Monday, November 25
I woke up early Monday morning. I was still tired from the night before. The combination of the loss and the performance that I put forth did not let me sleep well. Lucky for me Deuce (Chris Hanson) jumps like Michael Jordan. His mad hops saved my job. I walked my dogs in the brisk fall air and tried to clear my head. With each step I regained focus. I no longer had my tail between my legs. By the walk's end I knew that I was ready for work. I arrived at work with my Starbucks coffee in hand. As a team, we ran and lifted weights. The meetings that followed would be the real test of the team's attitude. As one would expect, they had some yelling in them, but we didn't play any better than a high school junior varsity team. Following the meetings and a walk through, we were allowed to head for the homestead. We needed to focus in. It was Steelers week.
The day off was beckoning in the cool night air. I picked my wife up at the airport from her trip to Dallas and Deuce got his wife. We went to do something that I would normally not do on Monday nights. We went and watched Monday Night Football. I think that it was the idea of stuffing my face with chicken wings that made watching football on my own time stomachable.
Tuesday, November 26
I got up with my dogs. I don't think they knew it was a day off and were allowed to sleep in. I hoped that once Rebekah awoke we would head off for breakfast at the Waffle House. I personally love the Waffle House. The hash browns, the eggs and the waffles...man, that's a meal!!! Once Rebekah woke up , though, we decided that we would just get some bagels and spend the day at home. We could have gone to Adventure Landing with Meester. He likes to ride the water slides when it is cold out because he doesn't like lines. We could have also gone to the zoo with Mitchell to see the snakes and monkeys, but I wasn't in the mood for primates and reptiles. The Hansons invited us to go collect seashells at the beach, but the idea of getting all sandy was not too appealing. Mike Pearson also asked me if I wanted to join him and Luzar for a fun filled day of shopping. That really didn't sound like me. Fortunately, we decided on the day at home and that would allow me to rest. A good thing too, because that evening the dogs were in rare form. I think that Beau and Annie are practicing when I am at work because their teamwork was just amazing. It took all that I had to win and even the count at 3.
Wednesday, November 27
Back to work early in the morning, with meetings and a good lift. Coach told us in the team meeting that this was going to be a big week. A very good team that plays hard was coming to town. We had no room for error he said. We needed to be absolutely perfect. We held our destiny in our own hands, and had to play our best football in December. It was going to be a tough week of practice and we all knew that it was going to take something special to beat the Steelers. We went out and practiced with a renewed intensity. From the signs of the first practice of the week, it was going to be a good one.
I got home and was ready for dinner. Rebekah had prepared a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. I tried to politely decline dinner, but as any man that has been married for more than 2 minutes knows, when your wife cooks, you eat. I was hoping to save lots of room for the turkey that I would be eating the next day after practice. Well, no luck. I walked the dogs and headed off to bed early because of the early schedule on Thursday.
Thursday, November 28
Turkey day had finally arrived. I love Thanksgiving! In fact, I love all holidays; the emotions, the sights, the sounds, the memories and don't forget the food. Holiday meals are great. I got to the stadium early for a quick day at work. The team knew that we needed to get our business done. All of us arrived and went right to it. We had some meetings and a practice. It was a good one considering that the we all had the turkey crazies. I guess that I am not the only one on the team that likes to eat. When we finished, Coach wished a happy thanksgiving and told us to spend the day with family.
We got home about 2 in the afternoon so I missed the Macy's parade. Oh well. I got changed and went with Rebekah to Chez Brady for dinner. Kyle and Kristy decided to have a good old fashioned family Thanksgiving and they made the mistake of inviting Joey and Rebekah Z. (They don't know how my wife eats!!!) We had all of the fixings like turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and deer meat. It was a great time. I just hope that next year Kristy will trust me and let me eat off the good china and not paper plates. We got home and I had eaten sooo much that I had to take off my pants. I just let Rebekah walk the dogs that night.
Friday, November 29
We were back to work early. At the beginning of the day, the team was either groggy or full of turkey. I would bet on the latter. Yet by the time that practice started, the boys were off and ready for a great day of work. The team polished off the week with a good hard day. There were passes made and caught. Punts were boomed down the field and kicks put through the up rights by our new kicker Richie Cunningham. The team was looking ready by the time that the day was over.
I went home and enjoyed a nice evening with cheese steaks for dinner. Afterwards, Rebekah and I met Deuce and his wife, along with his parents and grandparents. We all went to see the tree lighting ceremony at the Landing. Unfortunately, no one recognized old Joey Z or Deuce. I guess our fan clubs are having their meetings on Friday nights. The tree was beautiful along with all of the fireworks. I sure do like fireworks. I like knowing that they are like little bombs of different colored fire. Very cool.
Saturday, November 30
The doughnut day. I got to work and after a couple of meetings and a quick walk through, we were done with the physical work for the week. I have to admit that I did eat three doughnuts this time. It is very hard not to have any when they are just sitting there in the locker room, calling your name. I got home and got to spend the rest of the day on the couch watching the Clint Eastwood marathon on television. Clint is not only my favorite actor, but also Beau and Annie's. Rebekah went to some craft fair with Jamie Meester to buy some holiday decorations and gifts. I am glad she went with Jamie. I just go crazy at craft fairs. I can't seem to control myself when it comes to crafts.
Rebekah dropped me off at the hotel after sushi. We had our meetings and a quick snack and were off to bed. My roommate, Meester, was watching his favorite movie when I got back to the room, "The Fast and the Furious." He told me that he was going to sell his truck and buy a civic to "supe up." He's so crazy. We had a good night sleep. Brad did do some night screaming, though, but I think he was talking in Spanish because I didn't understand one word of it.
Sunday, December 1
We were up early and after a quick breakfast, off to the stadium. Game time arrived before I knew it and I was off to the field for warm ups. As I took the field, I knew where all of my fan club members were on Friday night...they were making a really cool sign that they held up before the game. It is official! There really are members of the Z man club that are not related to me. That is so very cool and lifted my spirits for the game. The fan club and the fact that we were wearing the sweet black on black, I just knew it was going to be a great day.