by Dean T. Hartwell
The book is out NOW - get it here!
I write about my favorite team, the Oakland Raiders of the mid-1970s. They are legendary to me and to the National Football League in which they played.
I recount my favorite games, Raider wins and losses. My team is the protagonist in this folklore. Their nemesis, the Pittsburgh Steelers, play the role of the antagonists. Like the mythological character, Sisyphus, the Raiders climb up the hill every season toward the top, only to face the enemy who pushes them back down.
Other events and players add to the legend. My feelings of guilt over a player who was paralyzed by a Raider. The death of a favorite baseball player at around the same time. A missed call that cost my favorite baseball team the World Series.
I realized that I was writing my own legend. Events in my own memory brought me to the point of writing this book.
My burdens in life include a kidnapping, a beating and institutionalization. I do not compare my problems to anyone else's. I simply claim them as my own.
At first my experiences conquered me. They were like demons I could not understand or fight against.
Then, thanks in part to writing "a Fan's Folklore," I came to understand my value as a person and the importance of looking forward. I started facing my demons and began competing against them as a football team would.
The biggest victory is to feel genuinely good about oneself. You become your own legend.