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Manny's Law


Welcome to my first installment of Manny's Law. Law was my nickname in college so that title is a play on that!

So, I'm sure most of you have heard me expound on the outrageous cost of living out here. Well, I found myself a townhouse. It's really close to work, and was really, really expensive. Every time I think about the price, it gives me chills.

I like being close to work because I'm afraid of being late to work. That's just the worst.

I'm decorating my place and despite the fact that my family thinks, I've done a great job. I've got a sectional black leather couch in the living room. Both of the outside parts of the couch are recliners which is nice. I've got my coffee tables, end tables and a big plasma television screen. That's my living room, nothing on the walls yet.

My bedroom, I've got a HUGE bed, but my feet still hang off the bottom of it. If I lay diagonal on my bed, I'm good, but otherwise I'm in trouble. I've got what I call a psychologist chair in my bedroom. It's my thinking chair. And of course, another television in there.

My dining room table, I even picked out some decorative dishes that sit out and look nice. I need to get a huge clock for one of my walls and a circular mirror for the dining room table, and one of those happy Buddha statues so I can rub his belly for good luck before I leave the house every day. That'll make things complete.

Besides the pictures I'm missing a champagne holder so I can put my sparkling white grape juice. I love sparkling white grape juice and in fact, I'm heading to the grocery store to pick up some as soon as I finish today.

I've got pots, pans, Tupperware, and aluminum foil for my leftovers. The fridge and cabinets are stuffed. I'm learning to cook, and really I'm trying to become a chef. I'm a big pasta person so I'm trying to learn to make some new dishes. I did a baked spaghetti two days ago. I've got tile floors and I love it because then I can put on my church socks and do my James Brown and Michael Jackson spin and dance moves all across my floor. That's also on the agenda for later.

I haven't met any of my neighbors but apparently we have neighborhood watch because Tony Parrish knew I'd moved in by him. He found me! I don't know how because honestly, I'm not out gardening or anything like that.

But anyhow, like I said, I've got skills in decorating. Just because I live in my sweats and t-shirts and wear funky white socks to prevent my feet from hurting in my dress clothes (see The Adams' Report), I think I've got great taste.

My only other major purchase has been my Navigator. I love it, it's my baby. I've got to come up with a name for it, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. My favorite part is the sun roof and DVD player because I can watch movies and open the roof and enjoy the stars. I can also get my wave on through the roof if I should so desire.

Training camp was the best thing for me. It brought me closer to the guys and I learned what my role is on the team, and it was just a great time to bond with my teammates and for them to know I'm accountable. I couldn't have imagined missing any part of training camp or missing out on that camaraderie.

I took the linebackers to Blowfish during camp. It was actually better than what I was thinking in terms of the bill they stiffed me with. I was sitting at the table looking at them ordering what they wanted, looking really nervous as I was trying to calculate it in mind. I was very perplexed. They were trying to loosen me up but I was concentrating on that bill tally. I had a water and some dessert mainly. That was my first time having sushi so I had about three little sushi wraps but really I was too nervous to eat.

I talked to Mario Williams on Saturday because NC State had our first game so we were talking about the defense, some of the guys who switched positions, and how life is in general.

Speaking of my NC State teammates, it's been a blast having Marcus Hudson out there. The guy is crazy. We were really close beforehand. I knew his family, and he knew my family while we were at school. We've grown even tighter since being out here. His kid calls me Uncle Manny!

Tuesday we had off but it'll never be an off day for me. I don't believe in that, so I came into the facility, worked out, watched film, met with my coach and talked to him about the game.

Overall preseason was a good experience for me, except for after my interception when they took my touchdown away from me. That was a hard moment. I honestly felt like crying, but Trent Dilfer told me he'd get my touchdown for me. I wore a pink tie when I got my interception so I think that's my lucky thing now. I need to wear something pink on game days for good fortune.

I'm hungry for the start of the season because everything counts now. All of your tackles count. Everything is real, and I'm hungry to see how many people we can prove wrong.

I'm going against Leonard Davis for the most part on Sunday. It's going to be hard for me because if he gets his hands on me, it won't be a pretty sight. I think I may just really try to run around him and hopefully he'll get tired. I'm going to need great stamina to go against him. We actually trained together in Arizona this off-season. He's a strong minded guy. Once he's got his mind set, he's pretty determined so if his mind set is to block me, he's going to try his hardest to block me. I can't let that happen.

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