Arrival Party is truly a family affair

NEWPORT BEACH — Before Josephine Ozougwu gave birth to her second son, she wanted to make sure to give him a meaningful name.

"We wanted to name him Chetachi, which means, 'Remember God,'" Josephine said shortly after eating during a party at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina Monday. "We knew that there would be times in his life that he would need to remember him and the blessings that he gives. And, this is it."

"It" was the Arrival Party for Chetachi, better known as Cheta, Ozougwu, even better known as Mr. Irrelevant XXXVI. Cheta, the NFL underdog who was taken with the final pick in the league's draft, sported a radiant smile throughout his party that featured several gifts from businesses and groups in Orange County.

Cheta, pronounced "cheddah," was introduced entering the party on a boat ride up to the sand, as he was greeted by the Costa Mesa High cheerleaders. The Houston Texans' final pick showed his enthusiasm for all the love, but he said he was already happy because his family made the trip to Newport Beach with him.

Every year, Mr. Irrelevant brings an entourage. Some of Mr. Irrelevant's group has featured a wingman or two, or even a girlfriend. When Cheta knew he was coming to Newport Beach, he wanted to make sure to bring his family.

"It means a lot," Cheta said of having his family with him for Irrelevant Week, the weeklong celebration of the final pick of the NFL Draft. "I wouldn't be here without them."

Cheta's family was happy to make the trip. They're all here, including Josephine, his father Aja Ozougwu, brothers Chuck and Joseph, and sisters Chinenye and Ngozi.

They all have unique names from Nigeria, where Aja and Josephine lived before coming to the United States and settling in Houston, Texas.

Chuck's name is actually Chukwuebuka. Chineneye and Chuck are twins, and older than Cheta. Ngozi is the oldest in the family. She's three months pregnant, Cheta said, and still made the trip.

Joseph is the youngest in the family at 13. There was no way he was missing a vacation in Newport Beach.

"This is way better than Houston," Joseph said as he gazed at the bay in front of the Dunes. "I'm so happy for my brother."

Each of Cheta's siblings expressed genuine gratitude for their brother, on the verge of becoming a professional football player. He's not there yet. There's this whole thing about an NFL lockout going on. But the Ozougwus wouldn't let that spoil their mood.

"It's all amazing," Chinenye said of the Arrival Party. "All the love, all the support and energy, it's definitely a blessing to be here. We usually don't go on vacations all of us together, only when I was younger. It's great for all of us to be together and feel the love."

Chinenye, also called Chin, spent a lot of time with Cheta during the final day of the NFL draft. They are a part of a religious family that practices Christianity. Chinenye said she prayed a lot before the Texans picked Cheta. She was excited when Cheta was picked.

"The first thing I did," Chinenye said, "was I got on the floor and I raised my hand up and said, 'Thank you Lord,' because it was definitely a miracle.' "

Cheta wants to make the miracle continue. He said he just wants to be the hardest-working player at his position. He knows his family will be there to support him, just as they are this week.

"It makes me happy honestly," Chin said of seeing his brother's joy throughout the day. "He's a very humble person. I don't look at him as being the guy with all the confidence and a prideful guy. He looks tough, but he's so giving. He has that great attitude. He's that guy that comes into a room and lights up the room. He deserves it big time."

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