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Sherman & Beastmode Reunited in the FCFL Owners Box

Originally published November 29, 2018

By Grant Cohen

We are beyond stoked to welcome Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman as the first two FCFL Team Owners and Fan Captains. Of course, both are Super Bowl Champs and future NFL HOF’ers, but, even more than that, they are great guys who have a passion for football and love being fans themselves.

What is particularly rad about their involvement with the FCFL is that they are not just passive owners of new teams in our league who will be sitting in the owners’ box eating lobster and wearing suits – I mean honestly, can you picture Marshawn suited up?? He came out to see our new potential venue this week and flew in on a Southwest flight rocking a hoodie that said “Beast Mode.”

Instead, as part of their role as Team Owner, they will also be serving as the Fan Captain – meaning they will be the head fan for their squads and will help their fanbases make the decisions for their team. In the coming weeks we will be announcing six more Team Owners / Fan Captains for each of the franchises in our inaugural season.

The fan involvement will start in early 2019 with Marshawn, Richard and the rest of the Fan Captains working with their team’s fans to come up with the best names, logos and color schemes for their teams. While Beast Mode and Sherman will certainly have their favorites and will help to pick the best options – their votes are worth just the same as their fans, because in the FCFL the fans call the shots and there are not any special powers for the Team Owners.

The teams will likely take on the personas of their Fan Captains, with Sherman’s reflecting his style as a highly-intelligent, trash-talking, shut-down defender, while Lynch’s squad will be built around the aura of Beast Mode, creating a hardnosed brand of smash-mouth football with a modern and brash team swagger.

And as the season approaches fans of each team will work with their Fan Captain to draft their team’s players and coaches, and when we take the field, fans will be calling the plays in real time. But they won’t be alone in their decision-making. The Fan Captains will be co-streaming their team’s games on Twitch where they will be providing commentary on what they are seeing develop on the field and guidance on what plays they think their fans should be calling… So get ready to hear Richard call a whole lot of the other team’s receivers “sorry” and for Marshawn to suggest runs up the middle on 3rd and 20.

Over the last couple of months we’ve been working with Richard, Marshawn and their respective teams on putting together the details around their involvement and we’ve been extremely impressed with how engaged both guys are. Not just with their fanbases, but also how much they’ve latched onto the concept of the FCFL – where the fans get to have their voice heard for reals.

When we explain the FCFL to people, the number one football situation they bring up is the ill-fated pass call that cost Marshawn and Richard’s Seahawks team the Super Bowl XLIX title. Recently we asked Marshawn what would have happened if the fans had been in charge that day and had called a run instead – not surprisingly he guaranteed it would have been a TD (actually he said it would have been 10 TD’s, which seems a bit extreme).

We are hard at work getting the other six Team Owners and Fan Captains locked in – some will be other familiar faces from the NFL and others will be famous fans from the wider world of entertainment, sports and gaming, as our goal is to create a league where fans of all kinds can find a team that they really connect with.

So if you have any ideas for folks that you think would make a killer Fan Captain – hit them up on Twitter and tell them to get involved, be sure to tag us @FCFLio and use the hashtag #PowerToTheFans so we can rally the support of all of our fans to get their attention!

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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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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on August 19, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

We aren’t even finished with NFL Preseason, and fans are already putting down money for the Super Bowl. According to Las Vegas sportsbooks, there are currently more bets on the Chicago Bears winning the Lombardi Trophy than any other team right now, with the Cleveland Browns close behind them. A senior oddsmaker for Caesars Sportsbook, Alan Berg, shared “every time the Bears go to the playoffs, the following year, the money just pours in.” Clearly, the fans are feeling optimistic! While they may have the most bets, the Bears only have the fourth-best odds (9-1) at Caesars, behind the New England Patriots (7-1), Kansas City Chiefs (7-1) and the New Orleans Saints (17-2). We’re curious to see how these odds change after the regular season has kicked off, especially for the teams that have had major roster changes in the last few months.

With the Fan Controlled Football League calling Las Vegas home, it can be expected that there will be fans betting on our games. Sure, fans can bet on the outcomes of each week’s games and who will make it to the championship game, but what about which fan will be crowned the “Top Fan,” with the highest FanIQ at the end of the season? What other aspects of the league would you want to throw a little money at? Would you bet on how many times Co-Founder Ray Austin gets in the broadcast booth and talks about his days with the Chicago Bears and New York Jets? Spoiler alert: that will happen at least once during any game where Ray is in the house. What about the number of times Team Owner | Fan Captain Bobby Bones comes up with an impromptu song during a livestream of his team’s game? We think the fans will want to get in on some of these more “fun” bets. Let’s make this interesting, fans!

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End of An Era: Gronk Retires

Posted on March 25, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

It’s certainly the end of an era. Sorry Patriots fans, your beloved TE Rob Gronkowski has hung up his size bazillion cleats. Gronkowski, or as everyone knows him, Gronk, announced his retirement on Sunday via his Instagram account. In the long caption provided, he made sure to thank the New England Patriots organization, its fans, and all of his own. 

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It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

The 29-year-old is retiring with his ENTIRE NFL career earnings in the bank – all $54M of it. We know what you’re thinking, “How is that even possible? This dude is constantly partying and that can’t be free.” And you’re 100% right – but here’s the thing: Gronk has lived purely off the money he brought in from endorsements. Even with his hard-partying ways, he might go down as the smartest guy in the NFL for this move.

So what’s next for this guy? DJs Tiesto and Zedd both anticipate a lot more partying in Las Vegas, some FCFL/Kinda Funny fans mentioned him getting in the ring at Wrestlemania, but we can think of something else Gronk can add to his list: commentating for the FCFL this upcoming season. How many of our fans would love to see him in the booth, not only providing his own hilarious insight to what’s happening on the field, but also having to announce some of the various team names you’ve been submitting? Now, can someone get Gronk’s people on the line?

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Antonio Brown Comes Out on Top

Late Saturday night it was reported that Antonio Brown was headed to a new team: the Oakland Raiders, our soon-to-be neighbors in Las Vegas. The Pittsburgh Steelers walked away with a third and fifth round pick in return, along with plenty of criticism from fans of other teams for handling negotiations so terribly. Brown, who inked a 3-year deal for $30 million guaranteed, certainly came out ahead of the Steeler’s, who will be eating $21 million against the cap to part ways with the wide receiver. Ouch.

Aside from this being great news for Brown, it might be better for Jon Gruden and the folks over at the Raiders. Gruden landed himself one of the best wide receivers in the game, and the Raiders earned themselves some extra star power ahead of a big relocation – guaranteeing themselves to pick up fans along the way. But really, this news is most important for every wide receiver set to become a free agent this year. Brown’s deal just set a new benchmark for their agents to use in their respective negotiations. Truly, this is just the starting point for major wide receiver contracts – similar to the quarterback contracts we saw over the last few years where each guy managed to one-up the one before him by a few million dollars.

We know our fans aren’t the kind of people to tell athletes to ‘shut up and play’ – you guys like the drama and the story behind every player. But when it comes to negotiating with another team for a trade, we know you’ll do better than the Steelers. Sure, we won’t have $30M transactions, but we feel confident that you wouldn’t bungle negotiations as bad as the Steelers did. You’re better than that.

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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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Another $9M for Mickelson

By Annalece Montgomery

Last Saturday, Phil Mickelson tee’d off against Tiger Woods for “The Match” in Las Vegas, NV, and there was plenty of drama. When the two marched up to the 22nd hole, the two were tied after 18 regulation holes and three playoff pars. Mickelson knocked in a 5-foot birdie to secure the prize, beating one of “the greatest of all time,” a description he affectionately used for his opponent.

There were plenty of complaints about the match, most of them downright silly. The most prevalent seemed to be that the amount of money on the line was obscene. We get it, $9 million is a LOT of money for a single round of golf. However, it wasn’t Phil and Tiger forcing the hand of any of the sponsors to put up the money for the winner. And for those complaining that the money “doesn’t mean anything” to the golfers, come on guys, you can’t have it both ways. One thing people couldn’t really complain about? The cost.

Unfortunately for television providers, but pretty great for golf fans, there was a technical glitch that allowed fans to stream the match – that was intended to be Pay Per View – for free. Following reports of the issue, most of the broadcast carriers have agreed to refund those who paid $19.99 to stream the match at Shadow Creek – no word from Cablevision and Verizon just yet.

This was the first head-to-head golf match to hit Pay-Per-View, and anyone would consider the prize truly fantastic for four hours of work. We’re curious to how the fans would react to future televised rounds like this for golf? With the competition being so neck-and-neck throughout the afternoon, we think they would welcome more of these. We think the fans may also appreciate watching more of these head-to-head matches, as opposed to the Masters, which hosts 90-100 golfers. The close competition certainly lends itself to unique opportunities for a captivating storyline, and a chance for fans to “pick their team,” so to speak.