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PROS ON THE FIELD, CONNOISEURS OF GAMING OFF THE FIELD

By Annalece Montgomery

High-profile athletes are breaking stereotypes about both themselves and gamers with the help of esports. Every week, there’s something trending in the news and on social media about your favorite athletes joining in on the Fortnite hype. Earlier this week, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was spotted pulling out his best Fortnite dance moves at training camp. This isn’t the first time Juju is making headlines for his love of the game – earlier this year he did a live stream with Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Drake and Travis Scott, breaking the viewing record on streaming platform Twitch. We don’t know about you, but we’d love to challenge him in a Battle Royale! JuJu, what’s your handle?

Other NFL stars have jumped on the Fortnite train. While Detroit Lions defensive back Darius Slay took to Twitter to see who wanted to jump in on a PUBG match. Richard Sherman and Eric Ebron were quick to let him know that they were not here for the game.

It isn’t just NFL powerhouses spending their free time gaming – Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, and the MVP of this year’s Stanley Cup Finals, has been spotted parked in front of his XBOX during the offseason. Headset and all. After last season’s performance, we can understand why he wanted to get lost in the game.

And then there’s Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez, who takes his love for gaming (he’s a big DOTA 2 fan) to the next level. He has appeared on multiple panels with some of the biggest names in the streaming community. Its encouraging and refreshing to see individuals like Blake Martinez be so vocal about the gaming industry. They’re lowering the barriers of access to them off the field.

Do you think the team that games together off the field will be the one to win on the field? We think fans would agree that the teams that work on creating a bond off the field shine better on game day. Imagine you’re the one calling plays, you’re not going to fire off a pass to someone you can’t connect with, are you? Whether its staying in to play video games, going out for team meals (where rookies get to pick up check) or giving back to the community, the relationships within the team strengthen their trust in one another when it comes to game time.

Power To The FANS!

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FAN Take – Do eSports Belong in the Olympics?

By Cody Alderton

FAN Take is a series that highlights trending events, issues, and decisions in the world of sports and analyzes how they may or may not factor into the Fan Controlled Football League. We would love to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think about each FAN Take!

A concept that once seemed farfeched might not be so crazy after all as there is a growing belief that eSports belong in the Olympics. It is no secret – Olympic sport viewership is in decline. In fact, The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have become the least-watched Olympics on record, down 7% from the Sochi games in 2014. This leaves us all wondering, what is happening, and how can it be fixed?

Many believe the solution lies within the stratospheric rise of eSports. Especially among younger generations, eSports popularity has seen massive growth over the past three years and as far as we can tell, there is no end in sight. The size of the market speaks for itself, expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2020! Check out the full landscape of the eSports market in the infographic below.

If you are wondering why we may be seeing a shift from traditional sports to eSports, consider their accessibility. Not everyone can be a 6’5″ 250 lb athlete built to compete among the best. Nor do we all have the grace of Michelle Kwan. However, a lot more people can pick up a controller and virtually test their might. Gaming has become a part of everyday life for us. We have mobile games handy in our pockets. We even have portable console systems with Fortnite queued up and ready to go!

So if gaming is so accessible, why not include it in the Olympics? Well, opponents believe that simulating real world sports does not represent the same level of skill and athleticism as actually competing in them. Though eSports require mental focus, hand-eye coordination, and strategy, many believe that is not enough. Should eSports become part of the Olympics? The FCFL is at the intersection of traditional sports – could we be a better fit than eSports for the Games – how about Fan Controlled Football in the LA 2028 Games?

Power To The FANS!

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Pay the Man, Unless that Man is a Running Back

By Cody Alderton

Today, July 24th 2018, Todd Gurley and the Los Angeles Rams agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension worth up to $60 million, with $45 million in guarantees, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. This deal keeps the star running back in Los Angeles through the 2023 NFL season. $45 million in guaranteed money is the most ever for a running back in the NFL to date.

Typically, running backs are not the recipients of the big money that NFL teams are willing to shell out. That money is mostly reserved for quarterbacks, receivers, and defensive impact players. One of the reasons that Todd Gurley’s new deal is so important is that it resets the benchmark of what other star running backs could and should be getting paid.

Le’Veon Bell, we hear you! The Pittsburg Steelers outstanding running back is currently dealing with this very issue. Le’Veon has been searching for his groundbreaking deal since before last season. As no deal was reached before the beginning of the season, Le’Veon played the 2017 – 2018 season on the $14.5 million per year franchise tag. This year is no different and Le’Veon is still seeking a contract with long-term security and guaranteed money like Todd Gurley has just received. Could Gurley’s contract extension be the bargaining chip Le’Veon Bell needs to lock down a big-time contract of his own?

Of course in the FCFL the fans are in charge, so the question is what would Rams fans have done if they were calling the shots in LA?

We think they would pony up! Todd Gurley is not just good, he is special. He is one of the most versatile running backs in the league with the ability to break tackles, catch passes, and score goal-line touchdowns. Imagine letting go of that type of talent only to see him wearing a San Fransisco 49ers jersey dancing in YOUR end zone! Talent does not come cheap in the NFL nor any other professional sports league in the world. Additionally, star players are few and far between so if teams could either pay the player or watch them walk, they most likely would get out the checkbook.

If you were Les Snead, what would you have done?

Power To The FANS!

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FAN Take – Trust the Process

By Cody Alderton

FAN Take is a series that highlights trending events, issues, and decisions in the world of sports and analyzes how they may or may not factor into the Fan Controlled Football League. We would love to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think about each FAN Take!

If you are a fan of the NBA (or if you live in Philadelphia) you have likely heard the phrase “Trust the Process.” If you are unfamiliar, this has been the catch phrase of the Philadelphia 76ers since 2013 when former General Manger Sam Hinkie traded away perhaps the team’s best player in Andre Iguodala with the plan to “start over” and build a promising team from the ground up. Since then, the team has acquired a number of auspicious young players, talented vets, and sound role players leading up to what looks like a very encouraging 2018-2019 NBA season!

So how did they do it? Well, the Sixers took part in a recent sports science summit where Dr. David Martin, the Sixers’ performance and research director explained the team’s development strategy. His answer? “Maybe you can use tech.” An article written in The Inquirer describes in-depth the gadgets and applications the Sixers used to go from zero to hero. Among this technology are devices used to measure tendon elasticity so that players don’t develop tendonitis, cameras that monitor workouts, shot-tracking apps detailing accuracy and more.

In the FCFL, fans have the ability to step into the general manager role of their favorite teams and we encourage them to come up with their own versions of “Trust the Process.” In the FCFL fans will be able to use advanced technology to help build a team worthy of taking home a championship. We will be hosting player combines through which fans will be able to scout players using the latest in sports science tech to help with draft day decisions.

We hope you are ready to show us what you’ve got! What do you look for in a player? Speed? Strength? Maybe you’ll take the TB12 approach and find a player who knows the game like the back of their hand! Whatever it might be, consider using the latest gadgets and applications like the Philadelphia 76ers, and maybe you could become the creator of the next process used by professional sports teams!

Power To The FANS!

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What To Do When Your Best Player Wants Out

By Cole Hammes

Over the past few months we have seen Kawhi Leonard treat the Spurs like a former girlfriend that he’s just not that into anymore. Plain and simple, he’s put them in the friend zone and made it pretty clear he’s moving out of San Antonio when his contract expires after this next season.

Now in an apparent attempt to prove he’s healthy and that other teams should be swiping right real hard on his pic we hear from ESPN that “Kawhi Leonard is seriously considering participation in the USA Basketball national team’s minicamp… an event for the embattled All-NBA forward to showcase the status of his recovery”. It seems like thus far the Spurs have been asking for a bounty from any team looking to trade for arguably the third best player on the planet when he’s healthy, and at this point they’ve come up with nothing they deemed worthy of making the swap.

RC and Pop have been an all-time great GM & Head Coach pairing, having kept the Spurs in title contention consistently for two decades, but it’s starting to feel like this one is slipping away from them.

Of course in the FCFL the fans are in charge, so the question is what would Spurs fans do if they were calling the shots in San Antonio?

We think fans would lighten up on the price tag for Kawhi. With a team like the Spurs with an aging roster, the fans should say “thanks for a great run” and start to focus on re-building, knowing that is highly unlikely that Kawhi is coming back. Plus, the Spurs happen to be in the same division as an improved Warriors team and are obviously out of finals contention anyways for the next couple of seasons. Not to mention, no team will go far with the horrible chemistry among the best player and the rest of the team. The fans want something for the future, and they know that means trading Kawhi for something to start over instead of nothing – but we can’t imagine them doing a deal to make the Lakers better. It feels like a move to send Kawhi to the Celtics or Sixers (who have young assets) before the trade deadline is their best bet.

If you were RC and Pop, what would you do?

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FAN Take – Changing the Course of Football

By Cody Alderton

FAN Take is a series that highlights trending events, issues, and decisions in the world of sports and analyzes how they may or may not factor into the Fan Controlled Football League. We would love to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think about each FAN Take!

It’s not often we see technological advancements influential enough to change the course of an entire sport. In the case of NASCAR, the last time this happened was in the 70’s via the introduction of radio communication between drivers and teams, allowing drivers to communicate potential issues to their crew and crew members to provide valuable spotter intel regarding other drivers.

Two-way radios have been helping NASCAR drivers win races for nearly fifty years. Actually, there have been even earlier versions of radios used in races since the mid 1950’s, however widespread use took place twenty years later. Using radio, a NASCAR driver is able to talk back and forth with their crew chief & spotter and also gives the ability for other team members to listen in.

Today, radio communication in NASCAR races is so familiar that it is hard to imagine the sport without it. Many speedways even give fans the ability to purchase radios that allow them to listen in on these communications, so we have seen (or rather heard) first-hand how important the radio has been to NASCAR.

We believe we are in the midst of yet another technological advancement so big, it just might change the course of sports and how we watch them forever. In the digital age, we see an increasing number of fans turning to live streaming to watch their favorite sports. For example, the Crossfit games, MLB, MLS and NFL are among leagues streaming games and highlights on Facebook. The PGA Tour, NFL and WNBA have streaming partnerships with Twitter. The LAFC of MLS will stream its first season on Youtube TV. The NBA’s G League and the Esports’ Overwatch League are streamed on Twitch.tv. Both the development of streaming services, and the willingness of sports leagues to participate in them has allowed this idea to flourish.

The FCFL is being built for the digital fan! Twitch has bought the exclusive streaming rights to the first two seasons of the FCFL and we couldn’t be more excited to have one of the best streaming partners in the world! Our goal is to change the course of football forever. We believe we are well on our way and it starts with your ability to stream our games live from our Twitch channel. How do you stream your sports? 

Power To The FANS!

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The FCFL Joins the Global Sports Innovation Center Powered by Microsoft

By Jennifer Rottenberg

We are super excited to share with you that the Fan Controlled Football League was recently selected for membership in the Microsoft Global Sports Innovation Center! The mission of the GSIC, as it’s known, is to connect the sports industry to innovation. Even though it’s a network, it’s pretty exclusive – with only about 200 members from 29 countries around the world – and now we’re one of them!

We’re now in the company of global leagues – like La Liga – and top global tech brands, not only Microsoft but also LG, Atos, and others. It’s definitely an honor that our efforts to leverage technology to create an entirely new experience for the digital sports fan have been recognized in this way.

The GSIC focuses on technologies around Fan Engagement, Smart Stadiums, Team & Athlete Performance, and Business Insight & Productivity. We are excited to meet other companies and organizations with leading technologies in these areas, some of which we might be able to incorporate into the FCFL’s development.

The FCFL was recently announced to the other members of the GSIC as a new member, along with companies from Costa Rica, Hungary, Israel, France and Spain – this really is a global organization, which definitely fits with our plans to bring the power of the FAN Token to sports fans around the world!

The GSIC held an event in Madrid, Spain yesterday and unfortunately none of our Road Warrior co-founders could make it. But they did provide us with an opportunity to introduce ourselves to others in the center who were in attendance, so Sohrob put together this video of introduction – check it out!