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Living The Dream: Oakland Raider Training Camp 2011

Raider Nation, when I was a kid growing up in Oakland in the late 70's and early 80's there was a glow that emanated from the Oakland Raiders to all of us who took pride in our team. The organization was ingrained in our community and they gave us a face. The Oakland Raiders, and for that matter, the Athletics gave our working class community a World class identity.

For those of you who know me, you know that my passion springs from those young days in Oakland when I attended Hawthorne Elementary and Carl B Monk. To be in Oakland at that time was to be alive. We didn't have the material things that dominate our current society, but, we had each other.

I have crossed many rivers since those days and today, I feel like, my passion has been repaid.

Mike Taylor from the Oakland Raiders allowed me onto the field to write about, not only the Raiders, but, my heart, my passion. Today, the Raiders acknowledged all of the work that I've done over the past 6 seasons and allowed me into the inner circle. I was able to take in the alchemy and chemistry that forms the team which we will all witness and pour our passions into for the next six months.

I have to tell you, Raider Nation, THIS team has the passion to support your passion. This team has the heart to defend and fight for your honor every day and every week. Hue Jackson has demanded it from day one and his team has responded. This passion, for me, goes far beyond the Tweets and articles and resounds in my soul.

Thank you Michael and thank you Oakland Raiders for validating all that I have believed in for years. We are a team that is connected by a City, a passion and a dream. As I am becoming, so are you. Let's rise!!!