Diego Chargers in the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 28-13.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

We all select our favorite teams in different ways. Some folks are born into the Raider Nation. Others watched the teams and decided on their favorites.

My connection with the Oakland Raiders started when I realized that Al Davis was an advocate for change. He made some powerful moves that indicated he wanted change in the NFL and in our society.

Years ago, Davis saw a film and he thought he was looking at Otis Taylor from Prairie View University. The player that he was watching was Warren Wells. Davis found a way to get Wells to play for the Oakland Raiders. At the time, the Kansas City Chiefs had too many wide receivers according to the old stories. It was a great decision to select Wells because he has been described as the prototype wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders.

Wells demonstrated integrity and intensity on the playing field. In 1969 he was recognized as the top wide receiver in the NFL. Wells attended Texas Southern University (TSU).

The TSU team had many talented players as far back as 42 years ago. They are making history on Dec. 11, playing in a championship game in Alabama.

The resurgence of interest in TSU is solely because Johnnie Cole, the head coach, has come up with a plan to return the team to glory.

Parallel to TSU's challenge, the Oakland Raiders have had their peaks and valleys. In 2010 the Oakland Raiders are coming out of a valley. In the AFC West, they are looking very good.

Last week I wrote an article tagging myself as "half-happy" since TSU is headed toward a SWAC championship. Now that the Oakland Raiders defeated the San Diego Chargers on  Dec. 5, I can describe myself and others as *three-quarters happy." Some of us won't be able to call ourselves "happy" until the Oakland Raiders win their division and head toward the playoffs.

For now, let's honor TSU and hope that both teams have favor and accomplish great things in 2010.

Has TSU, a historical black college, produced other outstanding NFL players? Yes, they have and here is the list. After all, since TSU may become a championship team, during pro day, maybe the scouts for the Oakland Raiders will show up in March 2011 and scope the young talented players who went to a championship game in their division.

Here is a historical list of TSU players who became NFL players.

Adams, Julius (1971 - 1987) 
Allen, Nate (1971 - 1979) 
Askson, Bert (1971 - 1977) 
Baker, Keith (1985 - 1985) 
Baker, Mel (1974 - 1976) 
Baylor, Ray (1974 - 1974) 
Bone, Warren (1987 - 1987) 
Branton, Gene (1983 - 1985) 
Briggs, Greg (1995 - 1997) 
Burrough, Ken (1970 - 1981) 
Calloway, Ernie (1969 - 1972) 
Celestin, Oliver (2004 - 2008) 
Cheeks, B.w. (1965 - 1965) 
Colbert, Darrell (1987 - 1988) 
Courville, Vince (1987 - 1987) 
Cox, Arthur (1983 - 1991) 
Crowe, Larry (1972 - 1975) 
Dean, Fred (1978 - 1982) 
Douglas, John (1967 - 1969) 
Ellison, Willie (1967 - 1974) 
Ford, Jim (1971 - 1972) 
Frazier, Charlie (1962 - 1970) 
Hankton, Cortez (2003 - 2006) 
Hart, Harold (1974 - 1978) 
Hepburn, Lonnie (1971 - 1974) 
Hicks, W.k. (1964 - 1972) 
Hill, Winston (1963 - 1977) 
Hines, Jimmy (1969 - 1970) 
Holmes, Ernie (1972 - 1978) 
Holmes, Jack (1978 - 1982) 
Holmes, Mike (1974 - 1976) 
Hopkins, Roy (1967 - 1970) 
Johnson, Kevin (1995 - 1997) 
Johnson, Nate (1987 - 1987) 
Jones, Boyd (1984 - 1984) 
Jones, Homer (1964 - 1970) 
Lyday, Allen (1984 - 1987) 
Maxie, Brett (1985 - 1997) 
Mays, Dave (1976 - 1978) 
Mitchell, Leroy (1967 - 1996) 
Moore, Will (1995 - 1998) 
Muhammad, Calvin (1982 - 1987) 
Mumphord, Lloyd (1969 - 1978) 
Paul, Harold (1974 - 1974) 
Perkins, Willis (1961 - 1963) 
Philyaw, Charles (1976 - 1979) 
Pollard, Bob (1971 - 1981) 
Porter, Willie (1968 - 1968) 
Pough, Ernie (1976 - 1978) 
Rackley, David (1985 - 1985) 
Rice, Andy (1966 - 1973) 
Sorey, Jim (1960 - 1962) 
Strahan, Art (1965 - 1968) 
Strahan, Michael (1993 - 2007) 
Thomasson, Leon (1987 - 1987) 
Wells, Warren (1964 - 1970) 
White, Alberto (1994 - 1996) 
White, John (1960 - 1961) 
Young, James (1977 - 1979) 

Ernie Holmes is in this list and he was a part of the original Steel Curtain of the Pittsburgh Steelers who, unfortunately, defeated the Raiders in 2010.

Winston Hill and W. K. Hicks played with the New York Jets, when the great Joe Namath was the quarterback.

The list includes Warren Wells who played with George Blanda, Daryl Lamonica, Fred Biletnikoff and was coached by John Madden.

The Raider Nation is grateful that it has not taken 42 years to shift the trend upward as in the case of TSU. What's more, some of us who watch college and pro football are happier because things are looking better. It has taken almost eight years for the Oakland Raiders to shift the trend upward.

Indeed, we have a reason to be "three-quarters" happy. Now, once the Oakland Raiders are definitely in the playoffs, some of us will be "100 percent" happy.

Go Raiders! Go TSU tigers!

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