*Ravens tight end Daniel Wilcox is back with the latest edition of his 83 Degreez blog. This time, he talks about the holidays what is going on with the Ravens in the Baltimore community.
*How is everybody out there? Thanks for checking in to the blog. This is a big week for me off the field, not to mention the Dallas Cowboys game this weekend. Tuesday is my foundation's fashion show, and it has been a long time coming. My wife, Shauna, came up with the idea about three months ago, and she took it and ran with after I gave her the thumbs up. So, now we've got the event she's putting on for the Empowerment M.I.N.D.S. Foundation.
Honestly, this is the most excited I've been about an event since my wedding, which you all got to read about and see some video on BaltimoreRavens.com. I always thought, if this wedding turns out half as good as I think it will, it's going to be absolutely incredible. That blew me away, and I'm feeling the same way about this fashion show. It could be amazing.
Here's a little taste of what is going on… It's going to be a red-carpet, star-studded night, complete with some local celebrities and socialites. Stash from 98 Rock is hosting, Marc Clarke from 92Q will be there, radio host Ed Norris is coming, and even some actors from The Wire, like Nathan Corbett, who played "Donut." Of course, there are a bunch of my teammates and players' wives are going to be walking the runway. I've got to walk with my wife, as well.
It's going to be at the Maserati of Baltimore dealership in Timonium, so you know that exudes class. I'm looking forward to checking out the Maseratis, Ducatis and other luxury cars and bikes that will be on display.
As you can tell, I'm excited and I think my teammates are excited. You can check out the Empowerment M.I.N.D.S. Web site for more information and how to get involved.
Now, on to the holidays. We're obviously in the thick of it. I have to first and foremost give a shout-out to my teammates for their work in the community this year. They've gone above and beyond already. I had a chance to go by Ray Lewis and Mark Clayton's turkey dinner giveaway, and Bart Scott's event at Helping Up Mission. I know Derrick Martin had another food drive. I also just finished Derrick Mason, Samari Rolle and Kyle Boller's "Holiday Helpers" event where we shop with the kids. And don't think it's just these guys adding their names to any of these things. They get in there and get their hands dirty, along with a ton of other teammates that turn out for support. This year, it's been so fast-paced. We're winning some games, and the spotlight is on us. But to see these guys go out in the Baltimore community is a blessing.
Speaking to the faced-pace nature of this year, we personally took Thanksgiving off. Last year, my wife cooked and some players and their wives came over. But now, the fashion show took over, so we stopped by some other houses for a change. I bounced to Corey Ivy's house, my good friend Sherri Goodall from Downtown Locker Room has us over, and also Nathan Corbett's house with his family. Believe me, I left fat and happy. If you can't take a break on Thanksgiving, what can you do? I was feeling a little under the weather, though, so I just got into bed once I got home.
I want to point out one story that happened to me a few weeks ago. I had the opportunity to do some motivational speaking at Heritage High School recently to some students that were doing well in class, perfect attendance, you know, the kind of kids I like. The ones that want to work. I got a question from one of the senior girls, and she asked me how to stay motivated in school and life. What a great question.
But, it's a tough answer. I always tell them to just pick someone that does something you really, really want to do and try to be better than that person. Take the steps, no matter how small, to get to that position. Sometimes, even using a picture of that person can be even better motivation.
It took a while for me. When I was coming out of high school, I didn't feel that I was done with football. That was when I went to Georgia Military Academy to really get my butt in gear. I needed discipline - almost too much - but I hated the Academy when I was there. Looking back, those were the best two years of my life, because it taught me what type of person I needed to be to succeed in this harsh, harsh world.
I hope that the kids reading this will set those goals as early as they can to be the person they want to be and succeed.
That's it from me this week. I'd like to thank all the readers out there that are keeping up with the 83 Degreez blog. It's been fun to have you following along with my season and the rest of the team's. I'm excited about a big turnout at the fashion show and getting back on track against the Cowboys.
Oh, and I had the chance to meet Justin Bannan's parents the other week, so I have to give a shout-out to them. They said they read the blog, too, so that made me feel great.
Talk to you soon. God bless and Happy Holidays!
- D. Wilcox #83