Undrafted

Thursday night at Brion’s Grill in Fairfax my campaign will be hosting our first “Chappy Hour” of the 2015 campaign season.   Please stop by for a drink or wings.

We’ll be watching the “NFL Draft,” a night which is like Christmas Day for football fans.  (Imagine Mel Kiper breaking down the arrival of baby Jesus.  “He’s got great vision, tremendous upside.   But can he handle a Roman-dominated world?”)

There are the Top Picks, who will be at the Draft with their entourage; typically, it’s mom and dad, siblings, a random girlfriend, and the family pastor.  The Top Pick is the awkward giant in the ill-fitting suit with the cell phone pressed to his ear.  The golden phone call has arrived.  In that moment, the summer “two-a-days” and early morning workouts finally pay off.  He’s made it.

My fascination is with the guys who fall to the lower rounds or go undrafted.  Nobody covers those phone calls.  And yet so many of them go on to be the backbone of Super Bowl champions.   Who is this year’s Tom Brady?

I relate to the undrafted guys — those who are scrambling just to get bus fare to camp.  The guys who show up hungry and beat out the bonus babies.

When I came out of law school in 1994, I was undrafted.  I had clerked for two major law firms — and neither offered me a job.  I called just about every single law firm in northern Virginia (and everywhere else) and left hundreds of un-returned messages, until I finally got an offer.   Two years later, that firm split up and I was on the street again.

That was 20 years ago.  Now my partners and I own a firm which has 45 employees, 20 lawyers and (soon) two State Senators.  But it seems like a dream.  All my career I’ve remembered that I was undrafted — and I have to prove myself every day.

Maybe you were a Top Pick in your life.  Or maybe you were undrafted.  Either way, join us at Brion’s Grill next Thursday.  I’ll save a cold one for you.

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A Few Random Thoughts …

It’s Monday, April 20.  Last week flew by with veto session and an ongoing trial.

A few random thoughts in no particular order …

Susan Swecker is an excellent choice for Chairman of the DPVA.  I’ve known Susan since I was a mere babe in the House of Delegates.  She’s first class.

Excellent choice also by GMU in selecting Dave Paulsen as its next men’s basketball coach.  He’s a proven winner with Bucknell, and the exiting of Shaka Smart from VCU promises to reshape recruiting in the Old Dominion.  I went to college with Dave back in the Eighties — Williams College represent!

If I had a son that plays football (and I do), there is no better role model, on and off the field, than Troy Polamalu, who just retired after a Hall of Fame career.  I used to tell my legal associates that they needed to wear a Polamalu-style wig when they went to court — because that’s the kind of intensity I wanted them to have.

Glad the spring is finally here.  Ran the Fairfax Bar 5K last weekend at Fairfax Corner.  A shade under 24 minutes.  Not very good.  Looking to improve on that at Vienna Elementary 5k Sunday morning.

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The Longest (Veto) Day

The veto session ended its third day today down in Richmond.  We’ve officially been sitting for fifty-two (52) straight hours.

(ed. note:  we recessed for a day on Thursday which allowed me to return to court, where I’m in a multi-week trial).

Wednesday we took up all the Governor’s amendments and vetoes, which included the scuttling of SB 695.  On the Senate side, we “passed by” the amendments — while the House adopted an amendment which scaled back the law, thereby keeping open the door for other technologies like “retina scan” which allow law enforcement to covertly scan and upload personal identifying information, but kept the 7-day limit.

Today we passed the Governor’s amendments, or most of them, on the issue of ethics, including a $100 cap (aggregated) on gifts.  We also heard final speeches from Senators Chuck Colgan, John Watkins, Walter Stosch, Jeff McWaters and Toddy Puller, who are retiring after this session.

Book of Ecclesiastes:  “Let us now praise famous men (and women) … Leaders of the people by their counsels … wise and eloquent are their instructions … All were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times.”

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