A Little Pep Talk
If, in fact, each team in the NFL is unique, then the Oakland Raiders are unique. Uniqueness defies comparability. In other words, the quality of uniqueness can not be compared to any other team.
If compared, then the comparison determines who is above or below another team. In fact, the uniqueness of the Oakland Raiders guarantees that there is a quality that they have that no other team has. Now, who can determine that "unique" factor? Seriously, tell us what you think.
Those unique factors are intangibles which are not easily measured.
The uniqueness of the Oakland Raiders is like a composite DNA of the team. This makes sense because each player is unique so the combination of talents, intangibles, immeasurables and spiritual qualities of the team are unique. Once there is a true synergy in place, those collective qualities will stand out, and will drive the team to victories.
When we consider the phrase "beyond" themselves, we realize that the competition is within the standard for excellence for each player and within the franchise or team.
A higher level of excellence is to be measured by previous accomplishments of the Oakland Raiders, and not comparisons with other teams.
Each Oakland Raider must improve above and beyond last year's performance levels. Personal goals must be enhanced. The intensity of focus of each player must be turned up, high up.
Each player must strive to raise the standards and expectations of his performance, and gauge his growth against what he did in a game, for example, against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There is always room for improvement. Dealing with that reality is capable of driving each team member and the entire team to a higher level of excellence.
"Striving above themselves" is to strive for a reason that is above yourself. Believing that what you do and how you perform on the playing field could inspire someone to hang in there and strive, too, for greater heights.
Striving above ourselves could be to do so well that some kid you met who is struggling with some health issue can see a victory and believe in victory.
It could, for example, be a stimulus to a single parent who is having trouble planning a victorious future for a child.
Also, striving to do something victorious and thinking "above yourselves" could mean that what the Oakland Raiders do will boost something in the culture and economy of the cities contiguous to Oakland, California.
When striving is beyond a personal struggle and above personal needs, it is capable of thrusting the Oakland Raiders to a level so high that they can not be ranked below any other team.
Their passion for excellence, and their love for staying the course could be just what some of us need as we press toward the mark of the high call in each of our lives.
Play heartily. Stay the course, and maintain a true commitment to excellence.
The Oakland Raiders should and must strive beyond and above themselves.