83 Degreez: What's At Stake

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Ravens tight end Daniel Wilcox is back with the latest edition of his *83 Degreez blog. This time, he talks about the tenor of the locker room and what it's like when you win a Super Bowl.*

And, we're back. What's up, Ravens fans? Thanks for checking back to the blog before we head to Nashville. You would think things are all crazy around here, but there's not that much more excitement than what we've had all year long. Nobody is playing around, because we know what's at stake. I feel like guys know we have the chance to do something great. You don't get these opportunities every year, so we want to take full advantage of it.

You can tell because guys all around are stepping up to the plate. From the Pro Bowlers to the practice squad guys to the coaches, everyone is bringing their work boots because we know how important this game it.

You can look at all the injured guys we have out there. Todd [Heap] maybe shouldn't have even played last week, but he sucked it up and went out there in Miami and played the whole game. [Derrick] Mason did the exact same thing. Ed Reed's got something. [Matt] Stover has a bad ankle. We're all just pushing through it, because nobody wants to let any of their brothers down. Everyone wants to be the man that does his job, so your teammate can make the play.

The thing with us this season is that everybody trusts each other fully. We've had to, because we've had so many guys on the second string that have been in the rotation, which has been critical because of the injuries and the crazy year we've had.

No bye. Short Weeks. Hurt players. It's all happened to us, but you know what? We shake all that off and just play football. Who cares? The Titans won't care that they've gotten rest with two byes.

Listen, football is football. It's all about who prepares the best. You could have three days to prepare or two weeks, but if you're better in those three days than the other team with two weeks, you'll come out victorious. You just have to strap up and play.

A quick aside about the fashion show my wife and I put on a few weeks ago… I thought it turned out great. It was my wife's first event with my foundation (Empowerment M.I.N.D.S.), and it is definitely going to grow. From the visual standpoint, it was an amazing event. Everything you saw was eye-catching, and it was like a real paparazzi red-carpet event. I had a lot of support from the models and my teammates. Todd Heap came out. Mark Clayton was there. A lot of guys showed up, which made it a good time.

Back to football… Coming back from the Miami win and seeing all the fans at the airport and back at the facility was pretty special. It reminded me of my second year in the league, when I was with Tampa. We won the Super Bowl that season, and I remember flying back from San Diego, and the plane went over our own stadium. It was packed to capacity. When we flew by the stadium, there were so many flashing cameras, it was like the Super Bowl kickoff all over again.

Then, we got on buses from the airport to the stadium, and cars were lining the sides of the highway the entire trip. Fans were spilling out with signs and cheering us on. It was a party from start to finish. It gave me goosebumps when I saw some of the fans that came out to the airport here in Baltimore. That makes you feel so good to have the support of your local fans.

So that's about it from me this week. When I was down in Miami, a Ravens fans asked me, "Hey man, when are we getting another blog? I like those things!" So, to him and the other fans that are reading, I have to thank you for your support of me and my teammates all year long. They have definitely been a 12th man for us all season. The crowd noise has been tremendous, and we know those Baltimore fans will turn out. Being from Atlanta, it was tough to get a full stadium, but that's never a problem at M&T.

I feel blessed to be a part of this organization and this fan base. I hope you all had a happy holidays and new year.

For us, we're taking things one week at a time. We're all Tennessee now, and with that focus, I hope we can give those fans something to welcome back to Baltimore this weekend.

- D. Wilcox #83

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