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Tunnel smarts in Cleveland

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The following is Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell's diary for Dec. 10-16, 2001.

Monday, December 10, 2001

Once again, Monday was my day to rest. We got back a little later than we expected. I was just trying to recuperate and I was happy we went out and did what we had to do.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

I did some Christmas shopping because I was a little behind. I went to Atlanta on Tuesday to do some Christmas shopping for my wife. She's expensive, so I had to go to Atlanta and find something for her. I had lunch in Atlanta and came back to Jacksonville around five p.m. I also had to run past the car dealership when I got back in town. This whole shopping thing is just expensive for me, if you really want to know. What do I want for Christmas? If I buy what my wife wants, I won't need anything because it is going to be an expensive Christmas. I just want one thing and that's a Taylor-made five-wood. I have the driver and the three-wood. I want the 300-series, five-wood, which would complete the set of woods in my bag. A couple of golf trips to Arizona or Palm Springs would be nice, too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

The motivation was to go out and just win. Everybody was talking about the Gerard Warren thing but we just wanted to go out and get a win. I think we had to step up and show folks we're a team these guys shouldn't have beaten the first time we played them. We didn't have Mark Brunell and that's not an excuse, but we did feel that was a big blow to us when they knocked Mark out. We wanted to go there and show them they can't beat us, regardless of where we play.

Thursday, December 13, 2001

We had a lot of noise during practice. Coach put out a lot of speakers to assimilate the noise. They were going to have a packed house in Cleveland. They were trying to get into the playoffs and this was their last home game of the season. We wanted to be ready for the noise. A lot of times you get tired of hearing that crazy crowd noise, but after a while you just get immune to it and keep on playing. I got my hair braided on Thursday. I usually go on Fridays, so I broke my routine. It takes about three hours for me to get my hair braided. I go longer than my wife and that's crazy.

Friday, December 14, 2001

We were really upbeat. We were ready to get this thing going. The media played up the story of us going back to Cleveland and what have you. We were not thinking about getting two wins in a row. We had not won two games in a row since the first two weeks of the season? Our focus was just on winning because they beat us at our home and we wanted to beat them at their home.

Saturday, December 15, 2001

I was ready to go back and see what was going on. I saw some friends I knew in Cleveland. I went out to eat with a couple of guys and just got my mind right for the game. We reminisced on some of the things we used to do when I was there. After talking to those guys I was fired up to play. I picked a new hat while I was in Cleveland. I used to do business with him when I was there and I took Donovin Darius over there, so now he has another outlet to buy hats. Mike the hatter is pretty big in Cleveland.

Sunday, December 16, 2001

It was fun. It was the last game for us in the AFC Central and probably the last time in a long time we will be going to Cleveland. I felt good the whole day. I was going to miss not coming back because it's something special playing there right on the lake. The last 48 seconds were wild. The instant replay was the right call. I never thought I would see it, but I saw it. In 1995 we kind of had the same thing and it's something that was just disgusting. Cleveland is a great town and they have great fans. They got mad because the referee made the right call. That's what we are playing for, to make the right call. At first we didn't know they were reviewing the play. We were worried about the fake spike/intentional grounding. They were talking about the play before and, looking at the replay, they made the right call. If the original call had stood, then it would have been a situation where they cheated us out of the game. He made the right call. The fans didn't like, but I don't think they should have reacted as they did. I was on the field and the ref called the game, so everybody took off and ran toward the tunnel. I saw everyone running to the tunnel and I said, "I'm not going over there." So I just walked in through Cleveland's tunnel and no bottles were thrown at me. That's just being a smart man.

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