Fourteen years have passed since we first sat at Snow Hall and learned that the 1st Battalion of the 158th Field Artillery regiment was being called up for service in Iraq. A lot has changed during that time, so let's take some time to catch up, this time with Norman Nobodies manager Matthew Leal.
Are you still in the 158? If, not when did you get out?
LEAL: I'm not in the military anymore. I got out right after we got home.
What did you do post-deployment?
LEAL: I went back to work, first selling cars and then moving on to office jobs. I've worked for Love's Travel Stops in their corporate headquarters for almost four years now.
Where are your from and how did you make it into the 158?
LEAL: I'm originally from Addington, Oklahoma, although I went to high school in Comanche, like Reed, Peacock and Morgan. I got into the 158 with the help of recruiter Keith Wheeler like so many of us.
Where do you live now?
LEAL: Norman, Oklahoma.
What are your hobbies outside of FF?
LEAL: I like to go camping and to OU football games. I am an avid knife and gun collector, and I'm a family man with a wife and two children.
What is your fantasy background?
LEAL: Long in the tooth, at this point. I started playing before the OIL began in 2006.
How long have you played FF?
LEAL: It's hard to remember exactly when I started, but it's probably about 15 years now.
How many different leagues?
LEAL: It varies, but I average about two a year.
How many championships have you won?
LEAL: Zero. Thanks for the reminder.
How many have you finished second in?
LEAL: I finished second in the OIL in 2007, and that's as close as I've gotten.
What is your general strategy in FF?
LEAL: Not sure I really have one every year. I tried the mock draft thing and failed, so I guess I just wing it and go for what sounds best at the time.
How much preparation do you do before each season?
LEAL: See answer above.
Do you find you draft better at the cabin with the guys or at home online?
LEAL: I think I draft better at the cabin.
Will you be at the draft cabin next year?
LEAL: Yes, for sure.
What is the best move you've made in FF?
LEAL: There’s been so many I can’t think of just one. [Editor's Note: It appears Leal's best move was to draft Tom Brady in the sixth round in 2015. Brady finished second among QBs while leading the Nobodies to a 10-3 record.]
What is your favorite FF memory?
LEAL: Too many to narrow it down to one, but I'd say the best part about the OIL is seeing the guys every year. It was great when it was a few hours a year, but a few days at the cabin blows that out of the water.
What is the pinnacle of your FF career?
LEAL: That hasn’t come yet, but it will.