Monday, October 13
I awoke Monday morning to a funny smell. The room had the suspicious odor of bananas. As I woke up and looked around, I noticed that the 500-pound gorilla was back. We had lost the game to the Dolphins. Things were no longer good. So I headed downstairs to begin my bye-week. The bye-week is the one chance that an NFL player has some time of his own. It's time to get things done that he needs to get done. More important, it's time just to get away from the stresses of football. I brewed up a pot of coffee. I sent the dogs and the gorilla outside. We had been graciously given two days off to start our week. Monday and Tuesday . . . what to do?!?! I was lucky. I got to entertain the "out-laws." Well, at least my father-out-law. Rebekah and her Mom shopped all day. I spent my day running around town with my father-in-law, Paul, getting some errands done. We met the girls for dinner at Moe's. I got the "Home wrecker." It really is true to its' name. We sent her parents home to start dessert and we headed off to the Meester's for Bible Study. I saw Brad and Hanson. It was great. There are always certain guys that you get close to and really enjoy seeing even away from the stadium. Brad and Chris aren't two of them. (Just kidding!!!) Afterwards, we arrived at home just in time for a homemade cherry cobbler. I guess it is nice to have your mother-in-law around every once in a while.
Tuesday, October 14
Our morning started out with Cracker Barrel. I sure do love them biscuits. I needed a hearty breakfast because Rebekah and I were going to be on TV. Bekah ate light 'cuz she was nervous about that whole "TV adds 10 pounds to your body" thing. We were filming a commercial for the Ninth Annual LSS Second Harvest Food Drive with which the Jaguars are helping. If you haven't seen it yet, you're just not watching enough TV. We got done filming. Of course, I was great! The cameras love me. At least that's what my wife tells me. After the commercial we had to take the "out-laws" to the airport. It's always hard on Rebekah, but she'll see them again in a couple of days. That night we just hung at home. The dogs decided to give me a reprieve. It's a bye-week in that season, too. Score is still Dogs-4, Joe-2.
Wednesday, October 15
First day back to work after a LONG weekend. Lucky for us, we got to re-hash the Dolphins game from Sunday. There were a lot of mistakes we need to correct before the season carries on. The bye-week affords us the chance to go back and look over, review and re-establish our work ethic. If someone asked me, it couldn't have come at a better time. We had a good day of practice, getting back to the basics. We got back to pure Jaguar football. I got home and my wife had a delicious meal of pasta ready for me. With all the hard practicing we've been doing, Rebekah said that I needed a carbo-load. And that I did.
Thursday, October 16
Another day of bye-week practice. We slowly began to focus in on the Titans. Kicking coach, Paul McCord, and Special Teams coach, Bill Bates, joked with me and Mark Royals at practice about the upcoming Mark Brunell Masquerade Party- We all agreed that the young Seth Marler should go as a member of the boy band, `N Sync. Practice was good and hard for the whole team. Following practice, I headed home. But before I got there I stopped to pick up dinner. Rebekah is leaving for Ohio tomorrow and I decided to help her out. When I got there, I found my wife immersed in packing. We agreed that she would travel back home for this special weekend. It's our nephew's first birthday. Garrett is her brother Matt's boy. I would stay home and rest while getting a couple of chores done around the house. It's just too full of a trip when we both go back home. (Both of our families are from Northeast Ohio.) I had to stop Rebekah from trying to pack our smaller dog, Annie. It seems that she was trying to take her home to go to the party. You have to understand . . . little Annie loves her some birthday cake.
Friday, October 17
Today was our last bye-week practice day. We once again worked hard on our Jaguar football as we continued to get more focused on the Titans. All the guys in the locker room know what that game means to this city. It was a short day, yet hard, crisp, with a sense of purpose. It seemed that for those few short hours we were there everyone sort of forgot about their weekend plans and tuned in to the tasks at hand. We were getting ready to leave the locker room. I decided to stay around and find out what the fellas were doing on their free time. I wanted to ask Luzar, but couldn't find him because of the camouflage he was wearing. So, I knew where he was headed. I would talk to him on Monday. Seth Marler headed back to college. I guess he wanted to attend a few more frat parties. Brad Meester was off to Disney World. Maybe he's got a thing for Minnie. Ol' Paul Spicer was headed off to the Windy City to hang out at his house. And me, I was taking my wife to the airport and preparing for a bachelor weekend. What kind of trouble can I get myself into?!?!?
Saturday, October 18
It's awful lonely when the wife's not in bed. I miss her already. I don't think she appreciated that phone call at 7:15 this morning. I could've sworn she said the birthday party started at 7. Man, I need to listen better. I had a long day ahead of me. The garage was a mess. The hedges and the grass were high. I threw on my work jeans and headed out. It was going to be weird . . . a weekend with no football or a wife. But at least I had a lawn to mow.