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FAN Take: Straight to Playoffs

Posted on May 27, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

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 official, the NHL has announced that they are pulling the plug on its regular season. Instead of finishing the season out, 24 of the 31 teams will return for a playoff tournament – if and when the league is given the metaphorical green light to proceed. So while this might be their plan, there isn’t exactly a set date on when it would happen. The proposal outlines that the games would be held in empty arenas in two hub cities, with Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver all being considered. So who’s making it to the playoffs? Check out the breakdown from Axios below:

Source: Axios

We can imagine all the hockey fans out there are bummed that the regular season has come to a close, but we’re hopeful that the league will get the clearance needed to proceed with the proposed playoff tournament. We’re interested to know what the fans think of the proposal itself though! Do they think a total of 24 teams was the right number? Should the playoff format have been more inclusive, or more restrictive? Do they think the league should pick their hub cities based on what’s best for the athletes, or based on the earliest playoff dates? If this were the FCFL selecting a new location, would the fans feel differently about moving games? Or would it not be an issue, given that the league is being built for digital consumption? Sound off and let us know what you think!

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The Match: A Tale of Cargo Shorts and Split Pants

Posted on May 26, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

The Match was back and bigger than ever this year, at a time when we all desperately needed some fresh sports content to tune into! Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning faced off against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in the Capital One-sponsored $20M charity match (oh, so that’s where all of our fees are going). The day’s highlights included the Caddyshack joke everyone had to make when rain delayed the start of the match, Peyton’s terrible first shot, fans roasting Tiger over his cargo shorts, Phil expertly explaining how his shot was going to work and executing it to perfection, Charles Barkley roasting Brady for his failed shot, and of course, Tom Brady ripping his pants after the shot of his life:

Ultimately, (spoiler alert!) it was Woods and Manning that pulled out the win, but as cheesy as it sounds, we feel like the fans were the ones who won this time. Before you judge us for even uttering that statement, remember that this was easily one of the most entertaining rounds of golf we’ve witnessed – from the on-course trash-talking to the mix of horrible and amazing swings, this match DELIVERED. Our favorite part though? The direct lines between Charles Barkley, Justin Thomas and the golfers. Getting to listen in felt like when a reality show breaks the fourth wall. We have to ask, is that something the fans would want to have in the FCFL – a direct line to the players? Whether it’s a direct line from the Fan Captains, the commentators, or even the fans themselves, we think the fans would be all over it!

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FAN Take: Leaning Into Virtual Entertainment

Posted on May 20, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

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 little Coronavirus isn’t going to ruin the Washington Nationals’ party! After a well-deserved World Series win over the Houston Astros, it’s time for the Nationals to unveil their championship rings. Of course, due to the pandemic, the team had to get a little creative. This Sunday night, fans can tune in to a livestream featuring several members of the team as they show off what they worked so hard for. What can fans expect aside from some gaudy hardware? We’re going to guess that the players are going to take their outfits to the next level and incorporate some *interesting* Zoom backgrounds.

Virtual entertainment is part of the new normal, at least for the foreseeable future. And that’s just something we all need to come to terms with as fans. But the good news is we’ve been exposed to new sources of entertainment we didn’t know we needed in our lives, like marble racing. So, what other ways do fans want to be engaged virtually? We’ve already shared plans for virtual interviews with team coordinators and athletes, but what else do the fans want to do? What about virtual team meetings with their Fan Captains? Or maybe Zoom ‘press conferences’ with our FCFL Co-Founders, when they drop some major news for you? The possibilities are endless, especially in a league created FOR the fans, so sound off and let us know what you think!

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Talkin’ Trash

Posted on May 18, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Aside from the actual action of sports, do you know what one of our favorite things is? The trash talk! When you’re watching a game, and you get to hear snippets of what players are saying to one another, or even a close-up shot of a player’s mouth while they’re going off, the entertainment factor is through the roof. That’s why fans of the German soccer league, Bundesliga, must be so happy. When the league resumed action without anyone in the seats, it gave fans an opportunity to hear every little thing on the field – regardless of how inappropriate the language is. In the clip below, fans were able to make out a raw, heated moment between Jean-Clair Todibo and Erling Braut Haaland. Like we said, the insult is definitely a bit much, but that’s not the point. The point is, as various leagues return to playing, we’re going to be able to hear ALL the trash talk on the field!

Do we think that fans were previously reserving their excitement over leagues returning to play when it meant that there would be no fans in the stands? Sure. We can understand why it might be hard to get pumped for a game when you have no choice but to watch it from home – when you have zero say in what’s happening (clearly the FCFL won’t have that problem 😉). Do we think fans are going to start warming up to the idea of sports returning without fans in the seats? Yes! Do we think that getting to hear all kinds of trash talk coupled with the ability to control what’s happening in the game is going to blow fans away? YOU BET!

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FAN Take: Modifying The Fan Experience

Posted on May 13, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

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!

One of the few highlights of quarantine has been Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl’s storytelling, but this week he took his talents to The Atlantic, writing about the hole that the lack of live music has left in our lives. We feel that, just as strongly with live music as we do with live sports (what a surprise), and know the fans do too. But thankfully, artists are taking notice and doing what they can. While it may not be live, per se, people are still experiencing concerts in a different way. Some artists are doing livestreams, others are making past recordings of their concerts available on their YouTube channels, and a select few are doing special concert events in Fortnite.

We’ve previously discussed the impact that VR elements have added to live events for both fans in the stands and those watching from the comfort of home – from an augmented reality K-pop group performing at League of Legends Worlds to the Baltimore Ravens unleashing a bird to soar across the stadium. At the FCFL, we’re all about amplifying the league experience for the digital fan, so we need your help here! We want to know what would amplify the experience of every game for you. Do you want to feel truly immersed into the game with VR elements? Do you want to see those elements utilized to help you feel more connected to your specific team? Or the game you’re watching as a whole? Let us know, fans! At this point, anything is possible!

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Women’s Flag Football Is Coming

Posted on May 11, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Last week, the NFL wasn’t just focusing on announcing their season schedule – they were busy partnering with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to make women’s flag football a sanctioned college sport. They’re working together to make it official by 2021, with the first season to be played next spring, and would require 15 schools to participate. The NAIA hopes to reach 25 participating schools in its first season in order to hold an “invitational championship,” and is already planning for an “emerging sports” championship in 2022, which would require a minimum of 40 schools. Get ready fans, even more football is coming your way!

Do we think the fans are going to be excited for this? Yes! Who doesn’t want more football? That’s a rhetorical question – because we’re convinced that the only people who say they don’t want more football, are just hiding their true love and passion for the sport. Do we think the fans want to see more of this? Absolutely. While the NAIA says there needs to be a minimum of 40 schools for a full championship to be held, we think the fans are hoping to see an even bigger turnout to make the competition a little more cutthroat. If the demand is high enough in college, do the fans want to see some of these top female athletes make their way into the FCFL as field position players? As long as the best of the best are out on that field giving it their all, we don’t see why the fans wouldn’t want to see that! And are the fans now thinking to themselves as they sit in quarantine, “what I wouldn’t give to get out and play some flag football right now?” Without a doubt – and we’re right there with them. 

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FAN Take: How To Make An Announcement

Posted on May 6, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

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!

Let’s face it, football fans everywhere are getting anxious. That’s typical for this time of year though. Normally, fans are coming off the NFL Draft high and are waiting for the upcoming season’s schedule to drop so they can start planning out their weekends. This year though, things are complicated. The NFL has looked at options for pushing back their start date and eliminating bye weeks in an effort to still kick off this year, but it sounds like their official plans are being kept under lock and key until tomorrow night. In a three-hour broadcast on the NFL Network, the league will provide ‘complete team-by-team and weekly schedules of all 256 regular season games, listing opponents, sites and times.’

Do we think three hours is a little much? Uh, yeah. Do we think the fans are going to have a hard time sitting through the entire broadcast? Definitely. When we release our schedule, we’ll keep this at the top of our list of what not to do. But how would the fans want to see our schedule released, if we are foregoing a 180-minute broadcast? Do they want us to drop it all at once, on social media and through their respective team newsletters? Do they want to see us announce it live on Twitch, maybe alongside some of our Team Owners | Fan Captains? What about dropping it, one week at a time? Let us know how you want the news dropped and how we can help you get pumped for the season!

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All-Star Aces

Posted on May 4, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Yesterday we tuned in to watch the #StayAtHomeSlam, a Mario Tennis tournament featuring some of the biggest names in tennis, and a few well-known celebrities. The tournament was put together by IMG Tennis, and gave each of the stars $25,000 to donate to the charity of their choice, with the winner getting an additional $1M to donate. We saw tennis phenoms like Naomi Osaka, Serena and Venus Williams, and Maria Sharapova fall by the wayside, and in the end it was Taylor Fritz and Addison Rae (TikTok personality) defeating Kei Nishikori and Steve Aoki (DJ) in the final. Our favorite part of the tournament? John McEnroe showed up to commentate! Who knew we’d enjoy the ‘bad boy of tennis’ so much in this role?!

Do we think the fans want to see their FCFL players paired up with some of their favorite celebrities for a gaming tournament? Sure. Do we think they’d prefer to be the ones paired up with those players? Hell yeah! While we get the feeling that the fans first choice for a game wouldn’t be Mario Aces (no shade), we think they’d be up for just about anything. Maybe even an entire tournament where each round is a different game. One thing’s for sure – we know the fans would want a say in who they’re paired up with! After all, this is the Fan Controlled Football League, the only place where the fans call the shots!

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FAN Take: Let’s Play Ball… Well, Maybe

Posted on April 29, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

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!

We’ve been in quarantine for what feels like an eternity, with the bulk of us at the FCFL currently in the range of Day 60 – but things are looking up. Per USA Today, the MLB is looking to make a comeback towards the end of June, but definitely by July 2. The plan was shared by ‘MLB Officials,’ who want to remain anonymous because this is all still under consideration. Needless to say, we’re thrilled someone in the league offices leaked this information.

The plan would abandon current league structure, and instead establish three separate 10-team divisions, that would allow for teams to play in their own (fanless) ballparks. While the stadiums will remain empty, fans would be able to catch 100 games from the comfort of home. The proposed divisions would look like this:

  • East: New York Mets, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins
  • West: Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners
  • Central: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers

It should go without saying, but this plan is pending approval of medical experts, league officials, and team owners. But, what do you think of all this, fans? Are you excited to have sports back, even with the stadiums being empty? Are you looking forward to seeing the Dodgers and Astros in the same division after the Astros were exposed for cheating? Or are you more on the glass half-empty side, and are waiting for approval from the MLB before getting too excited? Let us know what you think!