Al Davis’ Commitment to Excellence Undergirded By Players’ Pursuit of Excellence

Eleven men on a team at one time. Eleven men who supposedly have a commitment to excellence, according to the Al Davis motto for the Oakland Raiders.

This motto stirs thinking. A player can not have a commitment to excellence without having a personal pursuit of excellence in his own performance. In other words, an Oakland Raider is not really competing with another player. He is competing with a standard of excellence for himself.

The pursuit of excellence involves a process. A player attains a certain level of performance in one game. He then attempts to outperform his previous performance.

If each and every player uses this definition of "pursuit of excellence" and each one realizes that they must elevate their individual standard or criteria for excellence, then the entire team will perform better each time they get on the playing field.

The job is not to compete with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The job is for each player to exceed the performance he has had in previous games or seasons.

No doubt this type of thinking has already shown itself in the Oakland Raiders. Why? Several records of the past for the Oakland Raiders are now being exceeded by the present Oakland Raiders.

Now, the team is seeking to elevate the standard of performance using a criteria based on the team itself, and not on the opponent's performance.

Functioning to a level so that potential matches execution for the individual players is the new way of thinking.

Here are words of wisdom, since each player has unique talents and physicality.

Here is a quote by Brian Harbour, in "Rising Above the Crowd."

“Success means being the best. Excellence means being your best. Success, to many, means being better than everyone else. Excellence means being better tomorrow than you were yesterday. Success means exceeding the achievements of other people. Excellence means matching your ...

About the Author