A Clearer Picture – Episode 7
Otis Boudreaux – Kicker – Las Vegas
Interview and image by Jacob Clear
Clear – Yes, after quite the break, this series has been resurrected. Welcome back to A Clearer Picture, the series uncovering the stories and identities of the players within the SFL. Tonight we return with a bang; welcome in one of my good friends within the league Jess Stollings, or the man behind Las Vegas Fury kicker Otis Boudreaux. How are you this evening, Jess?
Boudreaux -Doing well, thank you. I hope that you are as well.
Clear – First of all, who is behind Otis Boudreaux?
Boudreaux – I am a 56-year-old disabled US Air Force veteran who also teaches high school history. I am currently on extended sick leave due to ongoing health concerns. I am also happily married to Kelly. We will be celebrating our 18th anniversary this summer. Between us, we have 4 children; 3 daughters and a son. We share our home with 3 cats and our rescue dog who we named Tolkien, as my wife is a big Lord of the Rings fan.
Clear – Awesome! How did the SFL find you, Jess?
Boudreaux – I actually found it by accident. It was the Spring of 2020 and I had been stuck at home due to COVID for a few months already and was desperately trying to find something to occupy my time. I was flipping channels and saw it on TV. From that point on I was hooked. It was the right thing at the right time in my life, and it still is.
Clear – What is the story behind your player name, Otis Boudreaux?
Boudreaux – Random, completely random. I don’t like to broadcast that I have a “gamer” life since I am a high school teacher and my students might stalk me. I was trying to think of a name that no one would associate with me. “Otis” just popped into my head (can I admit that I was thinking about getting a dog and that was a name I was considering for it?). I asked my wife for the last name and she came up with Boudreaux. It just sounded right. I hate to admit that I had to ask her how to spell it for the first few months. He also has the face of Bernie Kosar. Since I am a life-long Browns fan I thought it was a perfect match.
Clear – Jess, we first talked in Week 3 of the inaugural SFLm season, when you were added to the Madison Lynx as both a punter and a scout. Head coach Berto DeMoura introduced you to the Lynx, how did that conversation come about?
Boudreaux – When I joined the server and introducing myself in chat, I wanted to know how to get involved, and how to start at the bottom. I was advised to volunteer to start scouting. I ordered the game that day and started to reach out to SFLm head coaches offering to help as long as I can learn from them. Berto responded and we just seemed to sort of hit it off. I actually started as a scout and realized that I better not get assigned to another team, can’t scout for one and play for another. I asked what positions were open and punter was an option. I think I played punter a week, then the kicker was released so I moved to play kicker. It has been like a story-book sequence.
Clear – Awesome. You were an integral part of the Lynx both on and off the field in the opening season, but how could you describe the locker room environment and coaching environment with the Lynx?
Boudreaux – Fantastic and supportive! Even though it was the third week when I joined everyone accepted me like I had been there all along. Berto was patient with me as I refined my scouting reports. We were joined by Mike Twinscrew and built just an unbelievable coaching room. You and I spent countless hours looking at game film and breaking down plays. As many know, we went on to come back from a pretty weak start to win the first every SFLm Championship. Even though we have gone our separate ways as players, we still keep in touch and except when we face each other on the field, we are good friends.
Clear – Indeed we are. Speaking of the championship, can you describe the feeling of winning the title and what it meant to you?
Boudreaux – I cant honestly tell you what I was thinking when it was clear we were going to win. I was so excited for my teammates. There were so many emotions, I can tell you this though, I barely slept that night! I woke up the next day and I still didn’t believe it. There was a group of us who even bought Championship rings and yes, mine is on display in my man cave. I think that’s one of the things that brought us together. No one was down on anyone when we didn’t play well and the voice chats during games were awesome! Triumph over adversity!
Clear – I remember it came down to the last play with then linebacker Dameco Ryans batting away a pass to win the game. It was fantastic. Aside from the Lynx, what were you doing within the community during the SFLm season?
Boudreaux – I like editing video so I offered to help guys make hype videos to send to owners, GMs and Head Coaches in the SFL. I found that everyone has their own way of presenting themselves to the “show” so to speak. But I thought if I could help players get noticed, just a little, above the rest of the players in the draft, it couldn’t hurt. I think I made like 10 to 15 videos. It started out with just my teammates, but then I had guys from other teams approaching me, I figured it was the least I could do for a league that was helping me out in so many ways in real life.
Clear – Looking at the draft, how did the conversation go when you found out you were going to Las Vegas?
Boudreaux – Oh wow. It was actually my anniversary so I was watching the draft and my wife was sitting with me on the couch. I had the draft on TV and was also logged into the Discord server so I could congratulate my friends as they had their names called. I had had conversations with the owner, GM and coaches at Vegas and I knew they were interested. But I was thinking maybe late in the 2nd Round, more than likely 3rd before my name was called. While we were waiting on the 9th pick to come in I got a DM from (Slinn) Shady. He asked me “Are you ready” I replied, “For what?” and he told me, “Get ready, we are going to take you at 10.” I think I said something like, “Wait, what? Are you kidding me??” He said, “I am serious, you are our guy and we are afraid if we wait you won’t be there.” I sat there stunned, my wife screamed when she heard the commissioner say “With the 10th pick of the draft, the Las Vegas Fury select Otis Boudreax, kicker”, or something like that. I don’t remember, I kind of went into a daze. I have the recording that I have watched a time or two, but I still don’t remember exactly how I was feeling, but I do know I was very happy and humbled.
Clear – Health concerns held you back from being as active as you wanted to in S15, but of the time you have spent in the majors, how can you describe your experience so far in the SFL?
Boudreaux – It has been wonderful. Even though I couldn’t contribute in the way I wanted to, that I expected to. They were very understanding. I was teaching completely from home and it was just so tiring. Plus I started to have health issues and that just didn’t leave anything for the SFL and that side of it was awful. But the team, the staff, they understood. I feel like that time period is just lost with me. I don’t remember much of season 15 or even the second SFLm season. But, ironically, since I am on extended sick leave, I am able to dabble around with stuff again. It has been great for my spirit.
Clear – You’ve got some time off work now to get your health back on track, and you’ve already started a video series on the Vegas YouTube account, can you tell us a little bit about Fury Finale?
Boudreaux – This was an idea that Jon (Bond) and I had bounced around before the start of Season 15, but I was never able to get off of the ground. I did a couple of test videos this week for the staff and this is the format we settled on. It is an opportunity to show highlights of the games. My goal is to not just show the touchdowns, interceptions, things like that, but to also showcase some of the workhorses, the players who do their job for the whole game but don’t always make the highlight reels. Now don’t get me wrong, the TDs and interceptions will be there, but so will other things. We also wanted a good music soundtrack for it. No commentary, just a visual feast of Fury players doing what they do best. My goal is to keep them under 4 minutes so they can be enjoyed in a short time.
Clear – What does the future hold for Otis Boudreaux? What are we going to see from you moving forward both on and off the field?
Boudreaux – Whatever doors open for me/him I guess. I am really enjoying my time with Las Vegas. I am part of something good there and I want to see where it goes. Eventually, I want to get more involved in the front office. For a while, I was thinking coaching, but along with the editing, I just don’t have the energy right now and later, the time, to do both. We have an awesome scouting department in Vegas, so I am not sure how I could make it any better. So I will continue to create videos and hopefully get better at it. Maybe Assistant GM, something like that, but who knows. I am just going to enjoy it for what it is worth and see what happens.
Clear – Thank you very much, Jess.
Boudreaux – My pleasure!
That concludes another episode of A Clearer Picture. Do you want to be in the next episode? Send Jacob Clear a Discord message and let your story be heard! Have a wonderful week, SFL nation, and I’ll see you next week.