I always believe there's a reason why you go through everything. – John Elway
I'm telling you—it's not a myth. It really isn't. Speaking of when I first got here and was running around, it was very difficult the first two weeks to catch my breath. For now, us as Broncos players, we love the altitude because it's an advantage for us. – Montee Ball (NFL Player)
Saturday, January 23, 2016 (DAY 1,418)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Let the record show once and for all -- the altitude is a factor in Denver.
"I'm telling you -- it's not a myth. It really isn't," rookie running back Montee Ball said. "Speaking of when I first got here and was running around, it was very difficult the first two weeks to catch my breath. For now, us as Broncos players, we love the altitude because it's an advantage for us."
Linebacker Shaun Phillips played in Denver as an opponent in nine consecutive seasons as a San Diego Charger, and he acknowledged that it's something opposing teams have to account for.
"It's definitely an advantage (for the Broncos), but I just always felt that if somebody else is doing it, then I can deal with it. That's always been my attitude here," he said. "But to this day, I still suck air a little bit. It's pretty tough."
Now that he's a member of the Broncos, practicing at high altitude on a daily basis, Phillips said he notices a difference. But "even when you get a day off," it's obvious again during the next day of practice.
The main issue, Colorado native Mitch Unrein explained, is that less oxygen reaches the body at higher elevations. So not only is it harder to breathe, muscles get fatigued faster and players tire out quicker.
"I’ve lived here my whole life and I don’t think you ever really get used to trying to play in this altitude," the defensive tackle said. "Obviously, we’re more accustomed to it just because we practice in it every day. But for teams that come up here, I know it’s a struggle for them just to try to catch their breath after a long drive and just trying to keep fresh after every play.”
“That stuff burns," linebacker Danny Trevathan agreed. "If you’re not used to it, it sneaks up on you. You think you’re fine, but then once you get to running around, you feel that extra clap in your lungs."
The topic was addressed in the Philadelphia Eagles locker room this week, particularly because the Eagles offense -- not to mention the Broncos offense -- likes to move at such a quick tempo.
Former Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who made a trip to Boulder, Colo., in college to take on the Buffs, said he developed "cotton mouth pretty fast," according to CSNPhilly.
“It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to get used to it. That’s what I remember most,” he said. “I definitely felt it."
Eagles cornerback Cary Williams, who played in Denver in the playoffs last season as a member of the Ravens, said "it was tough" to get acclimated to the altitude.
Head Coach John Fox recalled coming to Denver as an opposing coach, and noted that "early, you feel it."
"It’s probably the best home-field advantage in the NFL," he said. "That’s why I think our home record is so good.”
To that point, the Broncos have lost just once in their past 10 regular-season games at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
As for just how much of a factor it will be for the Eagles on Sunday, Phillips took a wait-and-see approach.
"We'll find out," he said.
(*source: DenverBroncos.com by Gray Caldwell Posted Sep 25, 2013)
The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. – Vince Lombardi
Friday, January 22, 2016 (DAYS 1,417 & 1,418)
As the AFC and NFC Championships for the NFL are quickly approaching, I've recently gained a new client that I was expecting to do more business consulting work with, but as life always surprises you, this particular CEO is more interested in learning and understanding American Football! Yes, for sports fanatics–this is one of the ultimate paid jobs in a sense, talking my all-time favorite sport! I already knew my friends used to despise me when I was being paid to watch television for years as the Quality Control Specialist for HDNet. Yes, that's also a real PAID job, to watch television! However, it's not nearly as exciting, fun, or interesting as you may imagine all of the time. You aren't watching television leisurely, but in an extremely technical format. I will share a secret though. From 2001-2004, with the inaugural inception of HDNet, the first all-high-definition #HDTV television network in the United States, I had watched more HD programming than any other person in America! I had QC'd every one of HDNet's programs before they went to broadcast or hit air, such classics as; Get Out!, Art Mann Presents, HDNet World Report, Dan Rather Reports, Inside MMA (before we began broadcasting this weekly sports show live from our LA studio), and some of our older and more obscure shows such as Square Pegs, Eye for an Eye with host Kato Kaelin, whom I randomly met at the high-limit blackjack table at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas where he was with his producer and as soon as I mentioned I worked for HDNet they began chatting my ear off about the show and couldn't believe I was the person that not only watched every one of their, hmmm hmmm, incredible shows, but I also had the responsibility upon approving the QC of their show and by doing thus, I held in my hands the ability of approving or rejecting their show for technical or content issues and therefore this went through our in-house legal department and accounting that would release payment for their final product or program production costs. At times I was often paid–less just say an amount per hour for overtime that was probably anger most individuals–for QC'ing or watching every single episode of Prison Break, Star Trek Enterprise, Arrested Development (even the episodes that never aired on FOX and before Netflix chose to produce a fourth season), Smallville, and many, MANY, MANY other series!
But once again I have digressed, as I was mentioning how to explain some of the most common American Football formations. Growing up in one of the–if not THE greatest football city in America, Denver, you KNOW I had to throw that in there–I used to spend countless hours talking #DenverBroncos football with my friends and especially my brothers, Mike and Dave. We would analyze every detail of the game, trades, and of course how frustrated this team we often shared a love/hate relationship with. However, I feel that this is true of any eccentric sports fan of a specific team. I found this great article by Howard Cosmell, however, when I went to try and print this the format was not so friendly, plus I will be recreating my own graphics below of the various formations, but I wanted to of course, as usual, to give full credit to others when using their material by reformatting it for easier print, so with that said please check out his website. *All writing below is the FULL credit of Howard Cosmell AND I will be updating the below with better graphics soon.
You’re probably a macho guy (or a really cool chick) who knows football inside and out. But just to make sure we’re on the same page here, let’s run through some of the basic rules of football formations before we have a look at the formations themselves.
There must be 11 total players. Of these, 6 positions are always the same. They are the five players make up the offensive line (OL)—1 center (C), 2 guards (G), 2 tackles (T)—plus 1 quarterback (QB).
The other 5 positions can be any combination of the remaining positions: 0-3 tight ends (TE), 0-5 wide receivers (WR), and 0-3 backs (FB/HB).
For any given play, there must be at least 7 players on the line of scrimmage—the 5 on the OL, plus at least 2 more. These two can be either TEs or WRs. A team can place more players on the line of scrimmage, but the rule is that only the two players on the ends are eligible receivers. So, most often, to maximize the number of eligible receivers, teams place the minimum 7 players up front, leaving 4 in the backfield.
These are the possibilities a coach has to work with when choosing how his team lines up on
Obviously, there are also 11 total players on the defensive side of the ball. However, unlike offensive formations, in the NFL there are no rules regulating where defensive players must be positioned (as long as they are on their side of the line of scrimmage). They can be in “the box,” which is just an area within 5 yards of the ball and the line of scrimmage, or in the “secondary,” which is anywhere else. And after the snap, any player can go anywhere and do anything. Thus, coaches have a lot of leeway in drawing up defensive formations.
Still, there are 3 basic types of defensive positions: defensive linemen (DL), who line up right across from the OL in the box; linebackers (LB), who are positioned behind the DL, but still in the box; and defensive backs (DB), who are positioned in the secondary.
Players on the DL are called defensive ends (DE) if they are on the ends of the line and defensive tackles (DT) if they are in the middle. Often, if there is an odd number of tackles (i.e., 1 or 3), the middle/only tackle lined up over the ball is called a nose tackle (NT).
LBs are either strong (SLB), middle (MLB), or weak (WLB), depending on where they are relative to the offensive formation—if a linebacker is lined up opposite the offensive team’s TE, he is the SLB.
Players in the secondary are either cornerbacks (CB), who cover WRs, or safeties, who defend against the run and pass. A player is a strong safety (SS) if lined up on the same side as a TE or a free safety (FS) if free to roam wherever he is needed.
Now, let’s look at 9 football formations every man should know.
The I formation is a “traditional” modern offensive formation that gets its name from the I-shaped alignment of the QB, FB and HB. Using 2 backs and, typically, 2 WRs and 1 TE, this formation is conducive to both running and passing plays. When the latter is chosen, the back without the ball—usually the FB—will block for the back with the ball. The I Formation isn’t all that common in the NFL today, as the pro set formation (#7 below) can accomplish pretty much the same thing. However, the I formation is still sometimes used for play-action passes or short yardage running situations. (Source)
PRO SET FORMATION (Offense)
The pro set formation is another “traditional” modern offensive formation. Like the I formation, the pro set is a balanced formation that usually features 2 backs, 2 WRs, and a TE. The main difference between the pro set and the I is simply that the two backs are on either side of the quarterback. Thus there is a bit of a tradeoff when using the pro set: you lose the blocking of the FB in the I formation, but you gain some uncertainty, as the defense doesn’t know which side of center the ball will go to. (Source)
SHOTGUN FORMATION (Offense)
You have a shotgun formation any time the QB lines up about 5 yards behind the center and receives a snap rather than a handoff from the C. Typically, this formation uses only 1 back with 3 WRs and 1 TE, although any variation of players in the backfield is possible. The advantage of the QB’s position on this formation is that he can see the defensive alignment more clearly and has more time to throw the ball. Teams with excellent QBs and an aggressive passing game—like Indianapolis and New England—have used the shotgun as their standard offensive formation in recent years. (Source)
SPREAD FORMATION (Offense)
The spread formation is a particularly aggressive variant of the single set back formation (which is just like the standard shotgun formation, only the QB lines up immediately behind the C). Where the spread formation differs from the standard single set back is in its use of 4 WRs and 0 TEs. The idea is that this formation spreads out the defense, creating more space. Though typically used for passing plays, the spread formation can also occasionally creates big holes in the DL for effective runs. Also, it’s more common in college than the NFL. (Source)
4-3 DEFENSE (Basic)
4-3 DEFENSE (Strong Side Shift)
The 4-3 defense is the most common base defensive formation in the NFL. With 4 defensive linemen, 3 LBs, and 4 players in the secondary, it is just about as balanced a defensive alignment as there can be. It is also versatile in that LBs can shift to the strong or weak sides, depending on the type of play they anticipate from the offensive team. (Source)
The 3-4 defense is the other basic defensive formation, along with the 4-3. The 3-4 basically takes one of the DLs away from the 4-3 and adds a fourth LB, still leaving 4 in the secondary. While the 4-3 is more common in the NFL today because it is often stronger against the run, teams with exceptionally quick LBs might choose the 3-4 because it can offer a bit more versatility. (Source)
The nickel formation is any formation that has 5 players in the secondary instead of 4. (Get it? 5 cents in a nickel, 5 players in the secondary?) Basically, to better defend against a passing formation put in place by the offensive team, the defensive team sacrifices either a DL or a LB in favor of either an additional CB or safety. The additional defender is called a “nickelback.” The 4-2-5 nickel formation is like a 4-3 defense, only 1 LB becomes a third CB. On the other hand, the 3-5-3 nickel is like a 3-4 defense, only 1 LB becomes a third safety. (Source)
The dime defense is typically used against the most aggressive offensive passing formations. Whereas the nickel defense adds 1 more defender to the secondary (called a nickelback), the dime defense adds 2, bringing the grand total to 6. Just as two nickels equals one dime, two nickelbacks make a dime formation. Most often, what this all adds up to is 4 DLs, 1 LB, 4 CBs, and 2 safeties. But theoretically you there could be 3 DLs, 2 LBs, 3 CBs and 3 safeties. All that matters is that there are 6 in the secondary to defend against desperation passing plays. (Source)
GOAL LINE DEFENSE
The offensive and defensive versions of the goal line formation are basically the same: when the ball is within a few yards of the end zone, both teams will forget about the secondary and cram the box with as many bodies as possible. Offensively, this means 0 WRs with 3 TEs and 2 backs (plus the 5-man OL and the QB, making 11). Defensively, this means 0 safeties with a 5-man DL, 4 LBs and 2 CBs. (Source)
What you can become depends upon what you can overcome. – Anthony Douglas Williams
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (DAY 603)
Today, I have chosen not to include a general topic related to travel information or budget backpacking, but today, I have chosen to share an intimate part of my life. This is the story of my adoption and being reunited with my birth mother, where it has been close to 31 years, 9 months, and roughly 8 days since the last time my birth mother has seen me. And, for as much of my life through my backpacking and travel experiences has become public on the Internet, for those that know me best I still tend to remain a relatively private person. While I have not shared this story with many, it has been a long time coming, so please enjoy my adoption story.
It all began around the Summer of 2011, when I started the process and search for my birthparents with Jan Dunn from Dillon International. Prior to doing this, I spoke extensively with both my adoptive parents and with both of my sisters, whom are also Korean adoptees, however none of us are blood related, and as I had hoped everyone was very supportive in my desire to locate and hopefully be reunited with my birthparents.
Like most adoptees, I have two birthdays and two names. I was born at home in the southern city of Yeosu, South Korea and later given the name Seung Chul Lee. I was born around 7:30am on what I can only expect was a cold morning in January. My mother was only 19 years-old at the time, while my birth father was 27 years-old. However at the time of my birth, my father had already been absent from my life because while my mother was six-months pregnant with me, he abandoned her–us. I lived at home for about 5-days as my mother contemplated painfully what would be the best future for me, since I was her first born child. She finally made the decision to place me for adoption with Eastern Social Welfare Society (ESWS) with a set of specific instructions–she wanted me to be adopted by an American family.
The celebration of my second birthday ocurred four months later on May 21, 1982 at Stapleton International Airport in Denver, Colorado as I was born to Karen and Dale Hendershott and given the name Troy. I had your typical childhood growing up in the Colorado suburbs; riding bikes with neighborhood friends, participating in all of the various pee-wee sports programs, arguing and teasing my sisters, and of course being taught that there is no other team than the Denver Broncos. I did, unfortunately, experience many negatives situations that I often kept hidden from my parents, because I felt as though they could not possibility relate. It was everything that you could imagine–being made fun of as people brought their fingers to their eyes sloping them at you, the verbal racial slurs, bowing or making stereotypical gestures or comments as a form of mocking you, plus a variety of other things just because of how I looked physically. That’s why I continue to say that it’s very difficult, if not nearly impossible, to explain to others how it feels to be a Korean adoptee specifically.
However today I have awoken in a place unlike any I have experienced in all of my travels–a house filled with other Korean adoptees where we share more similar than different stories. Even though I arrived here the day before and many were arriving late in to the evening, we did have brief chances to get introduced and share a little about where each of us were from–California, Pennsylvania, New York, and a lone Australian. We all agreed that it was such an interesting and surreal environment to be in, knowing that we are all connected through such a significant part of our past and sharing much of the same identity.
Finding it difficult to sleep–as most of us did, I climb out of bed around 7:40am and after a hot shower I begin to organize my things together for a day that I already know I will never forget. Checking to make sure my camera and iPhone are fully charged, I head downstairs and find Mikey from California, but originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, as well as the twins from New York, Danielle and Kaitlynn, all sitting around the kitchen table. Yawns abound as feelings of mixed emotions and excitement are coupled with strong cups of coffee. Just before 9am the four of us are lead out by Crystal and we take the 15-minute walk to the ESWS headquaters. Since there is an organized itinerary for all of us that are participating in the Home to Home Program, we are sectioned into four groups. I believe that this is due to the limited number of volunteers that are acting as translators. Fortunately, I suppose for the sake of nerves, I am in group #1 along with my brekkie mates. As we walk along the bustling city street, Kaitlynn says that this part of the city reminds her of Queens in New York. I tell her that I agree as I spent time a few weeks staying in Rego Park back in 2010 when my friend Kevin’s brother and his wife lived there and we went to visit over the Summer. We begin discussing who we are expecting to meet, and I am surprised when the twins from New York are meeting both their mom and their sister which is their triplet. Mike has an older brother that has been to Korea before and has already met their biological family, so he was taken around the city last night with one of his brothers and today was meeting both his mother and father plus a few other family members. I tell everyone that I am unsure if my half brother and half sister will be joining my mother today or not. Before we know it, we are standing outside of Eastern and for the rest of the group this is their first time seeing the large banner that hangs on the outside of the building.
We are greeted by a few volunteers before being lead to one of the counseling or post-adoption family meeting rooms. Upon entering you notice that there are two couches facing one another with plenty of tissue boxes on the table. There is also a small table with four chairs against the open window along the wall. Sitting nervously, Ms. Kang comes in and we are told that in a few short minutes a volunteer that is designated for each of us will be showing us to separate rooms, and that they are briefing the family members now and then she leaves. This only makes us more anxious. Thinking the minutes may tick away like passing hours, suddenly Ms. Kang bursts through the door with the volunteers and begins directing us with whom to follow. With little time to think, I am walking down the hallway as Ms. Kang tells me that she will be my translator for today. Thinking we are walking through a door to a small room like the one we were just in, it is actually the room where they are briefing the parents. Almost unable to breath, four faces turn and stare in our direction as we come through the door and I know my mother is one of these faces looking back at me.
As the group of parents gets up and begins walking back, I notice one woman looking directly at me smiling and I can already sense that this is my mother. Ms. Kang introduces us right there–not waiting to get us to the more intimate counseling room–we share in a long hug that is followed by some tears. As we walk through a set of doors and past some other desks to the corner of the building, my mother cannot let go of my hand. I keep smiling as we enter the small room that has two chairs set up on each side of a white table. I let my mom take her seat and sit next to her as Ms. Kang sits across from us. The entire time my mother cannot let go of me and tells us that she feels as though she is dreaming. The conversation moves slowly as expected with all of the translating. Unsure of what to expect from our first meeting, my mother asks if I would like to come down to stay with her for a night in Iksan, a city in the Southwest part of the country that is situated on the Okgu and Keumman Plains and leads to the West Sea (Yellow Sea). Excited by this unexpected invitation, I tell her that I would love to visit. Discussing this with Ms. Kang we’ve decided that the weekend would be the best time, since it is 3-hours by bus or 90-minutes by the Korean Train Express (KTX) from Seoul. The plan is formulated and agreed upon is that on Friday, my mother will return to the capitol and stay overnight and on Saturday morning we will return to where she lives and I will return to Seoul on Sunday. Ms. Kang informs us that Eastern will be able to provide us a volunteer translator for most of the day Saturday, but not Saturday night or Sunday. She also tells me that I should probably book my return ticket for Sunday in advance since that will most likely be a busy commuting day for others that are returning to Seoul. After this is finalized a series of back and forth questions are exchanged and before we all realize it a person is knocking on the door to let us know that the van downstairs is waiting to take us to the restaurant for lunch.
Sharing the van with the girls from New York, there are two conversations going as we begin the short drive through the narrow neighborhood streets–one in Korean and one in English. I tell the twins that their sister does look like them and when they are all together it’s obvious they are triplets. As we arrived at the traditional Korean restaurant, I wish I could tell you the name but I had a little much going through my head at the time, my mother still is clasping my hands and I cannot help but feel like a proud son to her. The restaurant is similar to others I have already visited in Seoul, since I have been in the city for almost two-weeks, but this time we are lead into a private room where we are required to take off our shoes, and it has the low sitting tables with cushions on the floor. Our meal is Bulgogi (불고기), which is thinly sliced or shredded beef marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sugar, green onions and black pepper, cooked on a grill at our the table. Bulgogi literally means "fire meat". Variations may include pork (Dweji bulgogi), chicken (Dak bulgogi), or squid (Ojingeo bulgogi), I believe we have the entire mixture. As we sit down to eat, I have failed to mention that we also have a new translator volunteer, Hanah, who had previous worked for ESWS for the past 15-years before moving to New York with her husband for a year and has recently returned to Seoul, but is not returning to work with ESWS full time as she is a full time mommy of two.
The meal is tasty, but we are more concerned with the conversation that we have been waiting years for. We talk about how and where I grew up, I asked about her children, we discussed my travels, and I learned that my mother is quite the cook and would one day like to open her own restaurant. At one point my mother asks if we can order a beer because she’s still a bit nervous, laughing I say that has to be my mom. As the dishes begin to be cleared from the table and since we have our volunteer translator until 3pm (almost another few hours), we decide to find a nearby coffee shop and continue the conversation. During our conversation at the Coffee Bene, my mother told me that for several years she tried to search for me. This was also when I learned that my Korean name, Seung Chul Lee, was not given to me by her, but by Eastern Social Welfare Services, and this was the primary reason she was unsuccessful in locating and contacting me.
Eastern Social Welfare Society, Inc. (ESWS) is a non-profit organization, licensed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Korean Government. Chairman of the Board: Kim, Dojong, Ph.D. Editor: Na, Hyemin President: Kim, Jinsook, Ph.D. Special thanks to: Christina Saia Chief Editor: Kim, Tae-Kyoung Printed: Namkang ESWS Founded: March 18, 1972 Website: www.eastern.or.kr/english Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the years of attempting to search for which family and where I had been adopted to in the States, she eventually had given up hope. I asked her how she felt when ESWS contacted her to let her know that I was searching for her? She said that she was overcome with joy and thanked God that I was alive and healthy and wanted to meet her. When it was time to depart, we slowly strolled to the subway station, once again her hands clasped around mine and there was a long embrace. Not wanting to let one another go, I told her that I am excited for Friday and the weekend, and as I had to be the first to walk away, once I reached about the middle of that block I turned back and she was still standing there watching me as if I were a child walking off to school. She waved at me and I couldn’t help but be overcome with emotion.
I have just recently written a blog for KADs that are interested in moving to Korea either short-term or indefinitely, if you are interest please read:
The video below is is Melissa 'Mila' Konomos' Birth Family Reunion, which took more than 7-years various non-profit organizations (#DillonInternational) in the United States and Eastern Social Welfare Society (#ESWS) in Seoul. This was also the video that inspired and encouraged me to begin my birth family search, which took me close to 2-years.
The video below is by Pierre a French-Korean adoptee, and does a great job of the importance to many of us that are adopted and why we have come back, please watch.
To learn more about ESWS here is a short promotional video that talks about the history and if you can this is an excellent organization to support financially and I encourage family and friends to please do so HERE.
About the Author
My name is Troy and I gave up a promising 12-year career to travel the world! Now after more than 4-years of continuous global travel, I've lived an incredible life and my goal is to inspire others to achieve their dreams!
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