The following is Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell's diary for Nov. 19-25, 2001.
Monday, November 19, 2001
It's hard because you go out and play your heart out and when you don't get a win it's hard. It's some inconsistency there and you come back on Monday looking at every play and look at the plays where you see or think you could have done something better. Maybe that's why we are not winning because of the inconsistency of not doing everything right all the time. That tends to show why you're losing because inconsistencies kill you in this league.
Tuesday, November 20, 2001
Christmas shopping! Christmas shopping has been a big thing and was a real big thing on this Tuesday. I was trying to get out before the Thanksgiving crowd and everybody is in the mall everyday. I was trying to get in the mall and get all my Christmas shopping done. I also got on the internet and did some shopping that way, as well. Tuesday was all about trying to get Christmas right. I had to get Christmas right and then work on my fried turkey. I bought the turkey on Tuesday. I already had the deep fryer and my seasoning ready. Chef McCardell was getting ready. I was getting ready to inject the turkey with my special seasoning. I was going to make it fall off the bone and make people start smacking their lips when they were eating.
Wednesday, November 21, 2001
It's makes you a little more focused because you know that you have to get your regular week in, even though you're in a holiday week. People were asking why are we working on the day before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving Day, but we're professionals. Someone always told me that if you're working on Thanksgiving or Christmas, you have a pretty good job. I have a great job, playing in the National Football League. On Wednesday you try to get as much as you can in and you may bring a little of Thursday's practice into Wednesday because you realize when Thursday comes, coach wants to give the guys time to have with their families. So Wednesday was a little longer.
Thursday, November 22, 2001
It was a great day. It was Thanksgiving. I just gave thanks for all of those people who put me here. Coming to work, it was just another day at the office. You just realize that everything is pushed up and you're just trying to perform on the practice field. After that you're just trying to get home to be with your family. I felt that we had a real good day of practice on Thursday. I went home and it was my first Thanksgiving with my twins. I have a big family now; I have five people! It was great. We sat around and said our blessings and then we grubbed. My lovely, lovely, fall-off-the-bone, make-your -mouth-water, fried turkey was off the chain. I stuck it in the deep fryer when I got home. It took about an hour and fifteen minutes. I carved that sucker up, sat back with some dressing, candy yams and collard greens. I cooked the turkey and even though my wife just had twins, she had to cook, too. I also had about three or four pieces of sweet potato pie and watched some football. I just sat back holding my babies and eating sweet potato pie. I had a great Thanksgiving.
Friday, November 23, 2001
I had to get into the steam room because of the extra food I had on Thursday. I weighted in and felt good. I felt a little guilty because of eating that pie, but I wasn't overweight. I was at my 190 pounds when I stepped on the scale, so I was still at weight before I went into the steam room. I sat in there with some of the linemen, who are overweight. Just joking! I was laughing and joking with them. We went back to business on Friday. We felt good to get back to work. We know Baltimore. They know us. We knew it was going to be a tough game. These games are never easy. We realized we had to play well. We realized we did some good things up there in Baltimore and we had to go out and continue to do the right things that we did in Baltimore and add some more things. If we did those things right we knew we had a great chance of winning the game.
Saturday, November 24, 2001
My parents came in town and had the chance to do Thanksgiving all over again. My mom brought some food in and the leftovers were even much better. My juicy turkey was even more juicer and seasoned. Yes, my mom flew in some food and we had another sweet potato pie that was added to the mix. I really needed a day of rest because those twins were really working me out Friday night. I got some rest on Saturday and then I went over to the hotel and got our pregame speech from coach.
Sunday, November 25, 2001
We were two different teams in that game against Baltimore. We started slow and I really don't think we, as an offense, helped our defense out in the first half. They were playing a game by themselves until we woke up on offense. Wasn't much said at halftime. We were not down at halftime, but we were upset at ourselves because we saw our defense playing their hearts out. We didn't have to say much to each other; we could just see those guys playing. It was a gut-check for every man on the offense. We came out in the second half and did what we were supposed to do in the first half. We handled our business and just went out and played. We played with no care at all. We were reckless! We just let it all hang out. We didn't care if somebody made a mistake, we were just playing at 100 mph. We gave that type of effort in the second half and we had a lead, but eventually they made a play. You have to give Baltimore credit, they made some plays and that's how they came back.