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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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Pour One Out for the XFL

Posted on April 13, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

It’s time to add the XFL to the list of things COVID-19 has ruined. On Friday, it was announced that the XFL had laid off all their employees, and have no plans for a return in 2021. We’re going to miss the mid-game sideline interviews, the interesting kickoff rules (even If we don’t love kicking), and live play reviews. We’re still holding out hope for the XFL to make another go of it. Their 2.0 version was fun – whether you were watching the action on the field, the sidelines, or in the stands. Who knows, maybe they don’t have plans for 2021 because they’re just waiting to see what the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and others are going to do with their seasons. After all, it seems like shifts in season dates for the next year, at the very least, are inevitable.

While we may have roasted the end of the AAF (just a little bit!), we are sad to hear about the end of the XFL. It’s one thing for a league to not do well because of its own shortcomings, but it’s entirely different when a global pandemic destroys its future and potential for success. That is why Darren Rovell’s tweet on Friday comparing the number of games played between the AAF and XFL stung more than it should have. Never fear, the DC Defenders were quick to stand up for the league as a whole, and fire back with some serious snark. Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE us some Darren Rovell, but we love snarky burns even more.

Do we think the fans are going to miss the XFL? Yes. How can you not miss giant beer snakes? We’re sure fans were more than willing to ‘pour one out’ for the league and make their own beer snakes at home. Do we think the fans want to see the XFL make another go of it, once we all have a clear view of the future? Absolutely! We firmly believe fans always need more football in their lives. But more importantly, do we think the fans are ready for the return of sports? DUH!

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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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FAN Take: Boosting Fan Experience For the Digital Fan

Posted on March 11, 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!

Right now, the entire world is watching and reacting to the spread of COVID-19, or the Coronavirus. Major events like SXSW and E3 have been cancelled, music festivals like Coachella and Stagecoach are being rescheduled for October, and many sporting events have been canceled or postponed. As this pandemic continues to grow, we’re sure the list of the events impacted will continue to increase – which obviously creates concern with the NBA Finals just ahead, along with the return of MLB, March Madness, and the Olympic Games.

Last week when the NBA was considering hosting games without fans, LeBron James said he wouldn’t be playing if they aren’t in attendance. Little did he know, while the media was asking that question, the NBA was discussing whether fans should be banned from games or if the games in question should just be postponed. He has since changed his tune, but we won’t lie, we were pretty irked by his initial comments. Why? Because the most important thing in sports IS the fans – and their safety! It doesn’t matter how they watch their teams perform, as long as they watch.

Here’s the special thing about the FCFL, this league was not just created to give fans more control of the sport they love, but it also caters to the digital fan. While we do have seating available at our games, we built this league around fans being able to watch from wherever they want, on whichever device they prefer. So, without actually being present for games of the FCFL, how can the fan experience be amplified? Do you want to be able to do one-on-one video chats with your favorite players in lieu of a meet and greet? Do you want to see more content available before and after games, to get a better feel for how the players felt going into a game or after certain plays? Or, just a crazy idea here, do you want to be able to participate in the half-time huddle? Let us know how we can make this league everything you want it to be, even if you’re self-quarantined at home!

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FAN Take: BYOB – Build Your Own Ballpark

Posted on November 6, 2019

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 had a chance to read SB Nation’s feature on what the American ballpark of the future should look like, and we’re obsessed. The author, Scott Hines, a sports fanatic and architect, challenged new stadiums to include their local community in their plans, make the stadium blend into its existing surroundings, and to make it a true destination. Hines called for all the most important factors we care about to be considered… even though we may not have realized how important those were until reading the article. Here’s to breaking the mold on your standard stadium design to make something truly epic for multiple generations to enjoy!

We want to know from the fans, are these radical ideas amazing? Or do you think the author is reaching with his vision for what the next ballparks should look like? Maybe you fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. The one thing we think all the fans will agree on is that they want to be involved in the process – even if it’s a customary community meeting after identifying ballpark sites. If cities do that for shopping centers and parks, why not for something that is meant to be a fan destination?

Power To The Fans!

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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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FAN Take: Poppin’ Bottles

Posted on October 17, 2019

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!

Last night, the Washington Nationals punched their ticket to the World Series, a first for the franchise. The team swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS with a score of 7-4 in Game 4 of the series. The team has already shown their fun personality, between walking up to the Baby Shark song and having epic dance parties in the dugout, so of course they had to celebrate in style. From crashing interviews with lightsabers to spraying beer and champagne, these guys had a GOOD time. If this is how they celebrate making it to the World Series, can you imagine what would happen if they won the whole thing?!

If it’s your team making history – whether they are making it to the inaugural FCFL Championship Game, or even winning it all – how do you want to see your players celebrate? We’re used to seeing locker rooms lined with plastic sheets and a combination of ski goggles and champagne bottles waiting in front of every locker, which sounds like a blast, but we want to see something a little different. What about you, fans? Do you want to see your team kick it up a notch? Do you want to see the guys running around the field with fireworks? Not the kind that will blow your hand off, but maybe something like the sparklers you see at bottle service. Okay, maybe that still isn’t the safest option, but we’re open to suggestions! Better yet, should we open this up as a fan vote? You could end up having your team run around the field in those fun, inflatable T-Rex costumes if that’s what you all decide on. We want to have all you fans out there with them, celebrating like you never have before. So how would you do it?!

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FAN Take: Work On Your Rage

Posted on October 9, 2019

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!

This. Is. Everything. The Philadelphia Flyers made a major upgrade at the Wells Fargo Center for disgruntled fans: the Disassembly Room. In the room, fans work out their rage on dishes, guitars, and even televisions – all for a fee. We’ve seen rage rooms popping up over the last few years, and we can’t think of a better place to have one than IN your team’s stadium. Especially if it’s been more than a few years since your team has made it past the first round of playoffs. We can think of a few teams that may want to look at making a similar addition – we’re looking at you, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Orioles, and Detroit Tigers.

We understand disgruntled fans – we ARE disgruntled fans. How else do you think the Fan Controlled Football League came to fruition? But we think having a rage room on hand at games could have helped some people from making serious mistakes. Fans, do you think there’s benefit to using one of these rooms? Do you want to see something similar put in place at the home of FCFL games? Or, if you’re not local, would you like to see recommendations for a rage room near you? Let us know!

Power To The Fans!

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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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FAN Take: You’re Outta Here!

Posted on June 12, 2019

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!

For anyone that caught the Texas Rangers – Boston Red Sox game last night, you should have seen both the first-base umpire Vic Carapazza and plate umpire Angel Hernandez hard at work, tossing people from the game. Carapazza tossed both Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi in the fifth inning, while Hernandez booted Texas manager Chris Woodward in the sixth. Based on the video, we can see why these guys were ejected, but unfortunately the umpires aren’t allowed to elaborate any further until filing their reports with the league. For those who are curious, Texas ended up winning 9-5 after what was clearly an action-packed game.

In football, we don’t see coaches or players get ejected from a game all that often – especially not Rams head coach, Sean McVay, who has a spotter to keep him both out of harm’s way and under control. We’re not asking you if you think each FCFL Offensive and Defensive Coordinator needs their own spotter (even though we would love to see that title listed on our team personnel rosters), but we do want to hear your thoughts on what sorts of behavior should result in an ejection? If a coach or player mouths off to an official after being warned, should they be tossed then? Do you think that should only happen if coaches and/or players get physical with the other team? Do you think we should be stricter than the rules currently used in the NFL and NCAA Football? Or do you think we should ease up on some of their rules when creating our own guidelines? Don’t hold back, let us know!