Monday, December 31, 2007

The Thrill Is Gone

It was 17 Wonderful Weeks ago that I fell in love with this NFL season. 17 weeks of heartthrob, heartache and heartbreak all wrapped into one glorious affair. As the saying goes,

"Its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

My Raiders may have lost more than they won this season, but I still enjoyed every passionate pucker of professional football they presented to me this year. Now comes the time of mourning. The week following the end of the regular season where you're team is out of the playoffs and gone til next season. Some of the coaching and player personnel may never return. You're left feeling abandoned, lonely, unfulfilled and wondering what if only this or that could have happened to make it last longer. You already try to fill-in the time slots that were spent thinking of the next game and opponent. You miss seeing your team play on Sundays as much as seeing your gurl in a silver & black thong after 17 weeks of Jenny Craig.

Let's face it, B.B. King couldn't have said it any better; The Thrill is Gone, And Now that its Over, All I can do is Wish You Well!

The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you'll be sorry someday

The thrill is gone
It's gone away from me
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away from me
Although I'll still live on
But so lonely I'll be

The thrill is gone
It's gone away for good
Oh, the thrill is gone baby
Baby its gone away for good
Someday I know I'll be over it all baby
Just like I know a man should

You know I'm free, free now baby
I'm free from your spell
I'm free, free now
I'm free from your spell
And now that it's over
All I can do is wish you well

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Its 12:30am on a Saturday and I've just finished watching a Discovery Networks piece about a photograph entitled "The Falling Man."

The photo was taken during the hours of the World Trade Center disaster on 9/11/01.

Driving the 1hr 45min documentary was one man's search for the identity of the man in the photograph.

As the searcher begins his journey into this sacred and painful photograph you begin to discover along with him the many reasons why America had such a difficult time with this one photograph.

As stated in the Documentary, the media did not want to put focus on the victims, some 200 of which had jumped or fell out of windows to their death, but instead hyped the heroism of the rescue efforts.

The photograph was run in one paper "The Morning Call" the following day on September 12th, but hasn't been printed in any paper or magazine since. After running the photo the paper received a monumentally angry response from a stunned American public. Though the media considered it to be one of those rare pictures that reflects life-altering events that can change the way we view our future, its impact was simply too much for a grief stricken nation and the photo was pulled from publication.

The documentary touches on many of our thoughts and feelings about the photograph. It was very gratifying to see the researcher discover something as important, if not more important, than the identity of the person in the photograph, but I'm not gonna spill the beans here. You'll have to check it out for yourself.

What I enjoyed about this documentary is discovering the influence a single photograph can have on an individual just by viewing it. Watching your own thoughts try to grasp the feelings of "The Falling Man" just seconds earlier as he grapples with the decision to jump instead of burn up in the north tower. The calm reserved manner of his body language and its alignment to the building as depicted in the photo. More thoughts of "What Would You Do?" if in the same circumstances with the same exact decisions confronting you.

The Circumstances. Something pretty much none of us alive today can even fathom. And yet in the photograph, "The Falling Man" appears to me to be at peace with his decision and is leaving the outcome, body and soul, in his God's hands.

It may anger you, it may frighten you, it may make you cry. The one thing this documentary won't do is have you saying "Thank God It Wasn't Me." Because in the end "The Falling Man" photograph makes it personal. In the end it is you and me we're watching fall from the 106th floor to our death. The only difference being that we're left alive wondering what it was like, while "The Falling Man" died knowing what it was like.

Peace Be With You "The Falling Man"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Just Beyond The Horizon

After beating up on the Denver Broncos the previous week, The Raiders came crashing back to earth in their Lambeau Field loss. Are the Packers as good as they look or was the frozen tundra's December deep-freeze just too paralyzing for the visitors from Oakland, California?

Whatever the cause of our ugly 38-7 loss in Green Bay, I'm still optimistic about the future of Raiders Football. Remember, we're not a full season removed from the Art Shell coaching debacle that did more damage to our teams' confidence and conviction than anything else. Lane Kiffin has kept this 2007 team believing throughout his debut coaching season. And I'll be the first to say that we're a better team.

I'm close to believing once again that in OUR HOUSE on any given Sunday we can play with the best and come out victors. I'm giving the Raiders a little more time to put all the right pieces together and field a team committed to excellence once again. It won't be long.

I see a bright glow twinkling just beyond the horizon. No need to jump ship now mates? We've made it through the worst part of the journey. Ahead lies victory! Arise! Arise and count your blessings you didn't abandon ship like some fair-weather scurvy of a fan. We're Raider Fans one and all, and we bloody well know the grit it takes to survive the monstrous sea of pro football. So Rise! Wear your colors of Silver and Black proudly. For we shall return to the days of glory.