Monday, October 27
Waking up Monday morning and driving into the stadium made the loss to Tennessee feel even more real than it did the afternoon before. The great thing about this situation is that we get to see these guys again in a couple of weeks. We'll get even then. We reviewed the game film from Sunday and then lifted weights. We were instructed by our head coach, Jack Del Rio, to remain focused on the tasks at hand. He encouraged us to keep on fighting and putting our time in with good hard work. I believe in my heart that the team is fully buying into his philosophy. I hurried home after meetings to put on my costume for Mark's Masquerade at the stadium. Rebekah and I went as the Spartan cheerleaders from Saturday Night Live. Our costumes were a big hit. I look back now and realize that it would have been an even better night if we'd prepared "the perfect cheer". Rebekah had begged me to make one up, but I just couldn't bring myself to do that in front of everyone. All night long, though, the guests asked us if we had a cheer to show them. Unfortunately, we didn't. I knew that if I did have that perfect cheer the guys would never let me live it down. Especially Meester. He really likes to razz me. He and Jamie looked awesome as Frankenstein and his bride. (I don't really think that Brad had to wear much of a costume to pull that one off!) After a long night of "dancing" and socializing, I was certainly ready for bed.
Tuesday, October 28
Today ended up being my day in the community. Would everyone be ready for the likes of Joe Z? Probably not. But anyway, they were going to get a full dose of me. I prepared myself for the visits by filling my stomach with egg mcmuffins from McDonald's with my wife. It appears that the off days are becoming McDonald's days in the Zelenka household. Again, she then went off to the gym and I headed out. I drove out to a school in Ponte Vedra. I talked to the kids about the dangers of having anything to do with drugs. I told them to follow my example and to just say "NO"! They all agreed to steer clear of drugs. I just hope and pray that they do. I came home and picked up the wifey and then headed out again. This time we helped collect food at a local Winn Dixie store to benefit the LSS Second Harvest Food Bank of Jacksonville. We did this last year, too, and love working with those guys. After we got done, I was ready for a little bit of peace and quiet at home.
Wednesday, October 29
Wednesday turned out to be a difficult day for the Jags as far as practices go. It wasn't that we were hitting each other extremely hard or anything, it was just tough. We were preparing for the Baltimore Ravens. This is a team that we are matched up very well with and one that we all knew we could beat. With a good hard-nosed game of Jaguar football, we would be victorious come Sunday. I headed home for a quick dinner with Rebekah before I settled down to some re-run TV. Rebekah hates watching the old "Simpsons", "Home Improvement", "King of the Hill", and "Seinfeld" shows so she busies herself with lots of other stuff. Halfway through Double Jeopardy tonight I was blindsided by a vicious tail whip by my large dog, Beau. It seemed that he wanted to get the fight started.
After a few ferocious minutes of fighting, and some cheating by Annie I might add, I came out a loser once again. This losing stuff is for the birds. Score: Dogs-6, Joe Z-2.
Thursday, October 30
Today was a great day of preparation for the Ravens. We got ready accordingly as the receivers caught balls, quarterbacks threw them, and the defense slowed the scout offense. Things were beginning to come together even more for the Jags. We were working so hard, it was as if no one had any clue what our record was. All we knew was that this weekend would be in the W column. When I got home, Rebekah was working on our dining room cornice. I think with Martha in so much trouble lately, my wife might become the new Martha Stewart. With her so busy constructing this new window treatment, it left me in charge of dinner. I decided on going to China. It's a long drive for egg rolls, but so well worth the trip. We finished the evening munching on fortune cookies. It was no coincidence that mine said "You will be a big winner soon." Hmmmm! Ancient Chinese wisdom? I think so.
Friday, October 31
I dressed up for Halloween on my way into work. I was a cowboy with work boots on. Freaky Friday, as we like to call it in the locker room, was just that. It started as all players had to make their way through the maze of RV's in the parking lot of Alltel. It was the beginning of the Georgia-Florida weekend. Ignoring the smells of barbecue from RV City, we focused in on the task at hand, which was beating the Ravens. We finished the week of practice strong like an Austrian weight lifter. After practice I headed home to my wife who was getting our full-size candy bars ready for our trick-or-treaters. We believe in the full-sizers. We want to be known by all trick-or-treaters, young and old, as the "house of the full-size candy bars." This would be our first Halloween ever in a home. We've only celebrated before in apartments and the kids just don't come out as much. We were anxious to see what tonight would bring.
Saturday, November 1
This morning I woke up a little later than normal. Coach Del Rio had decided to keep us away from the stadium until it was time for our plane flight to Baltimore. To me, that meant no donuts. I was sad and heart-broken. But I found a way to get one anyways. Rebekah and I stopped at Dunkin Donuts on our way to the airport. I had to take her this morning because she's going to the game. Not only do her parents usually drive over from Ohio when we play the Ravens, but we have friends from my rookie season in San Francisco who are now playing with Baltimore. They just had a baby this week and Rebekah was going to spend some time with them. Boy! I sure hope she doesn't get any baby fever. But I know what us guys got! We've got win fever! The only medicine that would cure us would be prescribed Sunday at 1:00 when we would whoop the birds, them dirty birds!!