Oakland Raiders Countdown to Gridiron Battle Against Cleveland Browns

Oh yeah, it's been hard this week with the loss of Mr. Al Davis. One thing we remember is that Al Davis hired this 2011 team to play ball and to play hard.

Davis was a veteran and former coach in the military. He was a risk-taker who made bold decisions.

I personally love the vertical game he inspired in the NFL. Those "bombs" kept us on the edge of our seats, and they kept us yelling, emoting and hoping for a catch and a touchdown. So many times, though the probability seemed low, the Oakland Raiders would win games in the last few seconds of the fourth quarter.

Many years ago, it happened at Shea Stadium on Dec. 6, 1970. It happened again in Houston, Texas, on October 9, 2011. And I witnessed it.

It was the last seven seconds of the fourth quarter on Oct. 9 (my birthday), and something outstanding happened to secure the victory over the Houston Texans. The win was secured in an Al Davis style, and Michael Huff caught the ball and crouched his body in an almost fetal position.

It symbolizes a "clinging to life" for the Oakland Raiders in 2011 and beyond. It symbolizes the rebirth and new beginning for the Oakland Raiders.

Let's salute Al Davis, who was a veteran and a coach in the military. Can you imagine how much joy those soldiers must have had when Davis coached them back in the 1950s? It probably did so much for their morale and inspiration to serve the United States of America.

Just as last week's victory stirred our emotions, tomorrow's game will do the same. We want a victory. We need a victory.

Defeating the Cleveland Browns in a home game, even though the head-to-head record looks better for them than for Oakland, would be a powerful statement that the Oakland Raiders are ready to rise up and play Raider football again. It would confirm that the Oakland Raiders are experiencing "a new birth."

So, we will salute the veteran Al Davis. We ...

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