After a grueling training camp full of two-a-days, five preseason games, and more than half of the regular season in the books, it’s finally time for the bye week. Coach Zorn gave the players almost the whole week off, and I figured some of these guys must have interesting plans for their rare free time, so I asked around.
Khary Campbell offered an excellent beginning, although not the sort of exotic plan suggested by the picture above. “I’m just gonna chill at home,” he said. “My wife and I had our first child during the Cowboys game, so he’s five weeks old now. Since I don’t really get to spend a good part of the day when he’s alert and awake with him, I’m just gonna hang out and chill with him.”
Are you going to do anything in particular with him? I know there’s not a lot you can do with a five week old, but…. “I wouldn’t mind getting him out of the house, maybe stroll him around the mall for an hour, but for the most part just getting to see him throughout the day will be great.” He shrugged. “A lot of his best moments, he’s doing things that I get to hear about at the end of the day, but when I get home he’s getting ready for bed and I get to put him to sleep and I don’t get to see a lot of those moments.”
That sort of bye week was more prevalent than I expected.
London Fletcher: “Just going to relax, hang out with the family. Nothing major.”
Rock Cartwright: “Just relaxing, man. Not gonna do too much. See my family, get my feet up … you need the rest, you know?”
Lorenzo Alexander: “Get a little family time. I’ve got a newborn baby, so I’m gonna spend some time with the fam, maybe get a little golf in, maybe check out a Wizards game with my wife. Date night, stuff like that. Get healthy. I need this, big time.”
A few guys had similar ideas, but with slightly more specific plans.
Pete Kendall: “I’m going to get away with the wife. There might be nine holes of golf involved, but that’s the only thing on the schedule. It’d take a young guy to go rock climbing right now, and I’m not that. I don’t wanna be on a plane a long time, I don’t wanna do anything that’s physically taxing. I need the rest – a lot of us do.”
Casey Rabach: “We’re going to the White House. Just get a tour of tour of it, just hang out. I was going to bring the kids, but it’s at night, so my kids will be asleep. Other than that, it’s hang out with the kids, the wife, let ’em know that I’m still around.”
Maybe, I thought, I had coincidentally been talking to the family guys in the locker room. Maybe the younger players would have more lively stuff lined up. Or maybe not.
LaRon Landry: “I’m gonna head back to see the family. Go to LSU, work out, work out my hamstring. This bye week for me is really to get my health back, get my body better, go over a couple of tapes and critique myself, and see what I can do better.”
Carlos Rogers: “I’m going to go back to Atlanta to rest.”
“Just rest. That’s about it.”
Chris Wilson: “Going home. I’m gonna chill out, do some work out there, got a wedding to go to. Not trying to make it too exciting – I’ve gotta stay ready to come back. This is gonna fly by, you know? It’s just a week. Not even a full week.”
You had some good restaurant recommendations when we went to Detroit. Anyplace specific you’re going to eat while you’re back?
“Oh yeah. I’m going to Big John Steak & Onion soon as I touch down, and after that everything’s gonna be home cooking.”
The rookies seemed like likely candidates to have more exciting plans. I was pretty sure Colt Brennan had mentioned a planned trip to Hawai’i over the bye, at least.
“It’s deer season, so I’m gonna head out to see my dad’s good friend who owns about – I don’t know, but it’s some insane amount of land. I’ve been down there one or two times before, but he said he’s gonna take me fishing one day, hunting another day.”
That’s not Hawai’i. Didn’t you say you were heading back there?
“I was going to Hawai’i, but when it really came down to it, I figured the earliest I could leave would be tonight [Tuesday], that wouldn’t get me in until late Wednesday. I get Thursday, Friday, Saturday, fly all day Sunday … it might’ve been worth it, but knowing I’m going back there after the season’s over, I figured I might as well go home to Cali, might as well do something different.”
Okay. Last hope is Fred Davis, who seems like the sort of guy who might have some exciting plans.
“I’m gonna get back to L.A. Go check out an SC game. I’m gonna rest, I’ll work out with the team a little bit. I’ll probably hang out a little bit, you know, but I want to come back ready to get in the game, ready to play.”
And there you have it: the non-stop exciting lives of professional football players with a bunch of time on their hands.