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Mark Herzlich journal

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My birthday was game day. We had all night games during the preseason, so we had to kind of wait around all day. I went over to CVS for a second and picked up some Tylenol, whatever, to just get my mind off the game a little bit. I came back, studied the playbook, and then we had some meetings and the pregame meal. I went over to the stadium. I had been to that stadium 20 times so it was kind of cool to be back with everybody. I went on the field early and got warmed up. The linebackers went out and we did some drills on our own. Then I saw Lee Smith, who was a tight end for the Patriots but with the Bills now. I trained with him down in Florida, so I got to say hello to him. It was just a regular pregame routine – got ready, listened to my music, went out on the field and basically played the game. It was fun. I got in later in the third quarter and in the fourth quarter on defense. I played special teams the whole game. Then we had that last series when we were on defense, which was awesome being out on the field, being the "Mike" and directing the guys around. We had some big sacks, some big stops from our defense.

*I know people who work in the Patriots organization. I saw people walking on the sidelines that I knew. A couple of their cheerleaders went to BC. I know Doug Flutie's daughter, who is a cheerleader there. It felt like I was back in a hometown. It was very familiar territory, but playing in the blue was better than playing in the silver and red that day. I really enjoy our team and the way we came back, fought and won. *

*The game ended, and I saw my family outside the stadium. I walked out, and they sang "Happy Birthday" to me. It was rather embarrassing. Most of the guys were on the bus, but I'm sure some heard. It was a long trip home. We got in pretty late around 12:30 a.m. or so. I don't think I went to bed until about 2:30 just because I was still amped up a little bit from the game. Friday we came in and had practice. We went through some stuff and watched film. *

*And then Saturday was the day off – cut day. I woke up and went to breakfast with Tyler Sash and Spencer Paysinger and Henry Hynoski. So we went to breakfast and we were all just talking about possibilities and what was going on. Thankfully all four of us made the cut. Then I spent all day Saturday in Chili's by myself watching the BC football game because Tyler ditched me and went to his aunt's house. That's the only place I could find the game. I was just by myself in Chili's. People probably noticed why was this kid there by himself. I was cheering for the BC team so they were probably staring at me for that. Then my mom and dad came. My mom was in Connecticut, she came down. My dad was in Philly, he drove up. And my girlfriend was in Boston, so she drove down because she was at the game. *

Six o'clockcame, I hadn't gotten a phone call yet. No call is a good call. It means that I made it for now. Then we went out to dinner. It got to be kind of late by the time we got to dinner because we were excited. We just went to Uno's right around the corner. I got some food and just went to bed. It was a very strenuous day mentally. So I was really tired by the time it hitnine o'clock*. It was very nerve-wracking. Every time you get a text message or your phone beeps or it vibrates, you're like, 'Come on, no, no, no.' You don't want to see that 201 area code. It was a nervous time, but you can only handle so much. You can only do so much and then it's up to them.
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