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Staley's Rookie Diary, Christmas

! Check out Joe Staley's most recent rookie diary entry where he discusses the win over Tampa, Christmas and finishing the season strong.

The win over Tampa was great, so great actually! What I loved the most about the game and what impressed me the most was when Shaun Hill went down. I thought he was down for the count. He got hit pretty hard on that play, which was a roll out protection where you just have to beat the guy coming with the throw. Shaun got it off, and I thought Gaines Adams' hit was a little cheap. But Shaun went out one play, came right back and hit a touchdown and I thought it showed a ton of heart. I think that really fired everyone up.

It was good going against Gaines. He was on Adam Snyder's side on first and second downs and then usually on my side in obvious passing situations. He was supposed to be the top defensive end in my class, so I wanted to play well against him.

I didn't catch the video board on Sunday for my part in the Frosty the Snowman song, but I did think Eric Heitmann did a fantastic job finishing it off. Had I know he was going to take it so seriously, I might have tried harder on mine. I didn't know it was an audition for American Idol. I think people were pretty impressed with his voice.

I particularly liked Ron Fields' rendition. It was not in key, and not in tempo and I'm not sure he knew the words. Nonetheless, it was a great attempt.

The outtakes that TV49 put together for were hilarious. I got many comments that I'm just like my dad because he would do exactly the same thing. Everybody on the team was laughing and seemed to have gotten a kick out of it. Obviously, I don't mind making an idiot out of myself.

Christmas went well. I didn't have a whole lot of shopping to do because like I said, I'm just going to give them their gifts in person when I go home in January. So I avoided the Christmas crowds and will just do my shopping when I get home.

We had the o-line Christmas party at Eric Heitmann's house on Christmas Eve. They were great hosts and they really have a beautiful home. It was good to keep my mind off the fact that I wasn't surrounded by snow or family, which is something I'm really starting to miss.

We all did one of those things where you could choose a gift someone already had or pick an unopened one. I was the last one to pick and I chose an I-Pod Touch that was in the possession of Heitmann. He was a little sore about it, but he ended up choosing these headphones that are supposed to be the best ones on the market right now.

I bought a really nice digital camera for the exchange which Kwame ended up getting. He was very excited about it, so I was happy that my gift went over well.

On Christmas Day I woke up and went over to David Baas' house for brunch with him and the Snyder's. It was awesome of them to invite me. As you know food and me get along very well, so I had a great time.

After that Sean Estrada came over to my place and we were two single men miles away from our families on Christmas Day which was kind of depressing. I made lasagna, okay I didn't make it, Stouffer's made it, and I just heated it up.

I also called all of my family and friends back home with back to back phone calls and it took me about 2.5 hours, and then that was the end of Christmas.

On Wednesday night after a day at work, I watched the Central Michigan Chippewas take on the Purdue Boilermakers, and I'm very upset now over the outcome. They were getting smoked early, down 34-13 at the half, but they came out hot in the second half and made it a game. After tying it up with a minute left, Purdue kicked a game winning field for a final score of 51-48. Basically our offense is amazing, our defense blows and that's how it went. It was fun watching my old teammates playing because there aren't a lot of opportunities to watch Central Michigan on television. Now, I'm going to have to wear a Purdue jersey or shirt because I made a wager with one of our equipment guys who went to Purdue.

I'm looking forward to this game in Cleveland. It's been a while since we've had a road trip and I've got a lot of family coming out. My best friend and his wife are coming so I'm very excited to see them. We've been friends since the first grade and I'm used to being around him every day, but I haven't seen them since the bye week. We aren't phone guys so we'll try to talk maybe twice a week, but it only lasts two minutes because we just don't like talking on the phone.

We want to win this week and finish the season on a three-game win streak. I think that will give us a little momentum going into the off-season. On a personal note, I want to outperform Joe Thomas because obviously we were both tackles and he was the top guy taken.

It's really good to win but it's also really frustrating because we should have been doing this all year. We needed to find this energy and spirit in week six and that's something we have to change this off-season. I'm going to take it on myself to step up and try to help bring that as we go forward.

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