Monday, November 11
I awoke early to a sunrise, the softest red I have ever seen. I rolled over and kissed my beautiful wife good morning. I went to the kitchen and brewed myself a sweet cup of java; the smell tickled my nostrils. The dogs yawned and stretched. They seemed in no hurry to get outside. I coaxed the two of them to the door and opened it. Lying there on my doorstep was my copy of the newspaper. I flipped the front page open and there it was in bold letters "Jags Swamp Spurrier". Could it really be true? I rubbed my eyes and squinted to see the letters. I slowly read each word one by one again. It was true. We really did win, and I thought it was only a sweet dream. I had forgotten how great the feeling is to wake up Monday morning and have a victory in the books. Everything is just wonderful. The colors are brighter, the smells are deeper, the sounds are softer, and the feeling is one of the greatest in life.
We received Monday off along with our customary Tuesday. Two days off in the same week is a very rare thing in the world of professional football. We had two full days to ourselves, two days to do anything that we wanted to. Fantastic, that meant I could get out in the woods sooner. I drove up to Fargo, Georgia. It is a small town just northwest of Jacksonville with a population of about 230. I went there with the intention to go hunting and spend some quality time with several disadvantaged youngsters from the Ga. Sheriffs Boys Ranch. It was their annual hunt as a reward for good behavior. I was asked by Jeff Lageman to attend. Todd Fordam, Chris Luzar and myself all headed up with the hopes of bagging a big one. We got to stay at the lodge of Bill and Pat. They are two of the nicest people one could ever meet. Bill owns a big lumber company and Pat is the mayor of Fargo. I got to meet a mayor!! I don't think that I have ever really gotten to personally talk to a mayor. We ate some good ole fashion country cooking and got some evening hunting in. Not much action with the deer but lots of action with the mosquitoes.
Tuesday, November 12
The day started very early, about four. We would get to hunt twice today with a break for lunch. The first hunt was by ourselves and the second time would be with a kid from the boys' ranch. The boys showed up that afternoon and they were great; very well behaved and courteous. They were real young gentlemen. Well, I found myself in a deer stand most of the day, not seeing a single thing other that some flies and mosquitoes. They were actually very entertaining. I think that they knew that I was getting bored by not seeing any deer. Then in the final minutes of daylight I got the chance at a very nice ten point deer. I took that chance and brought home enough deer meat to feed an army.
I got home late from Ga., but there was still enough time to wrestle the dogs. I think that I must have been tired from the long day, because they really taught me a lesson. Joe 2; the dogs 2. Oh well, there is always next week.
Wednesday, November 13
We found ourselves back at work early in the morning for a lift and some meetings. I was very excited to be there. Things are always better at work after a win, and besides that I really missed the guys. I was excited to hear about their days of freedom. Chris Hanson went to Atlanta and Peachtree City with his wife to buy peaches. Brad Meester stayed at home and mowed the lawn, he said his neighbors were complaining. Kyle Brady went to St. Augustine to do some sight seeing. He said that he went to the fountain of youth. (He's been feeling kind of old). Pete Mitchell went to the zoo. He likes to look at monkeys and snakes. Tim Seder spent his two days teaching his son to trade on the NYSE. It is really amazing considering his kid is only 18 months. Overall, it sounded like the guys had a great two days off and were ready to refocus.
Refocus would have to be the word for the day. The team was getting their legs back under them and getting used to the practice. It is amazing how fun practice can be after a win. The team seemed at the end of the day to have a handle on the Texans. I don't think that anyone at the office has forgotten the last time we played Houston.
That night for dinner, Rebekah made some great Italian pork chops, trying out a new recipe. You cannot go wrong with some good home cookin' for ole Joey Z. Wednesdays are also bad television nights in my home. My wife is addicted to the TV fad, the "Bachelor." I am more of a "Fishing with Bill Dance" type of guy. So when the Bachelor comes on I take the dogs for their walk.
Thursday, November 14
Thursday of the Texans week brought a good day of practice. The team was focused and looking for revenge. No I take that back. I think that the team was looking for a reckoning. I mean that there was an air around the team like no matter what was going to happen on Sunday we were not going to lose. The team was moving like they were on a mission. Things were on a roll. There was a feeling of purpose. The music that played in the locker room reflected the mood. There was also a new dance by Mike Pearson. He called it "bug on the windshield" but you will have to wait for him to score to see the moves. You know for a bigger guy he really does have some rhythm.
That night we had the Hansons over for dinner. We ate Rebekah's famous chicken casserole. Chris loved it and said that it would help him punt the ball really well this week. The Hansons stuck around after dinner for Friends. You have to understand that Friends is one of Hanson's favorite shows. I think that he wants to be Joey. But then again, who doesn't want to be like Joey (Z)?
Friday, November 15
This was the day of polish. The team had spent all week trying to make the football perfect. Just like Coach has been saying, "There is no margin for error." The guys had practiced that way all week. If there was something that was not right at any time, the guys repeated the play, blitz or rush until it was just right. The week overall was a great week of practice, and I could feel the same kind of focus that the team had had the week before.
Friday always ended early. The rest of the day I got to spend with my wife watching movies and spending some quality time. It was just some time to focus on the game that was coming up. Lucky for the dogs it was too close to game time for wrestling.
Saturday, November 16
Doughnut day. The locker room was filled with the smell of dozens and dozens of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I could not resist and enjoyed myself a couple before meetings. We had our meetings and were off to the airport. By the way it was a great send off for all of those that showed up!! On the plane I watched my favorite movie of all time, "The Out Law Josey Wales," as I do on every trip.
They say that the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas. Yet, as the kickers and I walked down the street to dinner, the stars there are no brighter than the ones in Jacksonville!! We had our night meetings and were off to bed.
Sunday, November 17
Game day. We woke up early, ate breakfast and were off to the stadium. That place was huge. This was one of the largest buildings that I have ever seen. I hope it could contain the game that the Jaguars packed and brought with them from Jacksonville, black pants or no black pants.