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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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Thinking Outside of the Box

Posted on April 6, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

There’s a lot of negativity, worry and anxiety floating around right now, for obvious reasons. So we’re here to share something that may bring a smile to your face. Over the weekend, a trending post on the NFL Subreddit shared every NFL team logo redesigned as an international soccer logo. Not only are the designs themselves fantastic, but as usual, the fans straight up delivered in the comments. So who came up with the concept? Football As Football is made up of six people in Minneapolis who love both kinds of football and “created a simple experiment that explores how American football team logos would look through the lens of four European styles: German, English, Spanish and Italian.”

While this was done around 2014 (you can tell from the number of stars the Patriots have, and the cities for the Raiders, Rams and Chargers), we DO think it’s an interesting exercise to look at logos in a different way, especially as our FCFL fans begin brainstorming names and logos for their teams. Do we think the fans will find themselves doing a deep dive on some of these designs as they work on their team’s branding? Absolutely! Do we think this will inspire fans to think outside the box with their logos? Without question. We think the fans will be turning to their favorite teams across all leagues and their favorite brands for ideas on how to make their logo better than the rest!

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Why Cannons Don’t Belong At Football Games

Posted on September 27, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

While it’s generally hard to surprise us at the Fan Controlled Football League, here we are, having to actively explain why cannons and football games don’t mix. So let’s start with this: we love almost all traditions – whether it’s a certain song playing when your team scores a touchdown or having players leap into the stands to celebrate with the fans – we really eat that stuff up. So what about the ones we don’t love? Well, while this might come as a total shock to some of you, bringing weapons to football games is generally not a good idea. Even if it’s something that hasn’t been used since World War 1. Sadly, Maine Maritime Academy just learned this lesson over the weekend when an official was shot in the head by a cannon during their Homecoming game. Yes. A cannon. A Maine Maritime alumnus brought his own cannon to the game, keeping the tradition of firing a blast for every touchdown. He loaded it with “black powder and a substance that he had made into a wad,” not an actual cannonball, and the ‘wad’ is what struck the official.

As you can see in the bottom right of the video, the blast hit an unsuspecting referee. Don’t get us wrong, we hope this guy has a speedy recovery, but the fact that the school had to state that it would no longer allow any alumni to bring cannons to games seems like something that should have been made a rule years ago. Welcome to 2019, Maine Maritime Academy. With that said, please do not try to smuggle any cannons into the production studio should you attend an FCFL game in Las Vegas. We have yet to make any decision on crossbows and flails, though.*

*We are completely kidding. Do not bring ANY weapons to FCFL games.

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USWNT Have Good Reason To Celebrate

Posted on June 13, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Earlier in the week, we took care of the fans and set them up with all the pertinent information on the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including the schedule and how they can watch at home, ahead of the U.S. Women had their first group play match. Spoiler alert: they absolutely CRUSHED it! They defeated Thailand with an astounding final score of 13-0, setting a new FIFA record in the process. The only problem is people are upset with the team for 1) continuing to score so many goals after clearly having the match under control, and 2) excessively celebrating after every goal.

We decided to ask the fans on Twitter what they thought, and as we expected, the majority of you DON’T think they celebrating excessively, and we have to agree. There are plenty of soccer games where there are no goals at all, so to be able to get 13 is a big deal. Add in the fact that this is a new FIFA record AND goals matter down the line in this once-every-four-years tournament, and we think their celebration was warranted. We think all our fans, including those who didn’t get to vote on Twitter, would have to agree. Some of our favorite moments in football (the American version, not soccer) are all the touchdown celebrations, so why wouldn’t we want to see top-tier athletes celebrate in other sports?

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Listen Up Fans! It’s Time to Start Virtual Scouting!

That’s right, we’ll be taking our first snap this June! But, before we get to that, we need your help, fans, in building your teams! For our inaugural “pre-season,” you’ll have opportunities to get involved in player scouting in preparation for our first-ever fan-run draft in May. And, very soon, you’ll be able to select which of our eight teams you’d like to make your own, and then work with your fellow fans to create your team brand, from the name to the logo, to even an “official team cheer!”

Step one: We’d like you to begin virtually scouting for us! Some top-flight potential players will be playing over the next couple of weekends in the following games:  

East-West Shrine Game which is scheduled to be broadcast January 19 (2:30 pm ET / 11:30 am PT) on NFL Network

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl which is scheduled to be broadcast January 19 (5 pm ET / 2 pm PT) on FOX Sports One (FS1)

Reese’s Senior Bowl which is scheduled to be broadcast January 26 (2:30 pm ET / 11:30 am PT) on NFL Network

If you are ready to start scouting virtually, all you’ll need to do is pre-register for our Virtual Front Office,* and we’ll send you a scouting form to complete, along with directions on how to scout offensive and defensive players, which you can use for either or both games. All fans who submit completed scouting forms (which report on at least one offensive player and one defensive player) will receive their first month free of the basic Virtual Front Office (VFO) subscription AND be eligible to win ONE randomly selected FREE premium membership to the VFO for the 2019 Season! Just sign up here to Scout the Seniors, and select “I’m Scouting Virtually” from the drop down menu to receive your materials.

If you’d like to step it up to the next level and scout potential FCFL players in person, all our fans are invited to attend any of our remaining upcoming Scouting Combines. All you need to do is register here  and let us know which one you’re interested in. Space varies at each facility, so sign up ASAP to reserve your spot!

February 9 – Silverback Indoor Facility, Atlanta, GA

February 23 – D1 Sports Performance, Dallas, TX

March 16 – D1 Sports Performance, Columbus, OH

April 6 – Longevity, Las Vegas, NV

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to get things teed up, but now it’s on you, fans, to get it done. We are excited for how great we know you are going to be. We’ll get your beloved weekly newsletter back up and running from our holiday hiatus soon, but in the meantime, keep checking these periodic updates to keep up to date on all that is the FCFL!

#PowerToThe Fans

*The Virtual Front Office (VFO) is a multi-tiered subscription service that offers access to exclusive content, behind the scenes access, and additional voting and decision-making opportunities. More details on the tiers available and related benefits will be coming soon!

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Calling All Players…Combines Are Coming

First One at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL

Ready, players? Five cities will host combine events for prospective players looking to enter the 2019 FCFL Draft. Players with collegiate or professional football experience who think they’ve got what it takes to play for the fans and are interested in being a part of the league’s inaugural season can register for the combine in their region and submit video at http://bit.ly/FCFLPlayerApplication.

Combine dates and locations:

1/12/19
IMG Academy
5650 Bollettieri Boulevard
Bradenton, FL 34210

2/09/19
Atlanta Silverbacks Suwanee Indoor
4285 Brogdon Exchange
Suwanee, GA 30024

2/23/19
D1 Training
8081 Walnut Hill Lane #1000
Dallas, TX 75231

3/16/19
D1 Training
8080 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43235

4/06/19
Longevity
5975 S Topaz Street
Las Vegas, NV 89120

The FCFL Football Operations Team and registered FCFL fans will evaluate players as they participate in position-specific skills tests and one-on-one competitions. Fans are welcome to attend the combines and conduct their own evaluations, but are required to pre-register for the FCFL’s Virtual Front Office in order to receive Fan Scout credentials for their preferred combine location. Virtual Front Office fans will also be able to evaluate players on the league’s video platform.

“This is a great opportunity for young players to show us what they’ve got! Our league gives players a unique platform to showcase their skills and build their personal brands,” according to our very own Ray Austin, former NFL defensive back and FCFL Co-Founder & Head of Football Experience.

Our Chief Strategic Advisor, Joe Montana, added, “When the FCFL kicks off this June, we’re going to change what it means to be a fan. From the start, at the combine, fans will be able to actually influence who plays on their team. I know there is a lot of talent out there, and I can’t wait to get a look at the guys who think they have what it takes to help us make history!”

#PowerToThePlayers!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLgzcVW3xrw

 

 

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In the FCFL, Fans Make the Rules

Hey there, FCFL Fans!  

 

Recently, we’ve started letting some people in on a little secret – that fans would get the chance to vote on some of the core rules that will define how we’ll be playing football in the FCFL.  We got a lot of excitement. We also got a few puzzled questions along the lines of:

 

Wait, there isn’t even a rule book for this thing?  And it’s supposed to be a real football league? What the what?

 

So, we figured that as we made this news public, we also needed to give everyone a little background.  

 

Shortly after the conclusion of the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles’ historic first season, FANchise’s founders and core team sat down with our “Coach of the Fans” and special football advisor Shawn Liotta to draw up a full rule book for the Fan Controlled Football League.  We wanted a core rule set that enabled a wide-open, fast-paced and exciting brand of indoor football that gave both the offense and defense the chance to make big plays while cutting down on the parade of penalties that all too often slows down the indoor game. After about a month’s worth of work we had a complete rule book – if players and coaches had reported to camp that day, we’d have been ready to start teaching them the FCFL game.   

 

But over the past couple of months, we did some more reflection on what “Power to the Fans” really means.  In the FCFL, fans will get to pick the names, logos and colors of their chosen franchises. They’ll get to shape their teams through history’s first fan-run professional draft.  They’ll get to call every single play their team runs, all season long. Given all that, we asked ourselves whether just pronouncing, “OK, folks, this is how football will be played in the FCFL!” was the right approach.

 

And we decided that it probably wasn’t.

 

That’s when we decided that our fans needed to make history in yet another way – by helping to shape their new league’s rules and style of play.

 

We’re launching the FCFL’s Building the League initiative, where we’ll present a series of questions, options and thought starters to get fans thinking about exactly what kind of football they’d like to see in the FCFL.  We’re going to listen to your thoughts, opinions and suggestions. And shortly after the token sale and issuance of FAN Token, the utility token that will give fans control throughout the FCFL Ecosystem, we’ll conduct a series of votes with the topics distilled down into distinct choices.  Every FCFL fan will get the chance to weigh in on each decision, and the more FAN Tokens you hold the more weight your vote will have!

 

We figured that we’d kick things off…well, maybe we need a new turn of phrase there since FCFL fans might decide to do away with the kicking game entirely!  We figured we’d START things off by asking a very fundamental question – how many players should be on the field at a time?

 

The original incarnation of indoor football, the Arena Football League, featured eight players on offense and eight players on defense on a field that measured 50 yards long by 28 yards wide.  Over the years, many indoor leagues have kept that 8 on 8 setup while others have played 7 on 7. Coach Liotta has engineered some ridiculously high-scoring offensive attacks in both 8 on 8 and 7 on 7 leagues, so there’s nobody better qualified to give you an overview of 8 on 8 and 7 on 7 football:

 

COACH LIOTTA:

“Before we examine some of the advantages and disadvantages of playing with seven or eight players per side, it is important that we set up some initial parameters.  For this discussion let’s assume that we are going to be playing on a regulation size indoor football field that is 50 yards long and 28 1/3 yards wide. We are going to focus strictly on the number of players on the field for this discussion and not offensive or defensive alignments or formations in the FCFL.  We plan to get your input on this at a later date but we envision the FCFL rule set to allow for a variety of offensive strategies ranging from wide open no-back formations with three players in motion and full house backfields to pound the rock in short yardage situations. The FCFL will be fast paced and hard hitting football with the elimination of gimmicky and hard to understand rules of indoor/arena football that have slowed game play and frustrated fans for decades.”   

“Let’s begin by taking a look at the traditional eight on eight format of arena/indoor football.  In this format there are three offensive linemen (center and two guards), a quarterback, and four eligible receivers.  In most league rule sets these eligible receivers are deployed in such a manner as there is a running back in the backfield with three receivers deployed into the formation:”

“This has been the most common incarnation of arena/indoor football over the years, but has commonly been paired with a quirky and hard to understand rule set that often limits both defensive and offensive strategy and alignments.  This is why if you sit down and watch an Arena Football League game it appears that every team is running the exact same playbook. These are tried and true strategies that have been successful throughout the years and are employed by each team. Innovation and variety in offensive and defensive scheme design are virtually non-existent with this style of play.  The benefits to the eight on eight format are that it has been the standard for decades and the rules tweaked over that time to allow for competitive balance.”

 

“By removing one player on both sides of the ball we are presented with seven on seven action.  Now let’s be careful not confuse this format with the 7 on 7 “flag football” style of play. This is real football with three offensive linemen, a quarterback and up to three eligible receivers:”

“With the removal of a player on each side of the ball more “space” is opened up on the 28 1/3 yard wide field.  This creates opportunities for more scoring and getting the ball to your playmakers in space, but also a variety in offensive scheme design.  An offense looking for balance could line up with a running back in the backfield and two receivers split out, as shown above. Pass-happy teams could choose to stretch the defense with three receivers into the pattern and a no running back set:”

“While others might attack defenses with a traditional two back pro I formation or even a three back set:”

“By eliminating a player on each side of the ball there would be increased variety in style of play, and more importantly open space to attack on the compressed field.   The elimination of a player on both sides of the ball would allow for the development of an FCFL rule set that is less restricting to both the offense and defense, resulting in less penalties called and better pace of play.”

 

So that’s an overview of the basics of 8 on 8 and 7 on 7 – now, it’s time for YOU to join the conversation!

 

Sign up for our Fan Token Telegram chat where we’re talking all things FCFL- and FAN Token-related, here.

 

Jump into the “Building The League #1” thread on the FCFL subReddit, here.

 

Or tell us what you think on Twitter with the hashtag #FCFL7or8

 

We can’t wait to hear from you – Power to the Fans!