Altador Cup Scenes: Swallowed by the Black Hole
Last year, I interviewed elite defender Gordo Gunnels, from Team Roo Island. Today, for the 350th edition of the Neopian Times, at Altador Cup Scenes, I’m interviewing Team Maraqua’s captain, Elon "The Black Hole" Hughlis. He gladly accepted our interview, right before the Krawk Island/Maraqua match.
ACS: Good morning, Mister Hughlis.
EH: Oh please... you can call me Elon... I guess. Or this guy over there. Or, maybe “Hey you there, with the tentacles!” My teammates call me like that...
ACS: We’ll stick with Elon, thanks. Elon, you’re fairly well known for your scoring skills, but most Yooyuball fans don’t know much about your life outside the field. What did you do before playing in the Altador Cup?
EH: Well... I studied in New Maraqua University, in business management. I started to play Yooyuball there, you know. NMU was well-known for its defensive way of playing, and I invented my own pitching style: Elon Style.
ACS: Very well. After your university years, you were hired as a free agent by Team Maraqua, four years ago, am I correct?
EH: Yeah, you are correct. Team Maraqua had a really offensive style, unlike my university, and it took me one year to really get used to the beat. However, I was nominated as rookie of the year. After that adjustment year, I tried my best to be the best scorer in my team.
ACS:Elon, what is the most important thing to know about Yooyuball?
EH: Trust. You have to trust yourself. You have to trust your skills. You have to trust your teammates as well.
ACS: However, your reputation of being a selfish player is making your teammates turn their back on you. How are you reacting to that?
EH: Honestly, having nine players against me on the field, instead of five, is a horrible hassle. No one trusts me, and if you cannot trust your own captain, I doubt there is anyone you can trust on the field.
ACS: Elon, I heard you tried to resign from your captain position; is it true?
EH: Several times. Team Maraqua’s coach refuses every time, though. He says that I’m skilled, and I’m the best player... however, I must admit I don’t trust my teammates as much as I should. I need to improve that, to be a better player.
ACS: I must say I am surprised. You are one of Yooyuball’s biggest stars, yet you are really down to earth. Why is that?
EH: If you had interviewed me one year ago, I would have bragged a lot about my skills and my talent.*nervous giggles* To win, you must play, not talk. In fact, someone told me that Yooyuball isn’t a single player sport; you have to rely on others.
ACS: Yet, you aren’t following your own advice. Why is that?
EH: As I mentioned earlier, my teammates do not trust me, and I cannot return the favor either. It’s something really shameful for team spirit.
ACS: Let’s switch to another subject, shall we? What do you think about all the bad press you are getting for your behavior on the field?
EH: They’re lies, most of the time. The newspaper says that I’m hot-headed, and that I rely too much on my innate skills to practice. It’s totally false. The media is blaming me for my selfish play, but they should have a look at themselves first.
ACS: Why is that?
EH: They do not verify all of their facts. It’s really easy to say that I’m goofing around and not trying to work with my teammates. I do my best, though. Getting rid of old habits is hard. :(
ACS: How did you react to Jair Tollet’s departure from Team Maraqua?
EH: It’s heartbreaking to see a teammate leave, but it’s obvious she was no longer happy with the team. She took the right decision, and I can only wish her the best of luck with Team Roo Island, and I’ll always remember the numerous words of advice she gave me when I started.
ACS: Due to your scoring skills, you have a lot of fans. Do you consider yourself to be close to them?
EH: I try to be, but the Yooyuball schedules are really rough on free time. This is saddening, though. I really wish I could do more for them. I reply to my own fan mail, though. I have no respect for these players who don’t take their time to do that, or to sign autographs. Fans are the reason why we’re there.
ACS: Are there any Yooyuball players you look up to?
EH: Lilo Blumaroo. He got skills, of course, but he also has the leadership to get his team in the top. He’s a mix of brawn and brain. His balanced play is something I wish I could do, right now. However... I made mistakes, and I must admit I did them, to improve my skills as a player, and to be respected by my peers.
ACS: Outside of the field, what do you enjoy doing?
EH: Being a Maraqua native, underwater fishing is my favorite hobby. Well, outside Yooyuball, of course! The feeling of catching a Titanic Giant Squid, having it wiggling its tentacles, trying to strangle you... is something totally awesome. I also enjoy reading novels, especially the one by Agatha Chiastie.
ACS: And what are you planning to do after your Yooyuball career?
EH: Coaching is becoming an attractive solution, right now. At the moment, no top positions are open in the International Neopian League, but I’ll be glad to take up a coaching position in my university. I could also work at the Neopian Stock Market.
ACS: This will be all. Thanks for your time, Mister Hughlis.
After this interview, it seems like most of Elon Hughlis’s quotes were blown out of proportion by the media. He’s also changed; from an egocentric and selfish rookie, this young Acara has grown into a more adult, yet insecure Yooyuball player. Will Maraqua win the cup this year? Only time will tell, but Elon Hughlis has not given up hope yet.