Monday, November 10
I woke up this morning with a pitter patter in my heart. I headed downstairs and knew I had to get over to the stadium to get my lift done. Our hard fought victory over the Colts had given us a day of lifting and watching game film on our own. No organized meetings with coaches today. I wanted to get done quickly because that afternoon I would be going to Georgia for a little deer hunting. During my lift, I made arrangements with Seth Marler and Brandon Green to ride up together. It would be a good time to spend with the rookies instilling my wisdom in them. Later, I kissed my wife good-bye and loaded up Sandra Dee, my truck, with the rookies and my gear. We were headed to Fargo, GA, for the Sheriff's Boys Ranch hunt. The hunt was established years ago as a reward for the boys that live there. They get to do the hunt if they behave well and have good grades. The stickler is that only the top ten boys get to go. I did this last year, too. I bagged my first buck ever. Plus, I got to meet some great people. I knew the people would be there again this year. The only question was would the deer?
Tuesday, November 11
Tuesday I found myself sitting in the woods waiting for the perfect deer. It proved to be an all day adventure. I didn't get to see that perfect one, or even any others worth taking. That time alone in the woods gave me an opportunity to reflect, though. I thought about the season behind us and the upcoming game with the Titans. I got home late Tuesday night with nothing to show from my trip, except the memories I'd made with the boys at the Ranch.
Wednesday, November 12
I got to work Wednesday morning. Upon entering the locker room I noticed a smell. An odor, shall we say. It was one that hadn't been there for a few weeks. It was the smell of a winning team. Or maybe it was Mike Pearson's socks. Who knows?!? The mood in the locker room was upbeat. Not only had we just beat the Colts, but it was also Tennessee week. Everyone knows what that means. We owe those guys up there something. We were looking to give them the motivation to write their own sad country song. Practice flowed like a river. At times, a rushing river. The sound of Meester's blocks was like waves crushing against the shore. Where do I come up with these crazy analogies? I have an active imagination sometimes, I guess. Nonetheless, practice went very well. The game plan was set for the Titans. It hadn't differed much since the last time we played them. Except for one huge difference ... the outcome!!
Thursday, November 13
The morning sun broke through the clouds. As we ventured out to the fields following a few hours of meetings, we got more and more fired up for the physical part of practice. Practice for an NFL player is kind of like recess for an elementary kid. It's our time to get out of the classroom, throw the ball around and have some fun. Practice was just that today...fun. Amidst all that fun, we found a good hard day's work. The coaches and players both walked away from practice with a swagger like John Wayne. We were so ready to head off to the gunfight up in Nashville. It would be a showdown with the Titans. I got home that evening to an empty house. It wasn't a big deal, though. I'd be meeting up with my wife later. She'd made plans for "us" to babysit a friend's little girl. It would be good practice for us, seeing that we hope to have our own kids one day. More practice for me, as I'm not sure I can handle it. I grabbed some dinner at the fancy Mexican restaurant, Taco Bell, and headed over to meet the two ladies of the evening. As I walked in I expected to hear crying and smell dirty diapers. To my surprise, there was no smell and no noise. Rebekah had been doing swell. The baby was asleep. We ate our dinner in peace. About an hour later, we woke the baby up for her bath. I said I would help, but there's not much I could do standing six feet away. Everytime I got near the kid, she screamed. She was either intimidated by my good looks or my size. But seeing the way Rebekah handled that little thing made me certain that one day she'll make an incredible mother.
Friday, November 14
I got to practice in my work boots and cowboy hat, like always. I found things to be running like a faucet. The boys had also come prepared although not many other ones wore work boots. I guess that's a Joey Z. thing. Anyways, Friday's practice would be our final preparation for the Titans. The air in the locker room was one of confidence. We were headed north into hostile territory, but we were confident to make our city proud. That afternoon at home, I had a few short hours of rest before I was to meet up with the Meester's and our other Bible study friends to help a couple move. Just as I was about to get comfortable in my chair the dogs decided to get the match of the week rolling. Despite a valiant effort by little Annie and some great tail-whip shots by Beau, I was lucky to squeak out a tie. You see, I was only able to pin one of the dogs. Hence, the tie. On our way down to Ponte Vedra, Rebekah and I stopped to grab our cheese steaks at Philly Connection. Yum! Yum! Good! Those cats make the best steaks south of Philly.
Saturday, November 15
I broke out the khaki pants and blue blazer for travel this week. No Armani or Versace for me. Sears clothes work just fine on this body of mine. I always tell Rebekah that if you can't find it at Sears, you just don't need it. The team grabbed a few donuts, had a few meetings and a quick walk-thru before we headed off to the airport. We boarded our plane to Nashville, the music city. All I could think of as we took off was the sad songs that they'd have to play once the Jaguars left town.