Manny's Law: Nightmares

Linebacker Manny Lawson discusses nightmares, those at night and a few on the field ones too. Enjoy this latest column from the second-year player out of NC State.

In this column, I'm going to talk about nightmares, why we have them and really where do they stem from? For instance, just the other night, I had a nightmare. When I think about my nightmare, it's nothing that I'd really ever do. The location in my nightmare, it's not anywhere I'd ever go, and what these people were doing isn't something I'd ever do in my life!

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But still, I was with that guy, Steve Irvin, the one who was killed by the stingray, and his film crew. Mind you, I've seen both of the Anaconda movies, the original and the remake and I don't have any desire to go to a rain forest or to hunt or look for snakes, but in this dream, Steve, myself and our camera crew decided we'd go look for anacondas. We were just sitting down having a picnic in the rain forest, with wild animals mind you, and with no type of protection. We just had little bamboo sticks and a camera, as if that was going to help us out, regardless of my philosophy that sticks are a great weapon.

So we are sitting there, and all of the sudden he sees this snake and then I see it, but I can't move. Since me and mother nature don't get along, I of course want to stay away from wild animals. So the snake comes out and I can't run and I can't do anything, but it's at least still 20 yards away. It's huge and I can't move. I don't know if it's because I'm scared or in shock, and all of the sudden this bush pops out. It wasn't there when I was eating my little hamburgers, but all of the sudden it's there and two huge anacondas come out they are smiling with 32 teeth, I mean huge pearly whites where there tongues flickering across as if they just knew they had me for dinner.

So, they are trying to hypnotize me and I'm scared out of mind, but as in most cases of nightmares, before anything bad happens, you wake yourself up. They were coiling around me and squeezing me, and so I had to wake up and end that dream.

But, why is it in a nightmare that even if you can run, that you hit that one point in your dream where you are running as hard as you can and whatever is chasing you, it could have a bad leg and limping it, but it still always catches you.

I have another nightmare that I get on occasion that most wouldn't consider a nightmare but I do. I call it my Hansel and Gretel dream. I am always Hansel and I can't eat the house. I have no mouth and the gumdrops are there and peppermint sticks and the gingerbread walls and they are all calling to me, and I can grab them, I can smell them, but as soon as I try to put it in my mouth, it just smashes on my face instead.

Nightmares… I hate them.

A different kind of so-called nightmare we players experienced on Wednesday is what
Coach Carlisle calls Wicked Wednesdays. Wednesdays are supposed to be our day off, "active recovery days" is what they like to refer to them as, but several guys come in anyhow, either because they plan on leaving town and use it as a makeup day or just want a long weekend and use it as a makeup day or they just want to come in and work out anyway. I just come in to work out. I basically come in five days but take it easier on Friday and then come in on Sundays and do my own thing, but that's me. Because Carlisle doesn't like guys coming in on Wednesday, Freestyle Carlisle (the name that Marcus Hudson came up with) intentionally designed a workout that's main goal is to demoralize the fine gentlemen who come in who may just want extra work, who may enjoy working out, or who may have very important plans for the weekend. He likes to deter them from coming back ever again on a Wednesday by "breaking us off something proper." It consists of six 100-yard sprints, and three 200-yard sprints on a clock in Carlisle's hand that many of us would not hesitate to say that it was made by Willy Wonka from the Chocolate Factory because time really almost has no meaning as far as breaks are concerned. I would say that we run all of these sprints within 15 minutes which is not a very long time. Go try it.

But it's not going to work. As much as Coach Carlisle tries to break us off, our determination, our commitment, our dedication, our resilience, our persistence, our doggedness, and my own personal favorite - nesadi (which means in general terms never say die) will not allow Carlisle to ever have his way.

He may as well give up anyhow because there's only one more Wednesday left of this off-season conditioning program so I think he should just let us play our fun and entertaining ultimate football game next week and make everything copasetic.

Memorial Weekend will find me here at my house, doing the same old, same old. I'll probably watch a lot of war-like inspirational movies, like Bravehart, Independence Day, so on and so on because of the Memorial Day Weekend. I like to stay in theme.

See you on the flipside!

Manny Lawson

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