'Chat Sesh' is a new weekly column in which I (Cale Johnson) or somebody else will have a conversational interview with somebody involved in the league.
To kick off this new series, I spoke with somebody I know I can always count on to give me a laugh. Ladies and gentleman, please enjoy this week's 'chat sesh' with three-time fielding crown winner, three-time all-star and defending JAL champion, Darren "the golden foot" Ayoub.
Cale: As defending champs, will you be disappointed if the Fog aren't the pre-tournament favorites to win JAL XII?
Darren: No. The Fog organization has only ever cared about one thing, winning. And if you look at the stats, we're pretty good at it. However, I do expect to be title favorites in JAL XII. Between me and Jacob I just don't see any other team matching our level of talent and chemistry. It's at a level the JAL has never seen before.
Cale: The league is hoping that Fog vs Lynx turns into a rivalry. What do you think?
Darren: (Chuckles) Yeah I can see that. Could be kinda like the Bulls-Pistons rivalry of the 90's. Both great teams that played a lot of close and meaningful games against each other. It seems like the Lynx always play at a higher level against us. Most teams do. When you're playing the best team that's what happens.
Cale: Who's the Bulls and who's the Pistons in that analogy?
Darren: We're the Bulls. Me and Jacob are like a sexier version of Michael and Scottie
Cale: Are you Michael?
Darren: I'm the captain and leader of the Fog. The game just comes to me naturally, so yeah. That's not a shot at Jacob though, he's the second best player in the league.
Cale: Let's talk about Jacob. Can he continue to play at a high level, or was his MVP performance in JAL XI a one time thing?
Darren: No, Jacob will be an MVP candidate in JAL XII.
Cale: What's with that windup of his?
Darren: That's kind of classified information for us as a team, but I'll tell you this...(Whispers) His girlfriend told him he has to, so therefor he has to.
Cale: You're a three-time winner of the fielding crown. Why do you try so hard back there? Nobody else does.
Darren: Because I'm a winner, Cale. That's all I care about. I like being the best fielder this league has ever seen.
Cale: Both you guys and the Lynx are great defensive teams that play conservative offensively. That seems to be the winning formula in today's JAL.
Darren: Definitely. Defense and our ability to get into the other teams head are our greatest strengths. The 'big idiot', sorry, 'big unit' throws people off with his unorthodox pitching and anything that gets hit I'll put my body on the line to stop. It's really the perfect combo.
Cale: You guys run at the mouth and are full of antics. Because of that, everyone loaths at the success you've had. Would you have it any other way?
Darren: (Grins) Of course not.