Ashley Jackson, Jett Zero, Ray Bentley, Riley Combs, Beat Writers
Banner Image by J.R. Lawless
We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, full of good food, family, and of course, non-stop football action all day on Eleven Sports / For the Fans. Now that everyone’s had their fill of stuffing, we’re going to jump right back into things here with another installment of Who’s Who. Today, we’re talking with Brayden Hall, Griffin King, Chuck Masterson, Ethan Sneed, Al Lewis and James Norton to see what makes them tick, learn a little more about them… and maybe, just maybe, about ourselves, as well.
Who are you and what are you interests?
Brayden Hall: My name is Brayden Hall, I am 14 and I like to play sports, video games and study history.
Griffin King: Ben from Oklahoma. I’m a 31 year old dad to a beautiful 1 year old. Been a Ravens fan for about 15 years, which is sweet right now. NFL football is my biggest hobby. I also enjoy Madden, Head Coach ’09, coaching blogs and clinic talks, etc. Besides that, I dabble in other sports and video games.
Chucky Masterson: I am 36 years old and a software developer in Indianapolis. My interests are video games, music, and being outdoors. I am a father of my seven year old son.
Ethan Sneed: I’m Ethan Sneed, I’m 15 years old and am from Virginia. I like video games, football, and I’m trying to make my high school football team as a Wide Receiver (hence my position choice to be a WR in the SFL)
Al Lewis: My name is Al “WreckingCrew” Lewis. I’m a New Yorker (I live in the south now). I love NFL football, boxing, women’s tennis, college basketball and college football in that order. I like SyFy movies and nature shows (#Sharkweek).
James Norton: James Norton from Seattle. Love of sports and most animals.
How did you find out about the SFL?
GK: I think I found out about SFL through a forum post on Operation Sports. I have played so many online football games that I was surprised it had eluded me for so long!
CM: I saw a game while out at a bar in Indianapolis. I thought it was a great idea and was a fun thing to watch while out with friends. I was immediately interested and signed up my character at that time.
ES: I found out about the SFL through a plunge through YouTube’s recommended; I was on NFL highlights for a Falcons game and I saw an SFL game that looked pretty interesting. I clicked it and was immediately hooked.
AL: I found out about this phenomenon during my ‘cord cutting’ adventures. Scrolling through the channels, I found 11 Sports Net. At first I thought it was 2 people actually playing each other, when I turned the volume up I realized this was something different.
I caught my first glimpse on Twitch and was hooked – even before finding out I could “go from couch to field!”
~ James Norton
BH: I first found out about the SFL through scrolling on my TV for a channel to watch and found the SFL on Eleven Sports and watched it for the first time
What was the first game that you watched and describe the feeling you received while watching it?
CM: The first game I watched was Carolina Skyhawks vs. Charleston Predators on 8/11/2019. I thoroughly enjoyed the game. It was really awesome how there are live announcers and cut scenes. The league is set up in a very professional manner.
ES: I can’t remember the exact game that I originally watched, but I remember it was a mix of excitement and confusion as to what this league was and how it worked since at the time I knew next to nothing about the league.
AL: It was Charleston @ Seattle (I think Seattle won). The play by play was awesome, but the best part was when I realized these were created players, with cool-ass nicknames and everything. I could be down there! I’m hooked.
JN: Oklahoma City, they were playing against the London Knights. I was absolutely blown away by the commentary and how the production value and concept was so well executed.
BH: The first game I watched was Tallahassee vs Seattle, and I thought to myself “Hey this is a cool mix of some of my favorite things and I should be a part of this”
GK:I couldn’t tell you the teams that were playing but it looked like a fun concept. The way my brain works, I immediately start to think about game-planning, what kinds of choices the teams have made to influence the game, schemes and play calls, etc.
What positions are you trying to fill and why did you select those particular positions?
ES: I am going for WR because it is the position I’ve loved ever since I fell in love with football to begin with, and it’s the position I’ve been playing for the past 4 years.
Although I’m listed as LB/TE, at 6’6″ 275+ I have no problem bulking up to 300 and playing DT. I JUST WANT TO WIN.
~ Al Lewis
JN: I would love to help a team in need of LB or DE, but on offense WR or QB – although there are so many great QBs already, including [Ashley Jackson, interviewer].
BH: My main position is RB and I selected that position because I am small in size and I’ve played RB before, scoring 8 touchdowns in one season as my highest total!
GK: I’ll play anything. I think kickers are undervalued, am intrigued by the value of offensive linemen, enjoy the intricacies of DB play… but ultimately I mostly just want to get on a team and find a way to help out.
CM: I would like to be involved on the offense, particularly in a skill position. I understand there are not many positions available there, so I would be interested in filling a WR spot further down in the pecking order or perhaps a fullback position with ability to transition into a TE or HB spot once my character is established. I would like to fill an offensive spot because I believe I will be the best and be able to help the team win.
In order, I would prefer to play WR, TE, FB, RB.
Do you plan to get involved with the SFL in more than one capacity such as broadcasting, beat team or stats?
AL: Yes, it is my intention to get more involved with the SFL. I just got the game the other day and I’m really interested in the game plan (preparation, execution, etc). I don’t know if my accent (heavy New Yorker) would do well in the booth though!
JN: So far the community has been great, but between my unpredictable career and working out regularly I am just not sure what the future holds. I do plan to try and attend an event or two. Maybe the Draft!
BH: Currently I am planning on just staying in the player category, but I am debating on whether to get into the stats crew.
GK: Maybe stats. Probably not my first season, but I am an analytics guy, and I think it would be cool if SFL had a lot more advanced stats like success rate, ANY/A, or DVOA. As it is right now, there’s kind of a tendency to overvalue counting stats which I don’t think is indicative of a player’s true value. Also, I’m not sure whether it’s possible, but a better game log or All-22 scouting tape could make preparation more interesting.
I would love to eventually get more involved in the SFL besides just as a player. I think it would be fun to do, and any chance to help the league that’s given me a ton of joy so far I’ll gladly take!
~ Ethan Sneed
CM: Currently I would prefer to be a player, but there’s always an option to become more involved once my character is established.
What are your expectations from the team that drafts you?
JN: Just to give me a chance to contribute on some level. I really like the idea of being part of a team.
BH: My expectations from the team that drafts me are that I am used well in the system and they will want me to grind.
GK: Help me help you! I don’t expect to have a ton of clout right away but I’d like to at least have some small way to help with scouting or game planning. If the team needs other stuff at first, cool, but that’s where my interests lie.
CM: I would like a fun atmosphere with active players during games to comment / joke around during games on Twitch or Discord.
ES: I don’t really know what my expectations are, each team with their talent, behavior, and staff/players are all so unique with how they are run that I can’t really say a specific thing I’m expecting besides the fact that I’m hoping the team I go to is pretty well run and a team that I can help.
AL: I expect that drafts/signs me to give me the tools to succeed (wow, that sounded corny). I know I’ll need help getting started with the mechanics and stuff, but I learn real quick!
What values will you bring to your team?
BH: I’ll bring my leadership and work ethic and help my team be successful.
GK: Just humility, an appetite for learning, and a desire to win.
CM: I bring leadership, patience, and dedication to the team. If I am drafted by a team, I would be very loyal to that team and would stay as long as they will have me. I also bring patience and dedication to improve my player as much as possible.
ES: I’d like to think I would bring a light-hearted side to whatever team drafts me as well as being passionate towards that team. I’m also a player that doesn’t take things too seriously (for better or for worse, depending on how you look at it) and I try my best to make the experience on the team a bit more fun for everyone.
AL: I bring focus, hard work ethic and a great sense of humor. The glass is always half full over here!!
JN: To give the team what it needs in order to become a top level franchise. It’s all about making / keeping that winning mindset and culture.
How do you handle trash talk and adversity?
GK: I think trash talk makes things entertaining, but I probably won’t fire back. I prefer to let my play do the talking. Life gets boring without adversity. Conquering your challenges is what it’s all about, so it’s just a chance to do something great.
CM: Trash talk is part of the game and actually fits in with the role-playing aspect of the game. Frequently there might be healthy quarrels among players in the NFL / NBA and can add interest and drama to the story of the game. That being said, I can handle trash talk and adversity with a grain of salt and do not take it personally.
ES: I think I’m the type of player that doesn’t get hit hard by trash talk, I’ve grown up learning to just ignore making a verbal response and take it out on the field. And with the adversity it’s a similar story, if people think that I can’t make it in this league then so be it, they have their opinion and I have mine. I can’t change theirs, but they won’t change mine.
AL: I’ve always been at my best in the face of adversity. A little healthy trash talk is fun!!!
JN: I am old school. I let my play on the field speak for me. Adversity is the only way to get better and I welcome it.
BH: I’ll handle trash talk and adversity by being humble in the face of trash talk and working around adversity
Why should a team select you in the draft?
CM: A team should select me in the draft because I’m the best. The best there’s ever been and I will help the team win! I will be involved in the events and can bring extra excitement and fun to the team.
ES: I think a team should select me if they want a secure offensive player for the far future, of course college in the future might interfere with this but I still want to remain in this league as long as I can. I won’t waste their time on the team and I’ll do my best to succeed.
AL: I should be drafted because I’m big, strong, and good looking. I play whistle to whistle. I’m a hustler, I’ll do whatever it takes (carry your equipment, bring water, whatever).
JN: Because I am the type of player the will put the team and my teammates first.
Teams should select me in the draft because I am a hard-working and hard built RB that will bring any teams rushing attack to the next level
~ Brayden Hall
GK: I’ll be active, invested in the team’s success, really not interested in getting any accolades or the spotlight on myself. I like to be in the background and help the team succeed.
Where are you ranked on the Rookie Big Board and how many check-ins have you done?
ES: I’ve currently been here 7 weeks and have not yet missed a week for Rookie Check-Ins.
AL: I’m ranked near the bottom. I found this league week 10 and haven’t missed any check ins.
JN: I have done all my check-ins since joining. I have lost track of where I rank. I just want a team to believe in me as much as I do myself.
BH: With 4 weeks banked I am ranked in the top 100 on the rookie big board however I am 23rd out of non-signed players
GK: I have 7 check-ins, not sure what # rank that puts me at.
CM: I have checked in currently six weeks (joining at week 8 of the season). I have not missed any check-ins and will continue to check in all off-season until the draft. I want to have as much value as possible when the next season starts.
What are your personal goals for your SFL career? Goals for your team?
AL: I WANT TO WIN. I want to be a Star. I want to grow and get to the point where I’m in the conversation for EVERYTHING.
JN: To be the best player I can to help my team win a championship. If it means statistically I won’t have high numbers but the team wins my play assists with that goal the I am all for it.
BH: My goal is that I want to break records in the RB position. For team goals, of course, I want to win an SFL Championship
Win so many championships that it gets renamed the Griffin King trophy.
~ Griffin King
CM: My personal goals for SFL career would be to achieve the highest possible value for my position. I would like to continue to be involved year-after-year and stick with a team as long as possible. I understand that there are limitations to offensive positions and I would be ok with starting out lower on the pecking order and help the team with blocking as a fullback or tight end, eventually building up enough offensive stats to contribute in a big way. I would like to see the team that I am on be a winner, but again, would be patient with it and have fun with it. Being part of a winning team would make the experience that much more fun.
ES: I one day hope to be able to play for a team that wins a Championship, however many seasons it may take. As for career stats, I don’t have any set numbers in mind. Of course ‘As much as I can in my career to maximize team success’ is the answer I’d make but there’s no exact number for yards, catches, touchdowns, or any of that that I’d like to go for. If I get great stats, that’s great, if I don’t, then that’s fine as long as the team does better because of that.
What is the most important aspect of being on a team?
JN: Making the players around you better and more confident as well as being able to take constructive feedback to learn myself. After all, I am just a rookie.
BH: The most important aspect of being on a team is teamwork, because if your team can’t function very well as a unit, then don’t expect to have a good season.
GK: Humility, work ethic, communication
The most important aspect of being on a team is to have fun. The more fun the team has, the better the league will be, because that is the point: just enjoy the experience.
~ Chucky Masterson
ES: I think the most important aspect of being on a team is humility, being able to be a part of the team and have the spotlight off of just you is one of the most vital things any player needs to have in order to succeed in any sport. It helps in nearly every area of football no matter the position or experience (just ask Antonio Brown how having an ego cloud the size of Jupiter worked out!)
AL: Camaraderie, being on a team with one goal, celebrating with the team after accomplishing that goal.
Have you ever played sports? If so, what sports, and what were your positions?
BH: As stated in Question 4, I do play running back myself in a ten-game season league with my personal best totals being 637 yards and 8 Touchdowns. I have played soccer with my personal bests being 3 goals and 4 assists.
GK: Yeah, look – I was more of a mathlete than athlete. But I played outfield in baseball and pretty much everything in basketball. Ran some track and cross country. Variety is the spice of life.
CM: I played soccer as a sweeper, baseball as a center fielder, and football as an offensive guard when I was in high school. However, the most important thing to me was being involved in anything music. I always did marching band (tuba and percussion), jazz band (bass), and played bass in all the musicals. I was also in bands as a bass player outside of school.
ES: I’ve played football for both my Parish (or as normal people outside of Louisiana call it, a county) and my High School, I played offensive and defensive linemen in the Parish League even though I was 5’6 and 130 pounds at the time so it made no sense and have been mostly a bench receiver for my time in High School even though I’m hopeful my Junior year will be the one I finally get a starting spot in. And before that I played Soccer as midfielder, defended, and goalie since our positions were switched around nearly every game but never really loved the sport the way I do football.
AL: Played football (LB) and basketball (PF)
JN: I was a 3 sport athlete in high school and was captain of both my basketball and football team. I was close to playing college baseball but it did not work out.
Any shout outs or last words?
GK: “Belee dat”
CM: Please consider me as your new WR, TE, or fullback. You will not regret drafting me as I am a dedicated person that will bring value to your team on and off the field. I immediately was drawn to the SFL as I have always enjoyed drafting and simulating in sports games.
ES: I want to thank Christian Christiansen for helping me through my first few weeks in the league and eventually signing me for the last few games of the Pride’s(Now Kings) season when I had no idea what to do, without him helping me along and answering my COUNTLESS questions about the league and what to do I’d probably have never been able to figure out what to do to get into this draft and would likely never play at all
AL: Id like to say thank you for considering me. I’d like to give a shout out to RS14 & WN12
JN: I just wanted to say thanks in advance to the commissioner for establishing this great league along with all the owners.
BH: I’m not here to just sit on the bench, I’m here to lead and win.