Recap of Howard University Homecoming 2013 Coming Soon!

Greetings Bison and Bison Enthusiasts:

This year was one of the first years in a long time in which I missed Howard University Homecoming.  Howard Homecoming 2013 has so much that it is just to full and rich for me to do a recap on via text alone.

Therefore, next week, I will provide a FULL RECAP of Howard Homecoming from my experiences through, Facebook, phone calls and recap conversations with friends and alumni.

I will ALSO ADDRESS THE YARDFEST situation, issue and debacle.

Stay tuned. This one is going to be raw!! I’m not sure if I’m going to make it PG or rated R just yet. I’m thinking PG.  There’s some things that I’m going to say which need to be heard by the administration  :-)

Take care and remember, the countdown for Howard University Homecoming 2014 is upon us!!!

The Dr. Rhadi Ferguson Official Homecoming 2011 Recap and Homecoming 2012 Message

HOMECOMING 2011

This year was different.

After coming off of a specatular 2010 Homecoming, I was trying to out do 2010 in 2011. I found myself trying to “force” homecoming. I was trying to “make” the experience something that it wasn’t.

The truth of the matter is this… no matter how much my ego doesn’t want to admit it..the truth is.. Howard doesn’t NEED me to be live. She was “live” before I got there, she’s “live” now and she’ll be “live” when we leave here.

We were blessed to have the opportunity to allow our feet to brush upon the landscape of greatness of the campus. We were privilege to sit in the seats where great minds, hearts and spirits have been built, nurtured and matured. We were fortunate to spend time with one another and become part of Howard’s family. And somewhere along the lines of all the partying and playing. I forgot that.

I forgot that Homecoming is meant for me to go “home” not “go out.”

Nothing, trumps the yard experience. Nothing. Not Bobby and his van, the Love, not Diddy, not the Park, Indulj, an afterset, a party, a jumpoff, some fresh bait. NOTHING!!!

So I struggled as homecoming drew near because I’m in the “tweener” stage. I’m at the point where I don’t want to let the party go, but I know the time is coming.

See, as we get older our homecomings become more exclusive. They are parties but the people decrease. We need to sit more because our feet hurt due to the fact that were are classier now so we wear classy shoes and with that we need to sit. It has nothing to do with age. Believe me. If the ladies wore flats all weekend they’d be fine, but they do not.

Why?

Well, because flats are for the FAMUs and Alabama A&Ms of the world…. not Howard. :-) Our Bison Queens wear stilettos and high heeled shoes (with red bottoms) with a price tag upwards of $250 and it has nothing to do with being pretentious, it’s just where we are in life as……….. Howard Grads.

And with that being said, we no longer want to be bumped when we go into the club.

We don’t do lines or line drama.

We don’t wanna wait for drinks and we have zero desire to be inconvenienced.

We are not 18, 19, or 20.

And this is what many are realizing. This is what I realized before homecoming.

So I struggled as homecoming drew near because I’m in the “tweener” stage. I’m at the point where I don’t want to let the party go, but I know the time is coming.

In 2010 I could remember how tired I was on Sunday after “pushing” so hard on Saturday night. This year, I began to ask myself, “Why?”

Why push?

Just rest.

Just relax.

Just enjoy the person you are with and make love to the Howard Experience.

Hold it, Massage it.

Caress it. Love it.

And then lay in it. Its soft. (PAUSE)

It’s soulful.

It’s Howard.

There’s no need to rush. To go from club to club to club to club.

I had to realize this. I had to learn that it’s okay for me to “saddown somewhere” and relax and just enjoy the company I am with.

I was dealing with this before homecoming.

So I struggled as homecoming drew near because I’m in the “tweener” stage. I’m at the point where I don’t want to let the party go, but I know the time is coming.

As homecoming was getting closer I began to think about what was important. I reflected on the times I had in school and I thought about the people that I helped and the people that NEEDED my help and those that helped me.

And those people were not going to be in the club. They were in hotels. On the yard. In restaurants, and at the football game.

I had to think about the young woman in school who I watched get pregnant, stay in school, graduate and become a professor. And who’s children that I absolutely love and adore. – Professor Jefferson.

I thought about the man who went to Howard for 6 years, had his classes purged every semester because his money “wasn’t online” and is the Godfather to my two children and is now a professor of chemistry. – Dr. Stewart

I thought about the woman who mentored me and showed me the ropes in school and is one who I respect and love and is my son’s Godmother. – Dr. Rone Wilson

I thought about the Coach that has produced more PhDs per capita than any Howard University Coach in the past 25 years. – Dr.Paul Cotton.

I thought about what it was like to line up on Saturda’s and play for the Bison. And what it feels like to watch the fellas that I played with, now coach the Bison. – Flea, Ted, Billy, and Bobby.

As Homecoming drew near I thought about all of this.

And although I remembered the times that I partied…. the Quigley’s, the Ritz, Zei Street, etc.,….. those aren’t the things that I “remember”

So I struggled as homecoming drew near because I’m in the “tweener” stage. I’m at the point where I don’t want to let the party go, but I know the time is coming.

What I remember is the night during my freshman year that me and Brent Hughes had solid “F’s” in physics and missed what was probably the livest party of our Howard matriculation period which was happening the night before our test and we could not go because we were studying.

We both aced the test.

We missed the party.

But we aced the test.

This is what I remember.

I remember the time when I got a phone call letting me know that one of my teammates had been shot and killed and I thought about how each day is precious and how he could no longer line up for the Bison when I was in school. So I treasured the days when I practiced, even in the cold, because he could no longer play. (R.I.P. #29, Derrick Wynn)

I remember going to the mental institution to see one of my teammates that had a bipolar disorder.

I remember studying in the library with Kevin Thompson and struggling in Calculus 3 with Lenford Lloyd.

I remember the first time I really connected with Winston Williams and he let me borrow $800.00 to go to summer school and I paid him back in a check and added some extra to the money for his troubles. He dug in his pocket and gave me the diference for the overage and said,”Bro. that defeats the purpose of us being friends!” He let me borrow $800.00 and would only accept $800.00 in return. I tear up thinking about this now because I love him so much and I should tell him more but I don’t.

These are the things I remember. And I KNOW I partied at Howard, but those things aren’t the things that I remember.

Those things aren’t that important. Really they aren’t.

(….and please keep this in mind as you go from club to club to club looking for the “livest” party. Just stop and observe who is in the car or the cab with you and realize YOU are already a part of the “livest” party because you are around your friends. It wouldn’t matter if you parked the car on 9th and P and sat there and talked. Your HOMECOMING WOULD BE GREAT!!!! I had to remind my friend of this as she complained about traffic. I said, “Hey, we are in the traffic together. This beats talking to you on the phone. Relax and enjoy the traffic with me. It’s homecoming.”)

So I struggled as homecoming drew near because I’m in the “tweener” stage. I’m at the point where I don’t want to let the party go, but I know the time is coming.

I know I have to let the party go. But I hold on to it and tell myself, “Oh I wanna go to this party because that’s where all my friends are gonna be.” When the truth of the matter is this.

At Howard, the Ques, meet at the dial, the AKAs meet by their tree, the Deltas meet on their plot, the fine arts students sit in front of the fine arts building, the Kappas are by their tree, the football players are by the trees and benches when you come on to the yard and in front of cook hall, the athletes are in and out of burr, the freshman are in drew and the quad, the engineering students are in lewis k. downing, the school of b students in the school of business, the communications students in the school of C, the science students are in the valley and……YOU GET MY POINT.

EVERYBODY IS ON THE YARD.

With that being said. This year as I was fielding all the phone calls and the texts and trying to “force” homecoming and actually blowing my homecoming high unnecessarily…… I said, “F#$% IT!!!!” I am NOT running to any club to see people.

The PEOPLE are on the yard.

I see my wrestling coach – Dr. Cotton EVERY year and we never call. We never talk, we never even address meeting up at homecoming.

You know why?

Because his ass, just like mine, is ON THE YARD!!!!!

This is what I had to understand.

This is what I had to digest.

This is what I was fighting.

This was MY problem.

So I struggled as homecoming drew near because I’m in the “tweener” stage. I’m at the point where I don’t want to let the party go, but I know the time is coming.

As I stood on the yard about 50 yards away from the stage I could hear Whodini rapping that old song, “Friends…….how many of us have them? Friends? Before we go any further lets be friends.”

And I looked over at my friend Shay and her daughter Amani and her other daughter and I said to myself. I am hanging out with someone that I have known for 17 years. Who grew up with some of the same people that I grew up with in Miami. I looked at her daughter and said to myself, “Damn, I played football with her father. And I said to myself, “Okay, I got it. THIS is homecoming. This is what its about. It’s a reunion. NOT a party.” There maybe some partying in it but it’s not about the party. NOT for us. Not for the real Bison.

And at that moment I realized that I was exactly where I needed to be.

As homecoming approached, I made a change.

I picked who I wanted to hang with.

Decided who I wanted to see and how I was going to spend my time.

And on everything else I let the chips fall where they may.

I’m at the point now where I’m not leaving the game to go somewhere else. Hell, if I leave the game early, I don’t see Krystal Randolph who is a dear friend, who was one of the athletic trainers in 1996 when we won the Black College National Championship. She showed me her ring on the sideline and I know the thought that went into putting in on as she came to the game. These are the things that homecoming are about. THIS!

I LIVE to sing that Alma Mater on the field after the game. And cannot wait until my son lines up and sings it with me because he KNOWS IT NOW. :-)

And I’m not leaving the yard to go rest.

I will rest from the rest of that stuff, but I will be where I am supposed to be.

I will be at Howard University ON THE YARD…..

AT HOME!!!!!!!!

As we get older, its the only place that we can guarantee that we will see each other. So there’s no need to ask me what party I’m going to in 2012. If you wanna meet, you know where I’ll be.

I’ll be…..on the yard!!!! (and the tailgate will also suffice).

I’m sure I will struggle my way through homecoming during this tweener stage because I am at the point where I don’t want to let the party go.

But like that light at the end of the tunnel….which is a train… I know it’s coming!

And I want to say this….. every year we are blessed to see each other. Some folks did not make it this year. The yard is ever changing and ever morphing. We are just holding a spot for a period of time. Next year, hold yours down. And, Lord willing, I’ll see you….. on the yard.

I LOVE YOU! I MISS YOU! AND MOST IMPORTANLY I RESPECT YOU!

BISON!!!!

*** R.I.P. Zandi!! She was NOT on the yard this year :-( We miss you and love you!! ***

Let’s start trending this now….. #HUHC2012 and follow me at @HUHC2012 on twitter. Let’s get it in!

http://www.twitter.com/huhc2012

Howard Homecoming 2010 Recap: One For The Books!

Howard Homecoming 2010: One For The Books!

Every year, I countdown the days of the year and await the celebration of a lifetime. Not for the sake of frolicking or for the sake of foolishness but for the sake of tradition. Not the tradition of meeting but a tradition of “meaning”.  I graduated from Howard University. And that has meaning. It means something to US and that may not and may never mean anything to you if you did not attend Howard or if you didn’t take in everything that Howard University had to offer. I did.I dived into the big pool called Howard University and I swam until I got tired and then I allowed myself to drown in the pool and allow the “me” in me to die and I rose A BISON!

And that means more than most will ever know.

I have relationships and friendships with some of the greatest individuals in the world.

I have been inspired, uplifted, carried, helped, influenced, and admired by people I can truly call my friends.

I don’t know about you but returning to Homecoming reminds me of the theme song from Cheers.

================================================
Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t
you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go Where everybody
knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. You wanna be
where you can see, our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows Your name.
You wanna go where people know, people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.
===================================================

I just cannot write about Homecoming and my friends without tearing up.

It’s just not possible.

I can’t tell you how important they are to me.

My friends and my fraternity brothers do my heart good. I’m so blessed to have them. I hangout and laugh and act the fool’s part with the best of them, but I want to let you all know, seriously, I count it a privilege to come “home” and see you every year.

I’m not silly, I can clearly look at some of the others groups of people that I have seen over the last 18 years and I see their groups getting smaller and smaller. And there’s a reason for that. Over time our groups will get smaller and smaller too. I see the people who pledged in the 70s and 80s doing tributes around the monument and in the valley for the people who are no longer here and it makes me want to hold on to you all tighter when I hug you, laugh harder when I see you and talk longer when we meet.

Because I truly understand the richness of the moment, the gravity of the opportunity and the privilege of your presence. Please know that I’m looking forward to growing old with you all.

I still remember when me and Lenny Lloyd took calculus together in Locke Hall. When Brent Hughes and I pulled an all nighter when we both had F’s in Physics One and banged out the final and pulled a B in the class. I remember my experiences in “the cloisters”. The first time I met Deidra Jackson and she lied to me LOL.  How cool Kay Rone was on the yard and that sexy look she had when she look at you sideways. I remember the phone call I got when they told me that Derrick Wynn had gotten shot. I remember everything. When I see you all, I REALLY see you. I remember Shantrelle Lewis through her Supermac phase all the way to her Erykah Badu phase  LOL.

I remember when Bro. Kevin Thompson, an Alpha, took me under his wing and showed me how to get out of engineering and the proper way to study. I remember Sinclair Skinner, a Kappa, taught me how to use the Fraternity to work on my entrepreneurial skills. I still recall Dr. Sonya Smith and how she used to haze us up in engineering after coming from a predominately white school and thinking that the same rules applied here (they do not!). She IS MY FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR FROM HOWARD! BAR NONE. And still fine. (I can say that since I’m not in school anymore LOL). I could go on and on. I remember G. Stewart’s first fight on campus all the way to his last one this weekend!!  LOL Partying is cool, hanging out on the yard is nice, but just seeing your face and knowing that you are okay and that I have a friends who love me too is PRICELESS!!!

Howard U.!!

Howard University Homecoming 2008 Recap





For those of you that don’t know…. I attended Howard University TWICE!
From 1992-1997 and then I returned from 2000-2002 to complete my Masters Degree. I absolutely love Howard University and cherish my Howard Experience.

The great thing about Howard University is that you don’t necessarily have to attend Howard University in order to have a “Howard Experience”. My wife, Traci Ferguson, was a matriculant Georgetown University, but she had some great Howard Experiences. So much so that during Howard University Homecoming people ask her when she went to Howard. The crazy thing is that she never went to Howard, she just spent a good deal of time at Howard.

I try to bring people to Howard University’s Homecoming every year. Some people come, some don’t. This year I wanted my friend, former client and 2004 Olympic Teammate Taraje Williams-Murray to come to Homecoming this year.

Taraje could never understand why I made such a big deal about Howard’s Homecoming. During one year when he was competing at the United States Judo Open, Howard’s Homecoming fell on that same weekend. He asked me if I was going to the US Open. I replied, “Nope, I’m going to Homecoming.” It wasn’t until Homecoming weekend this year that he told me how pissed off he was about that but admitted that he could understand why I didn’t attend.

As a matter of fact, I’ve place in a couple of US Open’s but I only won one US Open. And I can pretty much tell you why. I was soooo pissed off because in 2001, the US Open fell on the the same weekend as Howard University’s Homecoming!! I can remember packing my bags and telling myself that everybody was going to pay for me missing my Homecoming celebration. I went to that tournament and lawnmowered through the competition.

Well, that was then…..

After convincing Taraje to come to Homecoming, my wife and I got his train ticket to come in town so that he could attend. We felt that this experience is one that every young African American should have at one time in their life and that it was our duty to make sure that Taraje could attend and be comfortable.

Taraje was really worried because he didn’t have any money and he didn’t understand how things work. I told Taraje that he would have the time of his life and not have to spend one dime. It took some convincing but he finally believed me.

We started off the week on Wednesday by doing a clinic in Fredricksburg, Virginia at Sensei Chuck Wall’s school. Then we went to the Marine Base in Quantico, Virginia all day Thursday which was a great experience where we were able to share some of our experiences and also able to get a better understanding of the life of a soldier in the Marines.

Thursday night we partied like rock stars. It was a good time with good friends and good people. We laughed all night long and ended up at the International House of Pancakes and dove into some egg white omelettes around 6am. Taraje and I got back to my parents house around 8:00am and we had to be up at 10:00 to get to “the yard” at Howard for Yardfest before 11:30.

The schedule was ridiculous. We had to sleep for less than 3 hours during the whole time.

On Friday, my wife came in town and she and I hit the alumni party and we two-stepped the night away. I sent Taraje with some of my younger and more energetic fraternity brothers so that he could have the twenty-something experience, which I am NO LONGER INTERESTED IN. Taraje had the time of his life.

I heard him say on SEVERAL occasions that he had never seen this many beautiful and successful African American females all in one place. He said that the experience was eye-opening and jaw dropping. If nothing else he mentioned that this should make all young black men really strive for excellence in life and academically. He said, seeing all of these affluent black folks really lets me know that there is hope. I guess sometimes its easier to “be it” if you can “see it.”

With that being said, I also wanted to let Taraje know what was and is available out there. Many people settle for a mate or a companion because they don’t think that what they are looking for is available. But the problem is that they are searching for bass in a pond stocked with catfish. If you want bass, then you need to take your @ss where there are BASS!! :-) Ya dig?

So, Friday night was good for the wife and I and it was great for Taraje (from what I heard). After a long night I had to leave the house and scoop Taraje from DC, he was having breakfast with one of my frat brothers and then we arrived at Howard University bright and early at 8am to prepare for the Homecoming Parade (as you can see, we got absolutely NO SLEEP, but it was all good.)

On Saturday, Taraje and I had the opportunity to serve as Marshals in the Homecoming Parade. This was my 4th Homecoming Parade as a Marshal and I love it each and every time. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it again but I absolutely love seeing the smiles on the faces of the children and being an ambassador for my school, Howard University.

Sidebar: I have to give a biggup to Keith Miles in the Office of the Provost at Howard University for making each Howard University Parade better and better each and every year.

Okay, now back to the story…. Saturday was cool I got the chance to reconnect with 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist David Oliver who is also a Howard Alum and was in school at Howard when I made the Olympic Team in 2004 and I met Lance Gross who was also running track at Howard with David when I made the team. I remember Lance being in all of the fashion shows at Howard. Now he is on the hit television show Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne”.

We also had the conversation of a lifetime with Terrence Howard on the topic of persevering and why quitting is not an option as an African American male based upon the fact that there are millions of people behind you who you may or may not be able to see who are COUNTING on you to be excellent in your endeavors so that they may have an opportunity. It was thought provoking, engaging and genuine. He didn’t rush, he just took his time and talked to Taraje and I about life. It was awe-inspiring.

What else happened?

- Well of course P. Diddy was there again.

- I did an interview with ESPN and Howard University Television

- Taraje’s who worldview was change in 72 hours

- Lord willing, I will be back next year.

Howard University Homecoming 2008. If you don’t know, now you know. (please understand that this is the G rated version)

Also check out http://www.Taraje.com

Take care,

Rhadi Ferguson
2004 Olympian
4-Time National Judo Champion

2008 Recap

Homecoming

======================
Howard Homecoming
5 days in 1
======================

Last weekend I had the amazing privilege to attend Howard Universities Homecoming. Rhadi is an alumnus of Howard, and had always expressed to me how important it was to attend Homecoming at least once. Since judo is on the backburner right now, this was my opportunity to enjoy everything Homecoming had to offer.

Although I am in a time of financial hardship, Rhadi wouldn’t let me miss this event for a poor reason like money. I arrived into Washington early Wednesday morning. That afternoon we did a clinic at Fredericksburg Judo Club in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

Sensei Chuck Wall was incredibly receptive and took care of all of our needs. The clinic lasted two hours. We were able to share some of our favorite techniques, with Rhadi concentrating on groundwork, and myself on standing. The students had a great time and I believe they got a taste of how much we have to offer.

Thursday marked the beginning of the Homecoming Events with a launch off party to start the weekend off right. Friday morning we headed to the Yardfest, where we enjoyed music performances, food and drink on the HU campus.

I once wondered what the big deal was about Homecoming. By Friday, I began to understand. It is not just for alumni, or the current students. It is not about getting drunk and partying. What it is is a gathering of successful, like-minded people in an atmosphere of friendship to gain more than just a good time.

For those of you who do not know Howard is a Historically Black University. I have never had the opportunity to see so many affluent, educated and successful African Americans in the same place at once. As I entered into more conversations with new people and they introduced themselves as entrepreneurs, medical doctors, lawyers, archeologists or orthodontists, I started to get an idea of the sort of company I was in.

After a long night out, Saturday started early with the Parade, which I had the wonderful privilege of being a Marshal in. I was honored to be included in the parade on a short list which included, Actor Terrence Howard, actor and comedian Brandon T. Jackson, 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist and HU alumni David Oliver, actor and HU alumni Lance Gross, 2004 Olympian and HU alumni Rhadi Ferguson, and a few others.

It was a great experience that I will not soon forget. Check out some of the photos.

Saturday continued with a Howard Bison Football Game, which they unfortunately lost in an exciting overtime finish, followed by another afternoon on the Yard. The grand finale was one last night on the town.

The weekend was an amazing success and a life changing experience. The most amazing thing I realized when it was all over was that I may have slept a total of two hours from Wednesday to Sunday, but hadn’t felt exhausted. The weekend really was one very long day.

The most humbling thought was that although I came into town with $12 to my name, I had an amazing time, participated in every event, wanted for nothing and left with change, and a new pair of cufflinks. I was taken care of by some very good people, and I can’t thank them enough.

I am a lock for next year. I now understand why people block out this weekend a year in advance and wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Rhadi, Lance Gross, Me
Rhadi, Lance Gross, Me
Rhadi, David Oliver, Me
Rhadi, David Oliver, Me
Terrence Howard
Terrence Howard
Beautiful Ladies
Beautiful Ladies

Reprinted with Permission from Taraje Williams-Murray of www.Taraje.com

Rhadi Ferguson Howard Homecoming 2007 Recap

================
Introduction
================
It has certainly been a while since my last post and I sincerely apologize, but when I let you know what’s been going on, you’ll be very pleased.
My life has been full of highs and no lows. It’s been super exciting, super busy and super cool. I’m not sure where to start so I’ll just start where I left off last time.
=================
Howard Homecoming
=================
Most of you know that I graduated from Howard University in 1997 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and then again with a Masters of Arts in Teaching. Well, there’s no secret of why I went to school and then returned to go again. I absolutely love my school, what it did for me, what I did for it and what it continues to do for others. For those that also don’t know, Howard University is a HBCU. That means it is on of the Hitorically Black Colleges and Universities. It is a great place to go to college especially for people of color who really need an opportunity to develop their self. Often times we are bombarded with negative images of people of color and it is just refreshing to walk among african and african-american Ph. Ds, Professors, Entrepeneurs, Politicians, etc…
While at Howard I learned a great deal about myself, my culture, my country and the sacrifice that others have made for me and why I should honor their sacrifice by choosing the correct path for my life, for my behavior and for the legacy which I will leave on this earth and to my children. Not reading, jamming rap music in my head – without understanding the richness of music and the platform from which the artist speak, wearing my pants hanging off my @ss, or not voting and the like are not options for me.
I have too much respect for Malcolm, Kwame Toure (Stokely Carmichael), Nelson Mandela, Martin, Booker T. Washington, The Tuskegee Airmen, Charles Drew, Ms. Parks, Fredrick Douglas, my parents, and modern day heroes who I went to school with and graduated with – governing myself accordingly is imperative.
Therefore, when Homecoming rolls around every year and you hear people like Ludacris and Biggie Smalls mention in their rap songs you can just imagine why it is such an extravaganza. To hang out with hundreds of thousands of individuals who look like you, who can fully understand you and who welcome you is comforting and welcoming. And, it’s where I went to school and
I just really enjoy seeing some of my classmates again and the faculty and staff who where there and assisted in my growth process.
I think that everyone should attend Howard Homecoming. It is something that everyone needs to exeperience and everyone needs to see. Howard is smack-dab in the middle of Washington, DC and there is so much to do, but I doubt that you will do anything save for what’s on the Homecoming Agenda which is the yardfest on Friday, a party friday night, the game on Saturday, the yardfest on saturday, a party saturday night, church (or however you recover) on sunday and then back home.
Howard University is a place that welcomes everyone. I don’t want anyone to read my post and think that its just for blacks, just like Stanford and UCLA are not just for whites, Howard is not just for blacks. It just so happens that there are some schools that have a huge Caucasian population and some that do not. Howard University is one that does not, but there are student of other nationalities there.
I remember one student who went to Howard when I was there who was white who told me, “The first day that I walked on campus, I finally knew exactly how you all ‘feel’ when you walk into a room.” I told him, “and you’ll also know that it gets easier the more you do it, but the ‘feeling’ never goes away.” He replied, “True dat.” Then we both laughed.
Enought about Howard University. You can look up information about Howard University and her rich heritage at http://www.howard.edu/
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The Homecoming
Experience
================
Since attending Howard I really didn’t think that anything would top the Howard Homecoming of 1995 when Biggie Smalls was on the yard during yardfest. It was such a surreal experience. I remember having the opportunity to dap him up because one of his bodyguards was my fraternity brother. He was larger than life, an icon, a celebrity of huge proportion. After that homecoming in 1995, I had to agree that no Homecoming would ever top that one.
Then there were others that were good, but not quite like that one.
***2004***
There was the Homecoming of 2004 after I made the Olympic Team where I got to hang out with New Edition and LL Cool J and LL’s trainer David Honig, with whom I still converse with to this day.
***2005***
Then there was 2005 which was off the chain where the oh so smooth Mya, Method Man, Larenz Tate and various actors were present.
***2006***
Then we had Ice Cube, Lil Mo, and a host of friends which made the 2006 Homecoming sweet like popsicle juice and then……
(drum roll please)
***2007***
In my opinion 2007 was the BEST Howard University Homecoming ever (at least for me, if you’re lame, then no Homecoming is going to be good for you).
I’m always in the mix, with the right people, the right crowd and there at the right time. I’m not sure how this works, maybe it good karma, I call it a blessing.
Here’s How my Homecoming began….
I arrived on Thursday and hung out with my parents who stay in Maryland. This homecoming was special because it was actually Rufus’ first time to attend Homecoming. He went last year, but it was too cold for him to be outside so he couldn’t be on the yard. On Friday we arrived for the Yardfest. It was cool to see all the former players, pimps, and husltas again and to see
how they are now SUPER professionals. It seems like everyone has an MBA, an MD, or an Ph. D., except me. I’m slippin’ but will catch ‘em next year :-)
Friday was cool. Traci, Rufus and I hung out on the yard. Rufus met “the fam” (slang for all our close friends) and he played on a little basketball game on the yard incessantly. Everytime we tried to take him away from it, he’d cry.
It was certainly a good time. After the yardfest, I went with Ken “Big Sexy” Stewart and some visiting bruhs to a Sushi spot out in Pentagon City, then later on I hung out with the Ques in front of the Howard Towers as we hung out and ate barbeque.
My mom picked up Rufus from the yard at around 2:30. Friday night, we DID IT BIG at Club Love in DC. It was on and poppin’. The music was hype, the atmosphere was “grown and
sexy” and towards the end of the night P. Diddy came onto the floor in the DJ Booth and got the party crunk. It was so “delishus”! The night was good and it ended around 4:30am. Traci and I didn’t get back to home base until around 5:40. Let me rephrase that, the party didn’t end at 4:30… We left at 4:30, the party ended with the rising of the sun at around 6:30.
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Saturday Morning
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I returned back to campus at 8am in the morning after about 1 hour of sleep because I was, again, one of the Marshals in the Homecoming Parade. My friend and frat brother, Tyrone Lewis came with me. We were more than tired from the activities the night before. But we had to get up early to reap the benefits of the early risers during homecoming.
The benefits are hanging out with high powered celebs and making good quality contacts during homecoming. This is what you’re supposed to do during homecoming – network and thats what we did this morning.
We had an opportunity to meet several folks like Carl Lewis, Tyson Beckford, Chaka Khan, Melyssa Ford, Omarion, Bow Wow, P. Diddy, AJ, Maurice Greene and several other folks. It was phenomenal. After the game, we hung out on the yard some more, then caught a nice dinner and then partied the night away. After that, around 5:30 am, we ended up at the International House of Pancakes to eat. It was a blistering day off of only 1hour of sleep.

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Sunday
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Because I’m still in-training for my marathon, I got up on Sunday morning around 11am (very little rest) and ran 5 miles at a 4-1 pace (4 minute run: 1 minute walk). It went cool. After my run, I had to head back to DC to sit down and have a cool dinner with Shawn Springs and some friends. I’ve known Shawn since high school and his dad was my running back coach at Howard University. Shawn went to Ohio State and now he plays ball for the Washington Redskins. After that I came back home, rested, played with Rufus, talked with Traci and pre-packed so that we could catch our flight back home. That was homecoming in a nutshell.
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Half Marathon
Complete
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Now on to the 1/2 marathon I ran………..
On the 4th of November I ran a 1/2 Marathon in Boca Raton. It was cool and it was sponsored by the Police Athletic League. I ended up running sub 10 minute pace and ran a time of 2:09. 2 hours and 9 minutes. That’s not too bad for a first-timer and for a dude that weighs 225 pounds :-) I severely hurt my adductor muscle group in my left leg and I’ve been rehabbing. So I hope I’ll be ready for the full marathon that I’m running on the 25th of November :-)
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Now On To Miami Ink
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If you’ve never heard of the show Miami Ink, well it’s a reality based show that is surrounded around the lives of the artists in the tatoo shop of Miami Ink on South Beach. It is pretty funny and comes on Television. I just did a taping for that show this week and it will air some time next year. I can’t say too much about it or show you the tattoo because of the paperwork that I signed, but its sweet.
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Closing
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I just want you to know that my IRB from my school (the final one) has been approved and I will continue with my data collection at the end of this year and the beginning of next year. I’m really looking forward to it so that I can be done with this Ph. D. next year.
Rufus is getting older, Traci is getting finer and I’m just trying to get it.
EZ

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