EXCLUSIVE Interview: Crystal Hall of Toronto Triumph [LFL]

Photo: Randy Settle

Crystal Hall of Toronto Triumph LFL (WR/LB #20 5”6/140 28 yrs)

Crystal is one of the best WR/LB in Canadian professional LFL League. She wasn’t that bad as a CB too.. as we've heard. Definitely not a girl to tease. She answered on a few of our questions.

I actually started playing football really late in life, at 21. I spent most of my school years playing basketball and volleyball. My goal was to play volleyball in college, but I discovered football. The opportunity arose when I would go watch my brother play in a small summer league and I became really fascinated by the skill involved. I stayed to watch a few games and came across the most competitive women’s game I had ever seen. I was never offered any type of football at my school like they are now, so when I saw women playing I was shocked and impressed. They were so athletic and fast. I knew that I was hooked from then. I spoke with the coaches, went to a few practices and I have not left the game of football since.

Waking Up The Memories
I’ve played on many teams in the last few years and played with a lot of people, so the memories are amazing. Recently, I have to say that being a member of the Toronto Triumph has created its own special memories. Our team has been around for 2 seasons and as you might know we has struggled through some of it, ending up really close (especially in the 2012 season), but getting that win over the BC Angels in our last game was like no other. My team had worked so hard all season and to finally see that win was a great memory that I’ll always hold onto. It was deserved and it was with some of the most hardworking athletes I’ve played with. We wanted it, went for it and we got it. And of course it is great to say we beat the league champs 

My rookie season was a challenge because I came to the team after the first game was played. The team was re-vamped with more dedicated and experienced players, but the playbook was set. I had to struggle with learning the play book in 8 days because we were heading right into a game versus Baltimore Charm. We only had 8 days to practice, get to know the system and most of the team was new, so we were all learning that system together. The game turned out pretty good for our first game, but I felt like I still had so much to learn about the LFL because the game moved so fast. 

The best part of my rookie season was when we went to play Orlando and I finally had my breakout WR moment. I scored 2 TDs and showcased what I was really capable of. That was what I wanted to carry me through to the next season.

Toughest Moment
No doubt about it and my entire team from 2011 can attest to it: the Philadelphia Passion game. Worst game in the history of my career and worst game in the history of the LFL. If you have heard about it or watched it, there is no need to talk about it. That was a very quiet bus ride home as I felt I didn’t do my part for the team. I would think about all the things I should have done or maybe if I intercepted that ball. It’s a lot to think about and I know now, it won’t happen again.

What Makes a Great LFL Player? 
A great LFL player needs to be competitive and dedicated. This league is not easy to be in because it takes a lot of time and commitment. LFL players play hard and practice harder. It can take a toll, so you have to be dedicated to your teammates by staying involved and keeping healthy as well. We are always keeping our bodies in shape in order to take those hits and give them. A LFL player also needs to be competitive. This is not a league for those who aren’t. There aren’t too many opportunities to showcase your skills so when it’s your time, you have to go hard. I’m very competitive and this league allows me to be. Many of ladies have competed at top levels in other sports, so the competition is high.

MLB or WR? 
My preference is WR. I have always been a WR but I had to really work on my confidence in order to be the best. By the time I got the LFL I was ready to go and get those TDs. I want make more of an impact as a WR in 2013. When I started playing football I was a CB and that is where I started in the LFL. In my 2012 season, I was moved to MLB, which was very different for me, but with how my team was structured that was where I could help my team the most. By the end of the season I was back to CB and was doing what I do best.

TDEU Traditional Q: Kickers 
I’m a huge New England Patriots fan, so my favorite kicker is Adam Vinatieri (who is currently with the Indianapolis Colts). As a kicker for the Pats he helped them win 3 Super Bowls and has done some amazing things. I think his best kick was in 2001 versus the Oakland Raiders in what seemed to be a blizzard. That is what really pushed them through the playoffs and eventually led to a 2001 Super Bowl win.

Future plans
As I mentioned before, I want to make more of an impact as a WR in 2013. I want to lead my team through a winning season and get to the Bowl game. I also would like to make more of an impact world-wide by making the All-Star team and playing in the World Bowl. I know if I stay committed and continue training, I can achieve this goal. You will see me at the World Bowl.

Hope that we will see Crystal playing in the World Bowl, and boys……BEHAVE !!!

Nikola Davidović