As a DE/OLB, Olajuwon (or Olay) Bell, is among the all time leaders in sacks in A7FL History, and has become synonymous (along with his brother Quayim, or Q) with the New Jersey Savage, a team known for their tough defense. Some of the names and faces have changed over the years, but the one constant for those elite defensive units, since day one in 2010, has been Olay Bell.
Bell isn’t your prototypical sized DE. At about 5’10”, 180 lbs (he says 200 lbs), and playing without the benefits of shoulder pads and a helmet, Olay consistently lines up across from much larger opponents. O-lineman literally look down at a man, sometimes 100 lbs smaller than them, and tremble.
If you try to run at him, he’ll beat the block and tackle the runner in the backfield. Try to pass, he’ll swim around the edge and hit your quarterback in less than 3 seconds. Throw quick underneath routes, well, he’s picked me off dropping into coverage from the d-line, twice. The only games I’ve been on the same field as him that he didn’t disrupt my offense, was when we played on the same team in the Fall of 2016.
The New Jersey Savage come into the 2019 Preseason as one of the Top Teams to consider with notable playmakers like Corey Price at QB, Donnell Hubert Jr. (The Ice Cream Truck) at HB, Q Bell (2016 MVP) at WR. But the heart and soul of the team may just be their undersized DE, whose ferocious playing style and constant trash talk emotionally drive this team.
I sat down with Olajuwon to discuss football, winning, and memes (lol).
Q:Tell me about your first experience playing in the A7FL. Who for? What position? When did you figure out this is way different than padded 11 v. 11?
A: My first time playing was actually Savage first ever game (in 2010). We played in North Brunswick I believe against Illuminati. First play of the game I had a tackle. Then later on caught an interception while playing linebacker. I actually played (A7FL) before playing semi-pro so it wasn’t really nothing to adapt to because I played a lot of street ball with some of the people in (the league). I was a little nervous because I was like, “Yo, these are real ballers playing,” and it didn’t help the first guy I had to tackle was J Rolla (Jason Reeves, a huge punishing running back). We actually won that game though and I was like, “Oh, I like this league.” (The Savage) started 6-0 before we lost to the Bombers.
Q: You dominate games at DE weighing 180. Do you take extra pride in being smaller or view your speed and quickness as an unfair advantage.
A: (Laughing) I’m 200. . . I don’t really view it as an unfair advantage. Quickness is a huge plus but I still have to work technique because there are some linemen that aren’t just going to let quickness beat them. I also wrestled, so I got to practice with some heavyweights who taught me a couple moves in wrestling that can translate to the field.
Q: Usually guys as quick and athletic as you gravitate towards a skill position. Now, I’ve seen you with the ball in your hands, you’re no slouch, but what about defense made you choose that side of the ball to focus on?
A: I just love tackling. I always believe defense wins championships and offense is for the flashy guys (laughing).
Q: What’s the most sacks you’ve had in a single game? Season?
A: Most sacks I had in a game is 4 or 5. A lot of teams aren’t allowing me to get more. I don’t remember the most sacks I’ve had in a whole season.
Q: What do you do outside the lines? What’s your average Monday-Saturday like?
A: I work for a steel blanks company. We make parts for different things like guns, cars, hole punching machines, ect.
Q: OK, on the Facebook page you’re the Meme King. Which one or group of memes is your best work and why? I may not use this but it’s funny and relevant. Everyone is meme-ing now, so. .
A: Just so it’s known, I started all of the memes and things. I’m the originator of it. My best work . . . may have been. . . honestly , I don’t know, I had so many funny ones. I was in a lot of wars like with Terry (Roland, a wide receiver in the league), Fitz (a player known as Fitz Gee, or McQueen, a former QB in the league), Smoke (Pat Cobourne, a wide receiver formerly with BIC, now with the U) and the Chiefs. I think maybe Davon (?) when he got flipped in a game so I put him on a stripper pole (laughing).
Q: Back to football, why after almost 10 years do you still play?
A: Few reasons. I still love this game. Its one day you can really just enjoy after a long week of work, taking care of family, paying bills. And my body still has some in the tank for me to perform at a high level.
Q: Now the one thing that you don’t have on your resume yet is the Championship. Savage looks good this year, again. But what is it going to take for you guys to finally break through and win the championship this year?
A: We’re going to have to play for one another and dominate for 4 quarters every game. Chemistry is going to be huge as well.
Whether it’s been crushing ball carriers on the field or roasting rivals online, Olay’s consistently been one of the most dominant players A7FL has to offer. Will his elite talent and brash mouth lead the Savage to their first ever championship? Tune in April 7th to see Olay and the Savage take on the 2018 runner up Baltimore Vikings and see.
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