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FAN Take: Playing Together

Posted on April 8, 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!

Leave it to Nike to swoop in and hit people in the feels this morning with the release of their newest ad. With images of athletes – famous, not famous, young, and old – set to an orchestral arrangement you typically hear during a major turning point in a movie, we’re reminded that we’re not alone in this. There’s one powerful line of text that appears in the ad that we can’t get out of our heads: “We may not be playing together, but we’ll keep moving forward – all 7.8 billion of us.” If that doesn’t give you some kind of sense of hope or inspiration, we don’t know what will.

Tell us fans, how are you “playing at home”? Are you devoting some time to Madden, to really keep your play-calling skills up to date ahead of our inaugural season? Are you spending time focusing on training at home, with hopes of making one of the eight FCFL teams?  Or perhaps you’re working on your dance moves, just in case you get selected as a cheerleader for one of our teams. Whatever it is you’re doing, let us know! Who knows, you might inspire us to find a new way to spend some of our free time!

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FAN Take: Taking Back the Game

Posted on March 18, 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!

After MLB announced it would be postponing the start of the season, but before the government issued some strict guidelines on how to help ‘flatten the curve’ of the COVID-19 pandemic, some players were looking to take back the game. Last week Trevor Bauer, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, put out a call to all MLB and MiLB players still in Arizona to meet up for a sandlot-style game. A few fans that were in town for Spring Training quickly responded to Bauer’s tweet asking if they could get in on the action, but ultimately Tommy Pham (San Diego Padres), Zac Rosscup (Colorado Rockies), Karsen Lindell (Rocky Mountain Vibes), and Patrick Wisdom (Seattle Mariners) among others took Bauer up on the offer.

The game did happen, and it looks like the guys had a great time. While we love that these players were doing what they could to take the game back, we don’t think this will be an option in the near future, especially after what seems like half the NBA is testing positive for COVID-19. But what if these athletes found a way to take the game back, without breaking self-isolation guidelines? Would the fans want to see athletes from different teams and different leagues band together in another way? Maybe they can dive into streaming in teams, playing everything from Madden to NBA 2K? Or do you think the players should focus on spending time with their loved ones and relaxing while they still have the chance to? Let us know what you think!

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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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The FCFL Has New Team Owners – They’re Kinda Funny

Posted on March 18, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

That’s right! The newest Team Owners in the FCFL are Kinda Funny, with co-founder Greg Miller serving as their primary Fan Captain. Fellow Kinda Funny founders, Tim Gettys and Nick Scarpino will join Miller in helping the fans shape the identity of their team.

You might be asking, what do a bunch of guys that talk about video games know about football? Our first response to that is HOW RUDE!?! After all, that’s how WE got here. We’re a bunch of people that love playing video games, including Madden, and love to think we know better than the coach on the field. These are our people. These are YOUR people.

What does Kinda Funny have to say about this new endeavor? “Our business is built on the idea that we aren’t making Kinda Funny for our Best Friends but that we’re making Kinda Funny with our Best Friends,” said Co-Founder Greg Miller who is excited to join the FCFL, highlighting the alignment of brands. “The opportunity to own a football team where our audience makes all the decisions is the most Kinda Funny thing we could ever do, and we can’t wait to get out there and make a fool of all the pretenders to the FCFL throne.”

“Look – the Co-Founders of the FCFL are legit gamers and Kinda Funny Best Friends,” said Patrick Dees, Chief Gaming Officer of the FCFL. “Everything Greg and Kinda Funny does is done FOR their fans and that’s what this league is all about. Personally, I wouldn’t sleep on this group to go all the way in season one. They are in it to win it all and frankly, the other captains and team owners better be ready.”

Previously, we announced Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, Prince Royce and Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson as Team Owners and Fan Captains, and they definitely have their work cut out for them. In their first official message to the fans, Kinda Funny is looking to send Prince Royce to the bottom of the Billboard charts and maybe help bail you out if you flip over Ochocinco’s car. The trash talking is definitely in full swing!

Does this team sound like the right one for you? Be sure to start submitting your team name ideas here before voting begins in a few weeks! Still not 100% sold and need a little help deciding? Take our FCFL Team Personality Analyzer to give yourself a little piece of mind!

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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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FAN Take – America’s Most UNWanted: Kareem Hunt

By Annalece Montgomery

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!

Every day this week, we’ve awakened to a new piece of the Kareem Hunt puzzle, so let’s get you up to speed really quickly:

  • TMZ released footage of a physical altercation that involved Kareem Hunt and a 19-year-old woman
  • The incident in question occurred on February 10
  • The NFL suspended him prior to the Kansas City Chiefs cutting him from the roster
  • The NFL did not interview Hunt upon learning of the incident “months ago” and reportedly did not request video of it until last week
  • Hunt is being removed from Madden 19
  • He entered free agency after no teams chose to claim him from waivers

Predominantly, two questions have been asked over the last few days, including in some interviews our new Team Owner and Fan Captain Richard Sherman did yesterday: 1) Is there still a place in the NFL for Kareem Hunt? and 2) Should the NFL leave the policing to the appropriate authorities? Yesterday during Richard’s interview on The Will Cain Show, he had this to say about how the NFL handled the Hunt issue: “They handled it alright.. there is no win for them, there is no win for anybody. For some reason people expect more from the NFL than they do from law enforcement.” Furthermore, he said the NFL needs to “keep doing what they’re doing” when asked if the league should keep conducting independent investigations or follow the lead of the authorities.

For those that are new to the FCFL, you may not be aware that we have encountered this issue previously. Following the launch of the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles, our proof of concept team, we were contacted by a representative for Greg Hardy, who was looking to repair his image. You might remember Hardy from his time with the Dallas Cowboys…which was cut short due to domestic violence allegations brought against him and an arrest for cocaine possession. With his interest in the team clear, we handed the decision off to the fans – did they want to give him another shot at football? Or would they not stand for such actions by a player? Ultimately, the fans voted against signing him with a majority 50.1% – really, we can’t make this up.

We’ve got a lot of questions for the fans after everything that has transpired, but most importantly: would they give a player with this kind of controversy another chance? From a fan perspective, would you still root for the player? From a team management perspective, would you still want them on your team and how would it affect your locker room? If something like this were to happen with an FCFL player, would you want to see him suspended initially? Or would you want him removed from the league entirely? We want to hear from you, fans, so let us know!

Power To The Fans!