A Clearer Picture – Episode 3

A one on one interview with Cliff Grizzly

Clear – Good evening and welcome to the third instalment in the SFL’s new in-depth player interview series, taking a closer look at the people behind the player. Tonight we direct our focus away from the major league and talk to an individual getting prepared for the nine-week minor league season beginning in October. Standing at 6’5, 280lb, this player stands as one of the highly valued D-line prospects of the season 16 draft. All the way from the Albuquerque Atoms, how are you this evening Cliff Grizzly?

Grizzly – What’s going on! I’m doing very well today. I currently have my hands full with a one-month-old child and am trying to check out some SFL action, but I’m loving life like always.

Clear – As always, I can’t help but ask, how did the SFL find you?

Grizzly – I’ve been a die-hard fan of the game APF 2K8 since it was released. A couple of years ago, I discovered the editor and started watching YouTube tutorials on how it operates. That’s when I came across the Chicago vs Mexico City championship game. When I learned what the SFL is and how it operates, I immediately found the website and got signed up.

Clear – What is the Atoms locker room like?

Grizzly – It’s a room full of current and future champions. We’ve had a lot of turnover with rookies signing to play in the big league mid-season, but everyone who is or has been a part of Albuquerque is great. We never miss a week of progression and we expect to be a tough football team.

Clear – You are one of Ethan Kye’s rookie talents, can you tell us a little about your defensive coordinator?

Grizzly – If you’ve spent any time watching the SFL and studying which players are top-tier at their position, then you know who Ethan Kye is. Albuquerque had one of the best, if not the best defence in the SFLm last season, and Houston are thereabouts in the playoff race this season. That says it all about Kye as a coach. He’s also been very helpful with guiding us rookies on how we should go about making it to the SFL. I’m honoured to be a part of his defense.

Clear – The rookie experience is quickly changing along with the growth of the league, what has your experience been like as a prospect so far?

Grizzly – I’ve loved every second. To say it’s been a long wait for the season to kick off would be an understatement, but I’m so excited to get rolling. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some vets and get involved in creating the “Keys to Victory” articles with (Slinn) Shady, so this league has welcomed me with open arms. The ability to progress our players throughout these past few months has been very exciting. I have to give a shoutout to some guys who have been very involved and kept this waiting period fun: Vernard Smith, Guy Clawson, and “Fierce” Pierce. They have really helped make this experience better as we wait for kickoff.

Clear – The addition of player progressions during the minor league season has excited a lot of people, what have you made of this addition?

Grizzly – I had a vision of being one of the all-time great pass rushers the SFL has ever seen when I signed up. With the progression system, my pass rush ability will be maxed out before I’ve even played a down in the league. I believe the ability to progress in this manner will make more and more rookies excited about signing up. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a standout player from day one?

Clear – Who do you think is the most exciting offensive prospect in your draft class and why?

Grizzly – That’s a great question. I may be a little biased, but our QB, PJ Slaughter, is going to turn some heads this season. His attributes are already through the roof, and I expect him to do great things in the second SFLM season,  hopefully, even lead us to that coveted championship.

Clear – Is there anyone, in particular, you are looking forward to squaring up against?

Grizzly – Oh yeah, definitely. Colin “Fierce” Pierce is one of the guys I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of months and is a great guy. Of course, he’s a QB and I’m a defensive end. It should be a blast to get after him in the backfield. It’s nothing personal of course, I just can’t wait to compete against him and his squad. We start off playing the two teams who made it to the championship in our first two games this season, so I’m looking forward to going out and making a statement early.

Clear – I have to ask, is there an SFL franchise you have a soft spot for?

Grizzly – Can I say all of them? I’d love to play for anyone in the SFL,  but for the sake of keeping things interesting, I’ll name a few. The defending champs in Atlanta would be great. Coach Swole has been very helpful to me, and that’s the closest team to my hometown. Mikey Improta has also been very good to me, and I love those black Chicago uniforms, so Chicago is another one on my list. I also wouldn’t mind lining up with some of the top defensive ends in the league like Duffy in Queen City, Dominguez in Florida, or Norwood in Jacksonville. I really could go on and on, I’ve met so many guys who have gone out of their way to help me that I would love to be teammates with like Michael Percoco, Ross Napoli, Jeff Gagne, and Slinn Shady. Another very attractive option would be to be a top draft pick to one of the new expansion teams.

Clear – How confident are you that Albuquerque can bring the title to New Mexico?

Grizzly – I 100% believe we have the players and staff to make it happen. We never miss progression, and our coaches are very experienced vets in the league that have genuinely cared for this squad. We have all the pieces, now we just gotta step on the field and put on a show. #RadiationNation baby!

Clear – Best of luck this season Cliff and thanks for your time.

Grizzly – Absolutely man, thank you so much for this opportunity. I can’t wait to put on a show and help this league continue to grow as the top simulation league. Expect me to be around for a long time.