ihop(e) 247

five days ago sunday, i woke up at 7:30 a.m., washed up, got ready by 8 something, stopped by the sunoco, purchased breath mints, gum, and a red bull, chugged it down in the car, and checked in to church just in time for pre-service prayer.

after service, we went to danji to dine with a couple of newcomers. interesting. we had to get back to church by 2 for our monthly staff meeting, which ended at 3:45, and time flapped by, because it was 4:45 and i was ordering off taco bell’s dollar menu. it was on the way to pastor daniel’s house, for our 5:00 pm cg leaders’ meeting.

with dinner, the night ended at 10. instead of going home i drove to centreville ihop, to finish up two papers. sense of urgency was at an all-time high, since the nearly-finished one was due on monday and the not-evens-started paper was due monday evening.

paper 1: done by a little after one. paper 2, i died. i ordered a chicken sandwich and five pitchers of coffee (it’s bottomless, chill).

i left for early morning service (5:30 AM). i got to the sanctuary, took my contacts off, closed my eyes, and listened.. to the korean that i barely understood. but the pastor preaching was crying.

he had announced the death of our emeritus pastor, reverend won sang lee, at 5:27 a.m., officially. i couldn’t believe it. i didn’t believe it.

i was mentally drained.

after service i laid on a couch for 30 minutes. i was assigned to bring the table from the well to centreville library by 7:00 a.m., for centreville morning outreach.

24 hours had passed. i then left back for church to finish paper #2. i did. it took too long. i couldn’t focus. it was a monday. i finished the paper yeah, met up paul for dinner at vit goel. we talked until i had to leave for class. i was so mentally drained that i missed two exits off 495. i had coffee, too.

i get to class 10 minutes late; during the first break i walked up to turn in my paper. everyone’s wondering why, because it’s due next week. sweet. turn the cheek of my humiliation. no worries. i turn it in anyway and ask him if he can revise it. he says sure, come any time you can.

i’m in bed by 10:30 p.m., on a monday.

fast forward, today’s friday, 1:40 a.m., and i’m at ihop again. tomorrow’s going to be a lonnnng day. look on the bright side.

You’re far too kind IIIIII

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

Philippians 4:6

So uh, there’s no other way to word this. When I think of how much you’ve helped, I bawl my eyes out.  Your companionship means a lot to me.

We met at Cafe Chocolate, I served your table — you were with a bunch of Marylanders. That night I was feeling free-spirited. I introduced myself. One thing led to another, and the conversation that tipped the cup over to become the stream we’re canoeing on until this day was on the topic of poetry (others call it rap).

And rap and God was a combination potent enough to ignite a friendship that I hope will last until we’re pushing each other’s wheelchairs. After we exchanged numbers, we collaborated, goofed off, recorded, goofed off some more. All the red wine-induced freestyles in your car and deeeeeeep talks on your front porch steps.

One takes for a reason.

When I needed direction, you were there. Your mom also lent a hand, her guidance, coupled with your support, is the sole reason I got this far.

Early Summer 2014

After getting through the first wave of interviews for GWU’s grad program, the staff deemed that rejecting me was for the best. A last-minute decision due to my lack of classroom experience altered the course of history.

Pause for dramatic effect.

Dr. O referred me to Dr. H and she told me I could gain my “classroom experience” during the summer months at a middle school program in Herndon. I went in to get my badges and yes, due to a misdemeanor charge — reckless speeding ticket — I was ineligible to work in Fairfax County for a year. I could either (A) work at a restaurant for a year in Fairfax County or (B) move to Richmond.

Richmond, from July through October, was an insane ride. Emotionally, mentally, physically, stretched all boundaries. I had contacted everyone to build my network. VCU shooting guard Jordan Burgess’s mother, a principal in Chesterfield, fed me valuable insight. Mr. Earl Mason. Dr. Colleen Thoma. Jill. Jamaal. Becky. Justin. Dr. Kim Hanneman. Corey. Etc.

I applied to Henrico County Public Schools. There was a part-time instructional assistant position available, so I submitted all of me. I applied to Faison School For Autism. I’ve applied to 290 jobs after graduating in 2013, two more cover letters was a laughing matter at this point.

I took the job at Godwin High School. I love the students. I worked in the Exceptional Education department and since November, I have been in love being in this field. All because you suggested that I should become a Special Education teacher. I feel as if I’m at home when I clock in. I deployed all the undying patience, and compassion for others I had stored within to good use on a daily basis. The opportunity to perpetually exercise my all-natural personality, what a blessing.

Yesterday, Faison School For Autism called me and extended the full-time position. I took it.

Your words that one night meant a lot to me. Goes to show how, with an open-mind, all things are possible if you have faith in Him.

I live by His grace and am grateful … to have such congenial friends. You’re one of them.

Redskins Training Camp Live

Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, Virginia

8:04 AM ET

There’s a calm breeze fighting to cool off the thousands of Patriots and Redskins fans gathered here on this muggy Monday morning.

Anticipations are supreme as excited fans stare at the practice field for the legendary Tom Brady and Washington’s third-year face of the franchise, Robert Griffin III.

Fans heckle and kill the buzz of this cheerful Cowboys fan walking the concourse of humiliation to find his seat. Good luck.

Players are making their way out 12 minutes prior to the official start time for practice (8:35 AMT ET).

Tom Brady spotted.

Both teams are out on the field. Patriot quarterbacks are warming up their arms. Griffin III loafing around. He jogs over to where the Patriots are stretching and shakes Josh Boyce’s hand.

A toddler in Patriots gear next to me is wailing … or cheering for Brady.

Redskins defense donning burgundy jerseys. Offense in white. Quarterbacks in red.

Kai Forbath and rookie Zach Hocker taking turns kicking field goals … from the opposition’s 35-yard line.

Andre Roberts takes the opening kick off to the house; nobody pursues the ball carrier after the whistle blows.

Chris Thompson returns kick offs, fast but again, everyone is going through the motions.

Nick Williams takes a few swings returning.

After special teams workout, both teams disperse and the Patriots defense start with feet drills. They wrap up after they go in and out of the half-round bags. Level of intensity is very high. Redskins are still standing around.

Patriots offense are doing lunges on the far end of the field.

Four minutes later, movement! Redskins defensive backs do lateral and backpedaling drills. #workthosefeet

Linebackers are back and forth using cones and finishing by catching passes. Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Gabe Miller, Adrian Robinson, Everette Brown, and Trent Murphy is a solid linebacking corps in my book. Now they’re doing stack and shed drills.

Darryl Sharpton, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Perry Riley Jr., Akeem Jordan, Jeremy Kimbrough, Adam Hayward and Rob Jackson are on another section of the field, doing backpedaling and ballhawking drills. Foot work+Reaction Time are integral factors in a linebacking corps’ success.

I realize I could be Deangelo Hall. He looks like an overgrown 13-year-old.

Wide receivers are aplenty, 11, enough to create a soccer team.

Aldrick Robinson has a tough pill to swallow.

I really don’t like Griffin III’s drop back.

Receivers run routes both ways. Hitches, slants, comebacks and fades. Comebacks were thrown from the shotgun formation. Fades were thrown by Griffin III, Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins from under center.

Griffin III hits Pierre Garcon along the rail. I’m jealous of that spiral and touch.

DeSean Jackson beats Darrelle Revis on a comeback pattern, aggressive and breaks on the ball.

Kirk Cousins throws the first pick of the day. Tavon Wilson on Lee Doss.

Jordan Reed on an out pattern, great pass+catch.

Two incomplete passes in series from Griffin III.

Revis has Jackson’s number. DJax can’t shake him off.

Garcon owns Brandon Browner on a slant pattern.

Santana Moss gets owned by Devin McCourty.

Some guy from the crowd with the “they’ll keep him as a mentor” proclamation. Never heard that one before. …

A. Robinson fries defensive back No. 27 T. Wilson, courtesy of Kaptain Cousins.

Griffin’s passes are sailing high, #PERTURBED.

Lee Doss beats rookie defensive back Justin Green–great ball placement by Kirk Cousins.

11 on 11 dreills. morris takes first carry for a gain of six.

On the flip side:

Brady heaves a perfect pass to a wide open receiver. Who I can’t really see from here but the lesson to be learned here is that the Redskins may blow their assignment.

Griffin III’s pass attempt to DJax sails right … Excellent coverage by Revis. Redskins offensive line is struggling to create holes for Alfred Morris.

Defensively the Patriots let a few deep balls get by them. Robinson burned the secondary for a score. …

The Pats’ O looked sharp? Or are the Redskins O still rusty?

Special teams unit working on squib kicks and surprise onside kick offs. too necessary. Not.

7-7 drills:

1. DJax vs Revis, Jax short hitch route complete.

2. Moss in the slot runs an inside drag — pass complete.

Kind man says “will you sit down if I give you a chair?

I turn around and there’s at least 40 people standing behind me.

Ted Bolser, Niles Paul both running with the 2s. Led by Kirk Cousins.

RGIII holds ball too long. Completes pass to Garcon on a broken play.

Jordan Reed hauls in a poorly placed ball (behind him).

Learn baby learn…

1st: Morris, Jackson, Griffin III, Reed, Logan Paulsen

2s: Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Reed, Moss

Colt McCoy completes a nice pass to Niles Paul — takes 3 seconds to get the ball out of his hands.

McCoy pumps right, double guesses himself and the pass sails. … much better option than backups Rex Grossman and Pat White though from 2013.

11 on 11:

1st pass too high. Brady’s in, 2nd pass to Julian Edelman on an inside drag route. Huge gain. 3rd pass complete to No. 80 Danny Amendola wide open in the flat. 4th pass complete to Edelman again, gets a nice pop from safety Ryan Clark. Fifth completion same pass complete this time to the left side. 5/6 on the opening drive.

Ryan Mallett … Derrick Johnson (rookie) burns Phillip Thomas on an out pattern. Rookie Justin Jones is wide open on a post route and connects between the safeties. Stevan Ridley blazes past the defense gain of 17.

Brady: Kenbrill Thompkins “beats” defense, wide open near the goal line. Brady floats one up for him but the defensive line stopped pursuit after Brady stepped up into the pocket. #PLAYitTHROUGH

Griffin III to Garcon, batted away by Darrelle Revis.

Roy Helu is in, while is trips left. … shotgun Griffin III, Roberts/DJax on his right. … pass complete to Reed on the weak side.

Redskins offense marches down field. Revis locks up Jackson. Revis locks up Garcon. Staring down Griffin III’s drop backs. … so far so OK.

Pass to Reed on a corner route perfect between Revis. Revis on left side.

Bon Secours Training Center

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Spiders vs. Rams: Showdown at #BarclaysCenter

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University will unleash their grisly style, HAVOC, inside the Barclays Center at 6:30 p.m. ET.

There is not really much to see here, read on if you must.

———————————————————————–

I interned as the basketball team’s videographer for roughly two years. I befriended the graduate assistants, the coaches, a few of their players. They may never see this post, and I am completely fine with that.

I assure, more importantly, that they may never fully grasp or understand how thankful I am for entrusting me to film their practices, games and offseason workouts.

Because at the end of road, filming was deeper than moving a camera left to right, from right to left. Watching them grew on me. I made it personal and ended up learning invaluable life lessons that I will apply for the rest of my life.

Through the lenses I witnessed some of the players’ greatest and lowest times in their development. Mind you, I am not a basketball-minded person. I couldn’t even conceive the possibility of someday being qualified (as a candidate) to do this task.

No camera experience. Zero basketball IQ.

My whole life I was usually the kid chosen last, and even with that, none of my teammates, albeit a pickup game or organized tournament, willingly passed me the ball to take an open shot. Sounds like a bit exaggerated, I know, but I really sucked at helping my squad win basketball games.

I won’t forget one of the defining moments in my personal growth.

I went up to block one of the coaches, got Charlie-horsed and came down hard. Coach Smart looked at me and said, “GET UP SON!”

Funniest, meaningful moment-ever. In that split second, he taught to get up immediately and run back with the others regardless of my sharp thigh pain.

I limped for the remainder of the game and again found myself contributing to a losing effort. Cool. Cooled.

To be continued…

#LetsGoVCU #VCU #A10Tournament

Living Life to the Fullest

received advice from #espn 980’s andy pollin, greg burton, kevin van valkenburg, gregg rosenthal, seth wickersham? check
worked out a semi-pro football player? check
got owned by a semi-pro basketball player? check
liked a girl but never told her? check
been robbed and hustled by friends in a poker game? check
played quarterback in 8th grade? check
played football freshman year? check
won six flag football championships? check
made fun of for having a lisp? check
befriended an amzing group of coaches and mentors: Coach Ballard, Coach Rhoades, Coach Wade, Coach Bopp, Coach Eddie, Coach Smart, Coach Morrell
practiced my S words and got rid of it? checkwas followed home from springfield mall and robbed for jordan 11s (concords)? check
befriended Dr. Wiegardt, UC’s Adviser at VCU, her mentorship will pay off
counselor holly guelig and adviser mrs. kim hanneman – will cherish their genuine guidance
befriended monroe park towers’ staff, best tenants and security guards, always down for a good conversation

started a fist fight with a friend, got punched in the eye (contact lenses shattered in my eye) and then went to honey pig right after? check
been punched in the lip for absolutely no reason, did a pencil drop backwards on the concrete, got a concussion and missed 4 days of work?
had black paint sprayed over my bald spot and thought the barber gave me the best haircut ever? check
auditioned for ny kollab contest but got owned? check
composed piano songs? check
recorded rap and collaborated with talented people? check
performed spoken word poetry at Verses Tuesdays and Emilio’s? check
traveled to egypt, mexico, taiwan, thailand? check
win a men’s football tournament? check
beat the best team in a football tournament with mediocre talent? check
screwed over? check
screw over? check
kept a journal for 15 years and still going strong? check
inspired by others? check
inspired others? check
fired from seasons 52 for reading a text message while polishing the 48th and final wine glass? check
worked for a 5-star hotel restaurant (lemaire at the jefferson hotel)? check
served at glory days bar and grill, fireside grill, seasons 52 wine bar and grill, cafe chocolate, k-mart, korshi, and silver diner (twice), and bonchon? check
emailed gregg rosenthal two years ago when he was with PFT? check
acquire rosenthal’s email address two years later while working at bonchon in richmond? check
contributed 100+ articles and blogged 100+ entries? check
volunteered for the redskins and got sunburned? check
talked to a woman unaware she was suffering depression but God changed her life? check
almost peed on a man, gave him a ride to the metro and shared the gospel  with him? check
evicted? (that’s what i get for living with a stranger) check
intern for vcu basketball team? check
write front cover story for ct? check
fought with mom for the car, didn’t get it, then scootered to a girlfriend’s house in the snow? check
peed in my car’s gas tank? check
dozed off on the road and almost died? check
have two best friends for 25 years? check
have best girl friend for +10 years? check
collected 1000+ football cards? check

and the list goes on…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For all those who weary from the daily grind, give everything to God and He’ll carry your burden. I didn’t write this checklist to brag about what I’ve been through, in fact, I created this list to help me remember how faithful God is and how much of His warm grace I’ve been bathing in my whole life.

God is a gentle God, and once you can grasp, even a speck of His nature, you’ll realize that all things are possible when you wholeheartedly place your faith in Him.

Don’t give up, pursue your dreams, and always pray with thanksgiving.

God wants to provide His children with the very best so trust in His flawless timing.

Together We Make Football @nfl

Before the fiery, redheaded orb makes its daily appearance my father is already awake, already driving to work in Washington, D.C.

For 15 years, the God-fearing head chef relentless work ethic and vicarious sacrifice has provided food on the table for the loves of his life: his mother, wife and two sons.

Oh the irony.

Lately I noticed the wrinkles worsening on the corners of my father’s eyes. Narrating the toil that he’s suppressed throughout the years are these marks, stretched longer than run-on sentences. The unspoken adversity he’s overcome in recent past has drawn lines on his mild-mannered palette. My father is exhausted, yet musters up the last bit of energy to laugh and smile – a grin warm enough to light a candle.

In 2000, I asked my mother for a ride to Ashburn, Virginia, where the Washington Redskins were holding Training Camp. Her response was a simple, “nope.”

I dealt with her reluctance. A week later she acquiesced, and chauffeured us to Ashburn – an hour-long trip from Silver Spring, MD. At the time this was a newsworthy headline for a woman whose excursions basically consisted of maneuvering a crusty Plymouth van to a church 12 minutes away.

I recall standing in awe while defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield, quarterback Jeff George, and little-known backup Todd Husak signed pages of my Redskins team guidebook.

“Is it clear yet?”

Joshua and Young (my best friends to this day) are watching the Dallas Cowboys game while I, as ordered, am adjusting the silver rods to improve the fuzzy images for their viewing pleasure.

I fiddle around with the antenna some more, “how about now?”

We munch on cheap, microwaved chocolate chip cookies inside Bella’s, a place most would describe as a hybrid pizza shop and a lousy convenience store. We’re the only three present.

“That’s Troy Aikman,” informs Josh, “great quarterback.”

Quarterback. This leadership role that traveled through space before landing on my lap; a position my peers beseeched me to play only because my arms flapped and stubby legs stumbled when I ran routes.

(I’m grateful for these wobbly chopsticks.)

Whether it was tackle-football in the rain during the summer months or brawls amid the November flurries, we – Josh, Young, Jee, and Da Bin – would practice for countless hours after Sunday service. On the grass or on street, “The Three Musketeers” shared a telepathy that no monitoring equipment ever created could sense. Football gave us the powers of concentration and synergy that professional players get paid for, but rarely achieve. Labeled as the PQB, or “Permanent Quarterback,” I’d captain our classic two-on-two battles – sharing half the glory and half the blame.

After my parents discovered that some kids at the elementary school were bullying me (for my Coke bottle-thick glasses), they panicked, packed their bags and moved our family to an apartment complex in McLean, Virginia. Their disposition to relocate to another state hurt; running away from the bullies meant jogging into more.

In eighth grade, to console my heartbreak, they allowed me to play football for the McLean Mustangs – 125-pound division. Fate or not, Coach Ed assigned me to start at quarterback.

We lost a majority of our games. The lone touchdown pass I threw all season – a game-winner with no time left – was called back due to a holding penalty by our center. Through every drubbing, my dad cheered from the sidelines. He, however, witnessed me return an interception for a touchdown against Braddock Road.

At a young age I learned that you can never practice enough.

To sharpen my accuracy, I threw Jenny (named my ball) at stop signs, poles, and the squirrels perched on trees trunks (no animals were hurt). For a while I fetched my own rebounds. In solitude, I challenged myself to refine my footwork – taking three, five, seven step drops – and beaming the football at the exact block on the brick wall that I hit on my first attempt. My compulsive behavior led to marked improvement. Alone I polished my skillset, believing that soon my chance would come.

An Eye for a Vision

I’ve been infatuated with Donovan McNabb ever since he and the Eagles obliterated the Chicago Bears in the Divisional Playoff Game in January 2002.

After (again) relocating to a new city, I begged my parents to let me try out for the West Springfield High School freshman squad. They complied. I auditioned for the lead role but was knocked down to fourth string. My height – no – experience was my downfall. Coach Mac placed me at cornerback, and I channeled my frustrations by destroying ball carriers.

My life however, took an intense U-turn during the middle of the season.

With a tearing retina, I could lose my eyesight with one vicious head-to-head collision. My concerned parents urged me to quit as the doctor advised me to refrain from playing contact sports.

Football

Post-retirement, my friends and I gathered at local fields to play pick-up games. Moving to three cities in a span of six years required me to build rapports with awesome people, and quickly adapt to dynamic wide receivers (Andy, Dwight, Antonio, David).

When a handful left for Virginia Commonwealth University, I served tables, studied at a community college, and attended the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii before transferring to VCU in 2008 (I was throwing around my football in Egypt). Upon my arrival, my football-loving buddies put me under center, my second home.

Better than quarterbacking for six championships, the timeless memories of hardship and happiness compiled during the four-year stint will remain with me for a lifetime. I apologize for the occasional stress I caused my teammates (especially in the huddle) and appreciate your (Chris, Joe, Danny, Brian, Joe C., Suhan, Narae, Alex, Sooji, Anna, Stephanie, Soyeon, Sonya, Abby) encouragement.

I will cherish your mentorship (all the screaming in my left ear to make smarter decisions), until I reach my career goal: to write for the NFL.

Like this story? Support me in NFL.com’s Together We Make Football Contest.

bgCo-ed Champs 2011Football Project 005

My Summer

My post-grad life actually started in the final days of January 2013.

Determined to finish my final semester at VCU on a high note, a 3.5 grade point average attested to that, and making it on the Dean’s List for the first time in my life confirmed how much I’ve matured over the last four years.

Acknowledging the fact that my college years were coming to a close, I applied to jobs earlier than most of my fourth-year peers to get an early headstart. About sixty jobs, I think? The hunt was a grueling chase, writing cover letter after cover letter strengthened my patience.

On top of the job searching process, I juggled Senior class assignments and projects, wrote for two publications at VCU (the Blacksheep Journal and The Commonwealth Times), retyped NFL.com articles for more practice, blogged, performed at open mics, and filmed VCU Basketball games and practices. Whenever the laptop was connected to the T.V. (HDMI cable), NFL Network was streaming in the background.

Scatterbrained? A bit. Goal-driven.

May rolled around as did a throng of rejection letters. What hurt more than them informing me that I couldn’t, was my mother’s dissatisfiction after my graduation ceremony. She’s pushy, saying that I should’ve been done with school three years ago. Moms are always right, but it pained me nonetheless.

I applied to a few more positions after May 11, NFL Films being one of them. The Producer position enticed me most.

As a Producer intern,  I would learn the NFL Films style of storytelling and perpetuate Mr. Steve Sabol’s vision. The opportunity of a lifetime for any avid NFL follower.

When checking your bank account,  expect to be surprised. I’m in dire need of money and I formed a bad habit of transferring funds from my credit card to my debit. Cash advances cost an extra $10? No problem…

Quick cash.
With two and a half years of restaurant experience,  I decided that applying to the food and beverage industry would make the most sense. I rented a bike every other day and rode to Kitchen 64, Osaka, Tarrant’s, Bistro 27, Three Monkeys, Sticky Rice, Can-Can, Mellow Mushroom and a high-end diner in Carytown. No response.

If you know me, you know where I stay, and how ridiculous it was for me to bike to some of those places.

Soul Search
This is something that you shouldn’t be doing too often. 24 hours. That’s how long you’re allowed to rent out a VCU road bike. During the day, I’d write and edit and submit my articles to FootballNation.com, then apply to those places aforementioned. After sunset, I figured it wouldn’t hurt my chances to explore the city and check out RVA’s night life.

There’s a method to it. Everyday, a different bar. Happy hour here, open mic there. I chatted with new people and indulged myself to the practice of having an engaging conversation without stepping on a stranger’s toes. More importantly,  I focused on talking to a diverse group of men and women without bringing up “football.”

If they broached the topic, then so be it. Other than that, football was the forbidden fruit to not be touched for four hours.

I received numbers. I gave mine out. What mattered is what we did with the ten digits afterwards: stayed in touch.

Bonchon
After no callbacks, I notified my dad about my car. I needed to go the distance now, local restaurants didn’t want me. God is fair. I applied to Bonchon and the manager, Erica, hired me on the spot. I’d make enough cash in the first 40 hours to pay off my lingering credit card debt.

After befriending the managers (all of the coolest brothers by the way), I opened up to them and shared my career goals with the kitchen staff. The story intrigued Sonny,  impelling him enough to tell me about his cousin who works for the NFL Network as a photographer. Unreal. Surreal. I ask how I could reach out to him. A Facebook message later, Mr. Vy and I are on the phone discussing my next plan of action. He knows Mr. Justin Hathaway, NFL.com’s Senior Editor and texts me his email addy.

Moments later, Mr. Vy texts me again,  stating this time that Mr. Hathaway suggests me to send Mr. Gregg Rosenthal an email.

For those who don’t know me,  I emailed Mr. Rosenthal two years ago and asked for his advice. God connected me again to the man who I asked for help,  this time for employment attached with a resume.

Rosenthal is super busy editing articles on the website, and therefore hasn’t written back. As for Mr. Hathaway,  he recommended me to intern for NFL Films and contact him seven months from now. Well, uh, I didn’t even get the position yet.

I quit Bon Chon after a week due to personal problems; we’ll keep it at that.

새벽 예배 (Early Morning Service)
My mother,  thankfully,  woke me up at 5 a.m. and took me with her to these prayer services when I was a child. That part of me still exists. God helped me realize that I need to rely on him,  not more,  but most. When you’ve nothing to lose,  the best thing to do is to wake up at 6 a.m. and head to the nearest church. I Googled RKPC, Richmond Korean Presbyterian Church; they open at 6.

I woke up at 7:20 the next morning and assumed that I had more than enough time. Don’t assume. No cars were parked in the lot when I arrived. Trying to get in, a woman who was leaving caught glance of me and stopped.

She’s never seen me before and asks if I’m lost. I tell her that I just came to pray. This short lady old enough to be my mom re-parks her car and unlocks the church’s side door. She walks me through the hall and leads me to Pastor Lee Young Ho’s office.

He’s surprised to see me, as well. The head pastor interrogates me, wondering what brings me here. I share tidbits of my upbringing, tell him about my murky future and relay my prayer requests. He’s more compelled as soon as I answer his question, Who’s your favorite team?, in which I reply The Eagles.

He smiles, and stands up to shake my hand. How coincidental, the pastor grew up in Philadelphia.

We wrap things up with a prayer and I’ve been doing my best (by God’s grace) to wake up at six for early morning service.

NFL Films
I receive an email from them requesting from me a date and hour for an interview. The drive to NJ was tough, I got lost for nearly two hours and arrived to Super 8 by 3:30 am. The interview went well, however didn’t say everything I wanted to say. I’m praying that this is where God places me for the next seven months.

Redskins in-seat serving
Centerplate catering services at FedEx Stadium interviewed me to serve Redskins fans in their premium-level seating. They’ve invited me to work for them this season.

Redskins Training Camp Ambassador
Welcome to Richmond! Finally, a professional football team in my vicinity. I was fortunate to be selected as a training camp assistant and I’m hoping that this experience is what I imagine it to be.

VCU Basketball
Out of 32,000 students I was selected to film for the VCU Basketball team. If you know me, you know that I am horrible at basketball. God works in funny ways, yes. I reported to work and never complained. The grad assistants and student managers are awesome.

I’m thankful that I had a chance to work for Coach Smart, Coach Ballard, Coach Rhoades, Coach Morrell, Coach Roose, Coach Eddie, Coach Bopp and former Coach Wade.

Special Thanks
In no specific order:
Joe, Josh, Young, Lea, Janice, Esther, Brian,  Brian Lee,  Danny, Jon Chung, Graham,  Dwight, Paden, Nate, Brad, Coach B., Coach Smart, Mrs. Smart,  Holly, Mrs. Hanneman, Dr. Wiegardt, Sandy, Juliette Cho, Jackie Ho, Slavic, Rebecca, Mrs. Bridgette, Michelle, Mostar, Hannah, Kenny,  (Hoa, Andrew, Jonathan, Mike you know why), Grace Min, Kevin Kim, Mr. Kevin/Greg Kristof, Sunny, Greg, Chris N., Johnny Vy, Mr. Andy Pollin, Gregg Rosenthal, Brian Nachman, Nedra M., Ellen, Brandon B., Austin, Alex C., Mr. Headley, Kenneth, Thomas,  Rafik, Kevin van Valkenburg, Rory, Tashunda, Slimm, Z, Chung, Sonny, Suhan, AJ, Mike Lim, PG. Eva, Chris, Jonas, Kyle, Sean Hicks, Christina Johnson, Curt, Mike Krooked Smilez, Chef Dane, Erik.

Andddddd of course my dad for always supporting me, my brother for our bond, and my mom … because she once told me that working for the NFL is like pulling a star off the night sky.

Always, always give God thanks and do everything for His glory, not yours.

Welcome to the Stuart C. Siegel Center, VCU’s bedlam

All eyes on Briante Weber

All eyes on Briante Weber

We are gathered here today, to celebrate one of Richmond’s finest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of committed marital love and to add our best wishes to the words that shall unite #HAVOC and #NATION in marriage.

Some call it, “popping.”

That description still might serve injustice when identifying the Stuart C. Siegel Center, not after what happened this afternoon.

The building shook multiple times under the feet of the Rowdy Rams. Insurmountable amounts of energy surged back and forth from all sections. “Swag” oozed from the tubas and trombones held by the members of our infamous Peppas band. Spectators stood and cheered proudly as VCU dismantled #20 nation-ranked, Butler.

One man just wasn’t enough to stop our press.

Some pictures are worth more than a 1,000 words. You see, that’s not just a steal and a one-handed slam dunk in transition — that’s Briante Weber giving a toast.

What’s he saying?

HAVOC.