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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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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!

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Where Have All the Good Umpires Gone?

Posted on October 29, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

As football fans, it always makes you feel better when you see other sports have trouble with their officials making the correct calls too. It’s called commiserating, look it up. If you have somehow been living under a rock, you might need a reminder that the Washington Nationals made it to their first-ever World Series, facing off against the Houston Astros. In Game 5 on Sunday, the Nationals were obliterated 7-1, trailing 3-2 in the series. Unfortunately for fans of both teams, umpire Lance Barksdale had a hard time in Game 5 identifying a ball vs. a strike. To the novice baseball fan, we can understand the confusion between the two, especially in such a high-pressure situation. But Barksdale has been getting PAID to accurately make the right calls, full-time, for 13 years. The fans, us included, expected more out of him.

With the first pitch of Game 6 set to be thrown just after 5pm PT tonight, are the fans feeling hopeful for better officiating? Of course, they are. The MLB is only a fraction as bad as the NFL when it comes to having the right calls made, and we imagine in the two day difference between Game 5 and Game 6, the officials have had a refresher of the rules from their boss. But, we think the teams, players, and fans deserve some kind of guarantee that things will get better. We think they’d like to see some kind of mandated reform – maybe even a ‘three strikes, you’re out’ policy placed on the officials – to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We’ll likely have to wait until the World Series has come to a close and victory parades have finished up before Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, makes any kind of statement about increasing the accuracy of calls during any game, let alone the championship series. But one thing is for certain, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for better officiating tonight.

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The MLB and Juicing – Name A More Iconic Duo, We’ll Wait

Posted on July 9, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Okay, we aren’t referring to the more ‘traditional’ kind of juicing that was a major focus of The Lonely Island’s The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience. We’re talking about juicing baseballs themselves. For all the baseball fans out there, you may have noticed that there have been A LOT more home runs this season – and you’re not alone. Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander thinks that without a doubt, the MLB is engineering this surge in home runs by juicing the baseballs. He went off this morning, saying that “Major League Baseball’s turning this game into a joke. They own Rawlings, and you’ve got Manfred up here saying it might be the way they center the pill. They own the f—ing company. If any other $40 billion company bought out a $400 million company and the product changed dramatically, it’s not a guess as to what happened. We all know what happened. Manfred the first time he came in, what’d he say? He said we want more offense. All of a sudden he comes in, the balls are juiced? It’s not coincidence. We’re not idiots.” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has already disputed Verlander’s comments, telling reporters that they have “done nothing, given no direction for an alteration in the baseball.”

We’re not here to pick sides, but we will say Verlander’s is pretty compelling. What we do want to know is how the fans feel about altering a game ball in an effort to produce a more exciting game. We’re not talking about adjusting the ball to help one team over another, just to get some more points on the board in general and maybe make the score a little bit closer throughout the game. This is NOT something we’re currently experimenting with our Official Ball from Wilson, as we’re a little more focused in making sure that fans have even more metrics on their players than ever before. Sound off fans and let us know what you think!

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The Perfect Throw

Posted on June 4, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Last night in the top of the 6th during the Houston Astros-Seattle Mariners game, we witnessed the perfect throw. Let us set the stage for you: Houston had runners on first and third when Yuli Gurriel hit a grounder to SS Dylan Moore. He quickly picked up and threw to home plate, ready to watch the runner on third get tagged out. Just one little problem – there was nobody at home to catch the ball. Unfortunately, Mariners catcher Omar Narvaez made the wrong call by breaking away from home plate to backup first base, completely forgetting about the runner on third. Let this be a lesson, catchers: your primary job is to protect home plate. Simple as that.

We hate to see such a perfect throw wasted, and to be honest we’re far more used to seeing that happen in football rather than baseball. This could have been a really fantastic play for Seattle, who could have really used a win to offset their losing record. The real question here, fans, is if this were your player making a split-second call to do the opposite of what he should be doing, how mad would you be? We think that for fans calling a specific play that could have been executed perfectly, they would be ticked off by missing out on additional FanIQ points. Not only that, but they might also vote against giving that player an opportunity to catch another pass, just out of spite. We can only hope that if the fans let a missed pass slide in the long run, especially if it would have resulted in a game-winning touchdown, that the player ACTUALLY learns his lesson and sticks to the play the fans called in the future.

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2019 MLB Opening Day Is Here

Posted on March 28, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Today is Opening Day for the MLB – the true sign that Spring has sprung and that warmer days are ahead. Let’s take a look at what some of your favorite MLB teams use for their go-to hashtags for the 2019 season.

Some of them are great – we’re looking at you St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, and the Detroit Tigers. Others are hilarious, like the Boston Red Sox, but some are just bad and unimaginative.

In case you haven’t been following along on our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram channels (which we have a very hard time believing), we are currently accepting team name submissions for every FCFL team. We’ve had an amazing time reading through your submissions, and can’t wait to see what else you’ve got up your sleeves. Just be sure your team names will provide a phenomenal hashtag that will make every other team’s look lame and like complete garbage. We don’t want you to end up like the New York Mets or the Pittsburgh Pirates.