The following is Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell's diary for Dec. 13-17, 2000.
Wednesday, December 13, 2000
We felt very good coming in on Wednesday, having a chance to get back in the groove. We had two days off again and that was nice, but we had to come in on Wednesday and back to work and prepare for Cincinnati.
Thursday, December 14, 2000
We knew that the field was going to be terrible. We had reports from other teams that had played there and it looked like a cow pasture. We just got our mind set to play on something like that. We knew that it was going to be cold. All week, they were predicting that it was going to be 24 degrees. It was kind of funny because on Thursday it was 55 or 60 degrees, how is it going to get down to 24 degrees? There was nothing that you could do to prepare for that type of weather. In Jacksonville it was 75 degrees. It's hard to get into your mind playing in Cincinnati in those cold temperatures. We just had to jump right into it. Thursday, we were just, like, we know we have to play and it's going to be three and a half hours of cold weather and that won't hurt us.
Friday, December 15, 2000
On Friday we wanted to keep the machine rolling. We felt real good about ourselves. We felt that we could go up there and control the tempo. We felt that if we played our type of football and do the things that we are coached to do we would win. I got some Christmas shopping done. I got my hair touched up, then I shot up to a few stores and got some things for my daughter. I was trying to get in and out of the malls and then people started asking me for autographs and it's cool, however, when I'm out trying to Christmas shop I'm trying to get in and out just like everybody else. I don't want to hold up the line. I was just trying to tell some people that the lines are already long and I don't want to hold them up any longer than they already are. I was in and out trying to get my shopping done, because I knew the following week was going to be hectic.
Saturday, December 16, 2000
When we left Jacksonville it was about 75 degrees and landed in Cincinnati where it was about 55. There was a light sprinkle and I had to throw on the overcoat just to keep the suit looking clean. Really, I put it on because it was cold. Some of the guys were saying if it could stay like this, it would be great. We got to the hotel, did some shopping in Cincinnati, went to sleep, then Sunday came.
Sunday, December 17, 2000
We woke up to snow, like it was Christmas. I looked outside like a little kid saying it's snowing, it's snowing. Our minds had to get ready then. We knew it was snowing, but didn't actually know how cold it was until we stepped outside to get on the bus. In the game we were going back and forth. They would stop us on downs or we would get a turnover. We also saw just how bad the field was. On the sidelines we were, like, whoever scores first may win the game, because of the field and weather conditions. We were focusing on capitalizing on turnovers. Our defense gave us some great breaks. Late in the game I could feel the tide turning. We wanted to stop their momentum. If we could stop it the game would be over and we would have the victory. The offense is on the sideline just cheering the defense on to make a play so they can get off the field. I had faith I my teammates, but Cincinnati made plays when they needed to. From the 2000 NFL season, what I will take from this season is that this team survived some adverse situations early in the season and we came back playing hard. We always fought and never gave up. We continued to fight and I will always remember that. When people counted us out, we were still fighting and, hopefully, that will help us in the offseason, help us get back where we were in the 1999 season. It's going to be something, not making the playoffs, because we had not missed it in four years. It's going to make me think, reevaluate, and make me realize that it's not fun not being in the playoffs. The ultimate goal is to win the world championship, and that's going to be my thought when the season is over.