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Tornados Are No Match For Blues Fans

Posted on May 24, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

We’re taking a quick break from everything going down in the NBA Finals (we 👀 you stirring stuff up, Drake) to cover what’s happening in the Stanley Cup Finals. On Tuesday night, fans in the St. Louis area had more to worry about than seeing the Blues make it to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1970 – they were dealing with tornado sirens blaring, warning them to hunker down and prepare for the worst. But the Blues fans weren’t going to let a little natural disaster stop them from catching Game 6 of the Western Conference finals, with plenty taking to Twitter to share what they and their loved ones did in order find a place to watch the game.

We don’t think we need to state this, but absolutely want to put it out there: our fans are the BEST in sports. But that being said, the Blues fans are trying to give you a run for your money. Ignoring tornado warnings is a pretty big deal, but that doesn’t match the way you are all dedicating to building your teams from the ground up! And of course, we don’t want you to miss a single game… but we also don’t want you driving through any natural disasters in order to call plays on game day either. Stay safe out there, fans!

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Golden State Makes It To 5th Straight NBA Finals

Posted on May 21, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Remember how we said Boston ‘must be stopped’ last week? Well, while highlighting the championships that city has been earning over the past 12 months, we may have glossed over our concern that the Golden State Warriors need to be knocked down a peg as well (This is the part where our Chief Product Officer, Grant Cohen, immediately stops reading and demands that this blog be taken down).

Last night, Steph Curry and the Warriors punched their ticket to their FIFTH-straight NBA Finals. And if you can believe it, the Warriors are the first team to do that since the Boston Celtics (1957-66) – apparently we can’t get a sentence in without mentioning one of those pesky Boston teams, even from a historical perspective! Just the way we are rooting for the San Jose Sharks/St. Louis Blues over the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals, we will be rooting for either Drake and the Toronto Raptors or the Milwaukee Bucks over the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

But first, let’s take a moment to focus on what happened in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. We watched Steph Curry completely dominate over his brother Seth on the court (Can you imagine how awkward that next family get together will be? Yikes.). Even without Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors managed to sweep the Trailblazers out of contention by the end of overtime, by TWO POINTS. Just let that sink in for a moment. This comes after the Warriors trailed by 17+ points in three of the four games. Watching the Trailblazers let their berth to the NBA Finals slip out of their hands looked a little something like this:

via GIPHY

We’ve talked about tough losses( before, but this one actually made us hurt for the Trailblazers and their fans. Not only is there the sibling rivalry aspect, but this series really should have gone to Portland, or at the very least gone on for another few games. If you’ve got 1) a significant lead in three of four games and 2) two major players missing from the other team, and still can’t take down the Warriors, you’ve got problems. If our fans were running Portland’s front office, we’d expect that they might smash a few things in anger, at least initially. But after blowing off some steam, we think they would go back through footage from not just the playoffs, but the entire season to pinpoint what changes they need and can implement to better prepare for next season. That, and we think they will start (if they haven’t already) really diving deep into the 2019 NBA Draft Class, identifying the best person to take with their #25 pick in the first round.

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Stay In Your Lane, Drake

Posted on May 20, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Unless you’ve somehow been living under a rock for the last few years, actor-turned-rapper Drake is a MASSIVE Toronto Raptors fan. He essentially has a permanent seat in the front-row at Scotiabank Arena. Per usual, Drake utilized his prime seating to trash talk anyone that could. Last night’s main victim of the Eastern Conference Finals series: Milwaukee Bucks’ Power Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. This went on throughout the entire game, but luckily for us, the NBA on TNT cameramen captured one moment in particular where Giannis couldn’t be bothered to deal with Drake. Obviously, Giannis was pretty busy trying to help his team to a third-straight win. Unfortunately for him, Kawhi Leonard helped bring the Raptors to a win for the second Sunday in a row, after reaching a score of 118-112 by the end of double overtime.

Sometimes you just like to watch the world burn, and honestly, we wish Giannis had given Drake a piece of his mind. It would have only added to the drama of a game that kept fans on the edge of their seats the entire time.  Can you imagine if Giannis had turned around and told Drake to stay in his lane? And maybe refer to him as Jimmy, the character he played on (you guessed it) Canada’s hit teen show, Degrassi: The Next Generation? It could have been everything. While we are the first FAN CONTROLLED league in sports, the fans have been inserting themselves into the NBA for as long as we can remember. We’ve previously mentioned how Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller plans to mess with opposing quarterbacks the night before a game this season, but we can’t wait to see how you, the fans, make your own impact on whoever is unlucky enough to go up against your team. Will you focus solely on trash talking across social media? Will you be sending them truckloads of memes, aimed at letting them know how much they suck? Or are you planning on having a front row seat in the arena, hoping to make eye-contact with someone during a pivotal moment in the game? No matter what path you choose, we can’t wait to sit back and watch.

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Ninja Named One of TIME’s Most Influential

Posted on April 19, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

You read that headline right. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was named as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019. Falling under the category of ‘Pioneer,’ he finds himself in good company alongside Sandra Oh, Indya Moore, Marlon James, Chrissy Teigen, Massimo Bottura, Hasan Minhaj, and Samin Nosrat among others. The only thing better than one of the biggest names in esports being featured on this list? The author of his feature: JuJu Smith-Schuster.

The Pittsburgh Steelers WR famously co-streamed matches of Fortnite with Drake and Travis Scott last March on Twitch. We think he summed up our feelings best by saying this: “I’ve been a huge video-game fanatic my whole life. But people have seen it as childish and a waste of time. Ninja was huge in building up the credibility of e-sports.” It’s about time esports got the credit it deserves! We’re looking forward to seeing more teams like FaZe Clan and super fans like Green Bay’s Blake Martinez make this list in the future. With the FCFL being described as the “real-life Madden,” we hope to see of you fans on the list too!

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The NFL Invades Fortnite

By Annalece Montgomery

Epic Games announced yesterday that fans of Fortnite are about to up their skin game with NFL uniforms. All 32 NFL team jerseys will be available for purchase in the game beginning November 9th at 7pm ET. In addition to the jerseys, players will be able to complete the look with goal post harvesting tools, pigskin gliders, throw football-themed emotes and even change up their appearance with referee outfits.

Instead of receiving a standard jersey for any one NFL team, players will be able to customize the jersey number each time they use and swap out for a different team’s helmet, pants, and cleats. Meaning, if you are suited up in a Green Bay Packers uniform in one game, you can switch it up with a New Orleans Saints uniform in the next game. And to answer your question before we get asked, yes, the uniform skin will be available for both male and female avatars.

You may remember that over the summer, we highlighted JuJu Smith-Schuster and his sick Fortnite-inspired dance moves at training camp and Richard Sherman declaring that Fortnite was superior to PUBG – which team uniforms do you think they’ll have their avatars dressed in come Friday evening? We’re personally hoping to see Ninja have Drake and Travis Scott join him for another livestream in rival team uniforms. Maybe half Cowboys, half Giants gear? Or San Francisco v Seattle?

We’re sure the fans love this, but even better, they are going to love being able to customize their live players in the FCFL in a similar way. When we let the fans vote on which color visor a player has that week or what color cleats they’ll tie on, there are likely to be some crazy uniforms that get put together. We definitely think there will be some fans trolling certain players by putting them in some unpleasing accessories, while others will make sure their favorite players are looking more game-day ready than ever. While we can’t wait to see players in Fortnite running around in football skins when they land at Tilted Towers or play the sheet music by Retail Row, we’re WAY more excited to see what our fans come up with in the real world of the FCFL!

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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!