By Matt Burnham
Tonight, I flew out to Oklahoma City to meet and catch up with the SFL’s Defensive Player of the Week: Free Safety, Brady Clarke. Two glasses of whiskey, a fireplace, and football talk. Can’t get any more ‘murica than that folks.
Matt: Hey man, I appreciate you taking the time to do this with me. It’s good to finally get a defensive player on here with some new perspectives. Let me start by congratulating you on your Defensive Player of the Week commendation, which is by no means an easy feat. How do you feel about getting that kind of recognition?
Clarke: The recognition to me personally is just a plus of how much my team has been supporting me since I started in the SFL. I watch games sometimes 2 or 3 times a week to choose my progression and it was nice to finally see it all work out.
Matt: Now, we’ve both been in the league and stuck with our initial team since Season 10, myself at San Fran and you at OKC. What are the two or three most contributing factors to you sticking with the team for three consecutive seasons?
Clarke: The first is totally the owner of OKC, most commonly known as Renegade on discord. He was instrumental in my first season, telling me it was going to be great to have me around and giving me the freedom of choice on where I went on my progression as a player. Second is probably all the great teammates I have had over the last couple seasons, notably JW Doyle and Day Drewery. I think third just has to be the thrill of being able to log on every weekend, sit down, and watch some really good football with some amazing people.
Matt: Last week against Dallas, you had a crazy 12 total tackles and 3 interceptions for 40 yards. Unfortunately, the game ended up being a loss in the end. What was your thought process coming off the field? Was that discouraging, or did it spur you and your team on to keep working?
Clarke: The biggest thing I think I realized is that a great game from a player on one side of the ball doesn’t make the game an automatic win and even though I played well, I still lost the game with my team. We would have to hunker down and get back into it. Losses happen and we can’t let it keep us down. I honestly think it spurred us on moving onto San Francisco.
Matt: And then beating us [laughs].
Clarke: [laughs] Sorry!
Matt: It’s all good [laughs]. We know how the game is played and you guys owned it. Going off that idea of motivation, do you have a personal philosophy or a mantra that you live by? If so, how does it affect the way you play, progress, and interact with others around the league?
Clarke: My personal motto is the oldest one in the book: treat everyone else how you want to be treated. It allows me to make sure I am the best I can be on and off the field, whether it be respecting my opponents before and after a game or talking with my teammates in the locker room.
Matt: I love it, man. Words to live by.
This one’s a fun one: If you had the ability to switch to any other position in the game, what would it be and why? Or, do you feel completely comfortable where you are?
Clarke: I am amazingly comfortable where I am. I played safety in Middle School and High School, so all my football knowledge from then influenced my build coming into the SFL and the position. I feel like I am doing what is best for my team at free safety.
Matt: That’s great to hear. People don’t always find the perfect spot but it’s fantastic that you have. Unfortunately, that’s all I got for you. Do you have any final thoughts or comments on your award, your team, the league, or anything at all?
Clarke: I do want to say that I am very humbled to get this award, and I don’t think I would have ever found my way in the league without Renegade reaching out in Season 10, and I couldn’t be more excited by the great team beside me going into the rest of the season.
Burnham will bring more inspiration from another member of the league next week. Stay tuned.