By: Whitelaw Reid | University of Virginia Magazine
A year out of law school, Brian Leung (Col ’05, Law ’08) says he was working 14- to 16-hour days as a junior associate at a New York firm. Rarely would he get home before midnight. Leung says he realized he needed to find an outlet that involved more than meeting up with friends for drinks after work.
“I wanted to do something productive and creative with what little free time I had,” Leung recalls.
Photo CreditMatt EichAlone in his Manhattan apartment one evening, Leung (pronounced Lee-YOUNG) created a Twitter account. The next night he tweeted updates from the Virginia baseball team’s dramatic win over Florida State that clinched an ACC tournament title and an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament:
WAHOOWA! UVA is the lowest seed to EVER win the ACC Title! Way to go Cavs! Next stop, Omaha!
Leung didn’t know it, but he had altered his career path in a way that would connect thousands of Virginia alumni.
For the past two years, Leung has worked as assistant general counsel for Vox Media, which owns SB Nation, a website that runs blogs covering professional and college sports teams. Leung’s own sports blog, Streaking The Lawn—spawned from his Twitter account (@TheUVAFool) in September 2009—is part of the network and draws hundreds of thousands of hits each month.
“It’s almost a dream come true,” says Leung, who heads the UVA Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Council. “I couldn’t have planned it any better. It just really fell in my lap.”
As Leung tells it, he wasn’t even much of a sports fan when he arrived on Grounds. Then he stormed the field after Virginia’s hook-and-ladder play win over Georgia Tech in 2001 at Scott Stadium.
“I was like, ‘This is fun,’” Leung recalls. “We should do more of this—this winning stuff.’”
Leung’s fondest memories as a student revolved around sports, he says. His eyes glimmer as he recounts camping out for basketball tickets in frigid conditions on the concourse between Onesty and University halls. Leung’s law school experience—even as he was president of the student bar association in his third year—was also packed with sporting events. That’s what made his first year away from UVA so challenging, he says.
Then came that first tweet.