Monday, December 04, 2006

Win Lose or Tie!

by William E. Henley

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

With my Oakland Raiders capturing the worse record of any NFL team this season at 2-10, I still enjoyed a cool sunny day out at the Coliseum. The real Raider Fans showed up to wear their colors and support their team through turbulent times. How turbulent are these times? Read any newspaper this coming morning and I'm sure you'll hear. In the meantime let me tell you why real fans continue to come out to the games and what keeps us coming back each weekend.

A big part of the game experience is tailgating. Seeing and greeting other fans you've grown to love over time. The comraderie that comes with having a single team goal is what makes any season worth the investment of your time. Fantasy football is just a fantasy, but this thing that makes us "Brothers-in-arms" is real. When tailgating before the game there's nothing but optimism about our team's chances on this day. Especially today when we face the just as lowly Houston Texans, a game we knew going in that we'd win. Unfortunately, nobody told our offense how lowly Houston was and we played them as if they were the vaunted Chicago Bears D-fense.

Sporting my newly purchased Cliff Branch Throwback Jersey, white with black 21 numbering, I strolled into the coliseum feeling like King motherfuc@ing Midas. I just knew the day would turn out golden for the Raiders. Full of barbecued tri-tip steak, yams and a few beers I was definitely ready to see the Raiders feast on the Texans for our third win of the season. Well, as you already know that didn't happen, but suprisingly I and many other fans, continued to enjoy our day together. I guess maybe theres a bit of pirate in all of us. When things go bad and the battle seems lost, drink, be merry and live to fight another day. That is if the ship doesn't go down to the bottom of the sea.

Well, enough rambling about having fun while losing. Nobody can truly enjoy losing in sports. There's no real lesson from losing other than learning how to pick yourself up and try to better yourself. Somehow we'll find a way to put a dominant team in silver and black back on the gridiron again. From where we currently sit in the standings the task may seem insurmountable. But the Raiders organization and us fans who support them have been a resilient bunch throughout the years. Not only will we survive, for this too shall pass, but we'll eventually thrive again as one of the elite teams in the NFL. "My head is bloody, but unbowed" -Invictus!

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