Friday, September 18, 2009

San Fran Game Prep

What a big week! Winning at home is expected for the Seahawks, but we have struggled in the past on the road, sometimes failing to bring back a "W". So, what better challenge than going down to San Francisco to face a divisional opponent? We have talked about facing this kind of adversity throughout training camp, on Sunday we'll be put to the test.

With the first road game of the year I have to dig into my closet to find a suit to wear that will meet the team dress code. Anyone who knows me knows that I am more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy. I definitely cannot keep up with some of my flashier teammates (Brandon Mebane, Nate Burleson, Deion Branch). I don't even know where to buy fuchsia dress pants. And I will not be wearing any pink shirt this year, even if Matt (#8) says it's the new brown. Looks good on him though......(Caddy Shack fans?)

Last night Rachel and I went to say hello to some friends at Albert Lee appliances in Tukwilla. They were having a circus party in the store with fire breathers, a contortionist, and jugglers. It was pretty cool, good people too. We met two of the four Albert Lees. It made me wish we were in need of some new appliances.

We have some family in town this week as well. Rachel's grandpa is here with one of his friends, Chuck. It is always nice to have people travel across the country to come see us.

Tonight I am taking it easy resting my legs. I'm gonna grab some dinner tonight and watch some extra game film for San Fran. I also have an old DVD of John Randle's pass rush clips. He was a player that I watched as a high school student so I am looking forward to revisiting a few great moves. I might even pull a couple out of the bag for this Sunday.

Don't forget Oct. 5th at the Nectar Lounge in Freemont for Monday Night Football. It will be a great night for a charity we support -- Gloria's Angels.

Today's Touchdown: Every now and then we put on the boxing gloves and spar at the Seahawks facility for conditioning. It is a great workout and is easier on the knees than just straight running. I did four one minute rounds today. Sound easy? Go out and throw punches for a minute straight and see if you can repeat it three more times. I was exhausted and glad I had gotten some extra conditioning in for this Sunday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

MNF @ Nectar Lounge 10/5

Join me and my friends at Nectar Lounge for MNF on 10/5 to help raise money for Gloria's Angels. Music, football, good friends, good times! I hope you can all be there. Buy tickets in advance to secure your spot:

Game Day

When I woke up in the team hotel on Sunday morning I laughed to myself when I felt a smile covering my face. It was the first gameday of the season and even before I was consciously thinking about the game, I was already excited about the day! Those of you who have played competitive sports or who have a something you are involved in that you are passionate about, you know what I mean. The adrenaline rush -- or just the anticipation of the adrenaline rush -- is exciting!

My routine on game days is fairly predictable. The first thing I do every Sunday morning during the season is call Rachel. She answers the phone the same way every game day morning, "Good morning, Superstar". I love knowing that she sees me that way -- I love even more knowing that she loves the part of me that is off the field -- the guy who will be done with football someday -- the guy who is the father of her child and the guy who fell in love with her years ago when we were in the same group in our communication class in college. That's what keeps me smiling -- and that's what makes it special that she thinks of me as a superstar on gamedays!

After I talk to Rachel, I shower and head downstairs for breakfast. A buffet of eggs, steak, hashbrowns, spaghetti, oatmeal, juices, water, gatorade, etc. is setup in a conference/ballroom for the team. My plate is usually filled with eggs, hashbrowns, and oatmeal with orange juice to drink. On Sunday I found a seat at a table with John Carlson and Matt Hasselbeck. We felt like we were running late because with this year's schedule (different coaching staff and no meetings in the mornings) there weren't many others in the room with us.

After breakfast, we headed to the game. Because there aren't any team meetings in the mornings this year, I took my suitcase down to breakfast with me and headed down to Qwest from there. I rode with Matt to the game because we had friends and relatives who were in town and needed to use my parking pass for the game. My mom was in from Indiana and so were our friends Courtney and Jimmy (with their son Edison) from Florida.

The ride down was smooth in Matt's new Infiniti. We talked about how excited we were to play the first game. I told him I had a feeling we were going to blow them out. He said that can be a dangerous feeling sometimes. Looks like I was right. For the rest of the ride we listened to songs on XM radio.

As we pulled up to Qwest and saw Matt's face on the side of the stadium I felt my face start to smile again. I was home. After five previous seasons, I have a feeling of belonging when I get to the stadium. I know that can be a dangerous feeling too, because you never know when that tenure might end. I called Rachel and we said a prayer before I headed to the locker room.

When I got to the locker room, I headed to the hot tub and then Coach Krein helped me stretch out. After that, I got all of my pads together and laid them out in front of my locker, all ready to go. I always look for something in the game program to use as fodder to make fun of my teammates. On Sunday, I found a picture of Matt Hasselbeck and Freddy Ljungberg of the Seattle Sounders (former Calvin Klein underwear model) side-by-side. Matt's blue-steel impression wasn't nearly as impressive as Freddy's. Matt claimed it was bad lighting.

When I got out to the field I warmed up with "The Colonel" (Coach Clark). I signed a few autographs and headed back into the locker room for the final preparations before we headed out as a team. I had my ankles taped, put on my eye-black, hydrated a bit more because of the warm weather and the next thing I knew, Jim Mora was calling us to head out to the field.

Pregame introductions always get me fired up with the fireworks and running out with the team. We stand in the tunnel and have to wait for the bird to take off and fly. Sometimes it takes two or three times for the bird to see its handler motion for it to fly out. As soon as it does, that's our cue to follow. I don't know if I am more fired up than my teammates, but I can't wait to run out, so often I'm the first one to the field.

Everyone knows how the game turned out and I couldn't be happier to shut out a divisional opponent (The Rams) in the home opener. If there are any 12th men reading this, THANK YOU! It was louder on the field in the first half than I have ever heard it! You were awesome and the false starts were all because of you.

Today I am spending my time with my mom, Rachel, and Journey. Looking forward to the day off tomorrow. If any of you live in Puyallup, I will be signing autographs at the fair for an hour starting at 2:00.

TODAY'S TOUCHDOWN: Hitting the hot tub this morning at work after waking up barely being able to move this morning! I've got to find a hot tub for our backyard. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gloria's Miracle

It's late and I know I should be in bed, but I'm still too wound up from an amazing evening to go to sleep just yet. Tonight, Jerry Brewer (Seattle Times columnist) released his book, "Gloria's Miracle" -- a book about Gloria Strauss and her battle with neuroblastoma. For those of you who followed his story in The Seattle Times, you already know how amazing the story is and you will want to read this book. For those of you who don't know the story, trust me -- you need to read this book and you will probably finish a little better of a person than you were when you started reading!
You can find it here:

My wife and I got to know Gloria about three years ago when she went with a bunch of us on a winter trip to Wisconsin. She caught our attention immediately, shining bright and standing out as a leader among her peers. She was gentle yet vivacious, outspoken but respectful. She was beautiful - and glorious. Less than a year later, we heard that she might not make it. We never got to see her again, but she touched us so profoundly in the few days that we were able to spend with her that we will never forget her.

Since then, Rachel and I have gotten to know her family (they are awesome) and we are on the board of directors for the charity her dad, Doug, started after she passed away. It's called Gloria's Angels, appropriately named as they activate communities around families dealing with terminal illnesses. If you want to check it out, you can find more information on Gloria's Angels at: They are always looking for support and volunteers!

Anyway, tonight was the book release for Gloria's Miracle and I was invited to sing a song that my wife and I wrote called, "Too Beautiful for this World" -- you can hear the song on my MySpace page, I love music and I love performing, but being able to sing for this event was even more special than performing at the coolest rock concert could possibly be.

I can't help but watch the clock so I know I've got to go finish studying film for this week's game and then climb into bed. I hope you're all having a great week

TODAY'S TOUCHDOWN: Seeing the smiles on Kristen's and Doug's faces (Gloria's parents) as they saw how many people came out to support Jerry's book and to celebrate their daughter's life. It was awesome to see that they're doing so well.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Seahawks Roster

This is the most nerve-wracking weekend of the year for most NFL football players -- me included. After the last preseason game, teams cut their rosters from 75 to 53 players. That means that there are twenty-two players who played for the Seahawks in Thursday's game who will not play during the regular season. That also means that there are 704 NFL-caliber football players who played in the last preseason games who will not play in the NFL at all this season. As a football player, that's scary stuff.

In the NFL nothing is guaranteed. So, for the last six years, I've had the same upside down feeling in my gut during the cut weekend. I'm not sure why, but I thought this weekend might be different for me. It wasn't.

Rachel and I just celebrated our third wedding anniversary. We went away Friday night and our (awesome) neighbors watched Journey for us. We didn't go far -- just to Bellevue. We stayed in the Bellevue Westin in an amazing corner suite that looked over all of Bellevue. We had ahi tacos (they are incredible) and sliders at Joey's in Bellevue and then bought a piece of cake at The Cheesecake Factory (white chocolate macademia nut cheesecake) that we brought back to our room. We spent some time walking through Bellevue Square and reminiscing about the early days of our relationship when we lived at Milano Apartments in Bellevue. It was wonderful. I had my gorgeous wife beside me -- she is my love, my inspiration, and my best friend. Life couldn't get any better.

When we woke up Sunday morning, I couldn't help but watch the clock tick down until 12:00 finally hit and I knew the Seahawks were probably done with their cuts. My wife and I breathed a huge sigh of relief that we could spend another year together in Seattle with the Seahawks. Even though I'm excited about playing this year, it's never easy to say goodbye to friends (who feel like brothers) who were cut this weekend. Most of them from the Seahawks will have no problem securing a place either on the practice squad or on another team's 53-man roster.

For now, I'm going to make dinner with my wife, enjoying our time back at home with our little girl, and celebrating one more year in Seattle.

TODAY'S TOUCHDOWN: You're probably guessing that it is making the 53 man roster....It was sleeping in with my wife without our daughter crying to wake us up. Did I mention our neighbors are awesome?