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The NFL Invades Fortnite

By Annalece Montgomery

Epic Games announced yesterday that fans of Fortnite are about to up their skin game with NFL uniforms. All 32 NFL team jerseys will be available for purchase in the game beginning November 9th at 7pm ET. In addition to the jerseys, players will be able to complete the look with goal post harvesting tools, pigskin gliders, throw football-themed emotes and even change up their appearance with referee outfits.

Instead of receiving a standard jersey for any one NFL team, players will be able to customize the jersey number each time they use and swap out for a different team’s helmet, pants, and cleats. Meaning, if you are suited up in a Green Bay Packers uniform in one game, you can switch it up with a New Orleans Saints uniform in the next game. And to answer your question before we get asked, yes, the uniform skin will be available for both male and female avatars.

You may remember that over the summer, we highlighted JuJu Smith-Schuster and his sick Fortnite-inspired dance moves at training camp and Richard Sherman declaring that Fortnite was superior to PUBG – which team uniforms do you think they’ll have their avatars dressed in come Friday evening? We’re personally hoping to see Ninja have Drake and Travis Scott join him for another livestream in rival team uniforms. Maybe half Cowboys, half Giants gear? Or San Francisco v Seattle?

We’re sure the fans love this, but even better, they are going to love being able to customize their live players in the FCFL in a similar way. When we let the fans vote on which color visor a player has that week or what color cleats they’ll tie on, there are likely to be some crazy uniforms that get put together. We definitely think there will be some fans trolling certain players by putting them in some unpleasing accessories, while others will make sure their favorite players are looking more game-day ready than ever. While we can’t wait to see players in Fortnite running around in football skins when they land at Tilted Towers or play the sheet music by Retail Row, we’re WAY more excited to see what our fans come up with in the real world of the FCFL!

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Andy Dolich Named Chief Operating Officer of Fan Controlled Football League

 

Andy Dolich is now the Chief Operating Officer of the Fan Controlled Football League. Previously, Andy served as a member of the league’s Board of Advisors. He is a renowned sports executive who brings over five decades of experience in the industry, including front office positions in the NFL, MLB, NBA & NHL. So, for those following along, Andy is a sports business OG.

This is what Andy had to say about stepping up his involvement with FCFL: “Over the past two years working with Sohrob and the FCFL management team I’ve seen and the significant progress they have made on this incredibly innovative new league. I wanted to spend more time helping the FCFL. It made perfect sense to join them in a more significant role. I’m excited to be a part of the FCFL, Sohrob and the team are at the forefront of what will become the future of sports.”

Returning the love, Sohrob shared the following, “Andy has been a powerful resource for the FCFL. His dedication to the league as a member of our Advisory Board provided us the opportunity to tap into his wealth of knowledge and experience when making some crucial strategic decisions over the past few years. Having Andy join the league full time is a game changer and another big endorsement for the FCFL.” 

Andy’s appointment comes soon after the recent announcement that Joe Montana, legendary Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champion quarterback, had joined the FCFL as Chief Strategic Advisor and as an investor. Big things happening people, big things!!

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Hollywood Says ‘No’ to Super Bowl LII

By Annalece Montgomery

There have been countless people saying they want to boycott the NFL – whether it’s for the treatment of Colin Kaepernick or their lack of enforcement of a National Anthem policy –add two more A-listers to that list: Amy Schumer and Rihanna.

In a post on her Instagram last Friday, Schumer wrote “I personally told my reps I wouldn’t do a Super Bowl commercial this year. I know it must sound like a privilege ass sacrifice but it’s all I got.” She goes on to say that by not kneeling and giving in to the NFL, athletes and other performers are becoming complicit to the inequality and racism prevalent in our country. Schumer last appeared in a Super Bowl ad with Seth Rogen in 2016.

Last month, it was announced that Maroon 5 would be headlining the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show, which garnered A LOT of mixed reactions. However, it was recently reported that the spot was offered up to them after Rihanna turned down the opportunity. Per Rolling Stone, she said no “because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.” There have been additional reports that following Rihanna turning the NFL down, P!nk did the same thing.

Bringing it back full circle, in the same Instagram post Amy Schumer challenged Maroon 5 to turn down the offer as well. This is normally the part where we would guess at how the fans would handle the situation, but in this situation, we want to hear from you! How do you feel about artists and actors turning down involvement in Super Bowl LII? Do you think they’re overreacting, or do you appreciate them for sticking up for what they believe in? Let us know!

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FAN Take – First-Female Announcing Duo Debuts on TNF

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!

On September 27th, Amazon Prime Video made history with their first Thursday Night Football stream when they brought in a female announcing duo for the stream. Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer are both longtime veterans of the industry – Storm, an anchor for SportsCenter, and Kremer, a sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football. Storm will be “running” the general broadcast, with Kremer filling in as more of analyst role. The two are specifically not defined in an attempt to make the announcing more of a conversation of which the viewers are a part, as opposed to being “talked at.” To watch any upcoming Thursday night game with their announcing, select “Storm-Kremer” from the list of language options.

Many are wondering how this duo came to be. While Amazon did not have the intention of fielding the first all-female NFL announcing duo, it happened organically. Per Jim DeLorenzo, Amazon Video’s head of sports, “We didn’t go into it with the idea of an all-female crew. It just worked out that way and we couldn’t be more excited to have it.” Why did Amazon feel the need to bring in a new duo? Simply to bring more options to the viewers.

We think this is a great step forward for broadcast and streamed sports, and it has us asking the fans what sort of announcers they’d like to listen to during the FCFL’s Twitch streams? Do you care if the duo is all-male, all-female, or a mix of the two? Do you want someone that has been announcing for years – a veteran, a so-called expert, or do you want someone new to the game with a fresh perspective for our league? Do you want to hear a current or former athlete on play-by-play or perhaps someone from the entertainment world on color commentary? How about Madden experts or Fantasy experts? Tell us, fans, who will best enhance your viewing experience?

Power To The FANS!

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Rookies Take Over

By Annalece Montgomery

Week Three of the NFL season has ended with an important message: the rookies are taking over. Three teams now have rookies starting in the quarterback position. When does that ever happen?

In Thursday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets, Tyrod Taylor left the game per NFL concussion protocol, and Baker Mayfield (Texas Tech) entered to win the game. That’s right, the Cleveland Browns won their first game in 635 days. And in so doing, they unlocked small fridges of Bud Light for the people of Cleveland! He will be starting against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Taylor is still in concussion protocol, but we imagine that Hue Jackson would have Mayfield start either way.

In the season opener, the Buffalo Bills were decimated by the Baltimore Ravens, in a 47-3 loss. Their starter, Nathan Peterman was pulled in the third quarter when they were trailing 40-0, and the No.7 pick from the 2018 draft, Josh Allen (Wyoming), was put in. We don’t think it was much of a surprise when the Bills named Allen their starting QB for next week’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Monday morning the Arizona Cardinals announced Josh Rosen (UCLA) would be making his starting debut next week in their match against the Seattle Seahawks, per head coach Steve Wilks. Rosen proved himself in this week’s game, a loss to the Chicago Bears – he replaced Sam Bradford with 4 minutes and 31 seconds left in the game. Bradford will be serving as Rosen’s backup.

So, would the fans want to start a rookie, if they were coaching? They could make the case for a “forced” apprenticeship for the first year. It’s working pretty darn well for Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech), who spent his rookie year on the sidelines watching veteran Alex Smith lead the team before busting out of the gate with 13 TD’s in his first three games as a starter, in his second year in the league!  And, of course, riding the bench in his first season worked out pretty well for another guy, who happens to be named Joe Montana. In his second season (1980), the GOAT took over from Steve DeBerg, and the rest is history!

All that said, we do believe our fans would probably start a rookie if his stats supported it. We think our fans are excited to have anyone on the field, as long as they’re bringing in results. They want to see strong stats and wins – so if that’s going to happen by throwing in a rookie, they’ll be all for it!

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Don’t Call It A Comeback

With Week One of the 2018 NFL season behind us, we take a look at some of the biggest comeback moments we saw from the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, and Green Bay Packers.

The Cleveland Browns have free beer on the line for their local fans, so the pressure was already on them before the team even took the field. Once the game got started, Ben Roethlisberger threw three picks, two of them to the Browns first round pick, CB Denzel Ward. Things were looking up for the team, especially with Josh Gordon coming through to tie the game with two minutes left, until Tyrod Taylor threw a pick and the game went into overtime. One of course was not enough, and the game entered a second overtime, with the Browns missing their chance at the end to win. While the team didn’t win, they finally ended their losing streak.

Could you imagine what it would be like to face off against Tom Brady, a top contender for GOAT status? While we can only speculate, we imagine this could have been part of the reason Deshaun Watson fumbled on his first play back from his ACL tear. Luckily for the Houston Texans, Tom Brady threw a pick to Tyrann Mathieu later in the game. While it was a disappointing game for Watson, the rest of his team was able to keep the game close, even leaving them with a chance to tie it up in the last minute with a Hail Mary. The New England Patriots came out on top, but the highlight here was Watson being able to brush himself off and get back in the game, giving hope to Houston fans for the rest of the season.

Oh, Aaron Rodgers. For Green Bay Packers fans everywhere, the world felt as if it had stopped when Rodgers left the field in the first half with a knee injury. They had already faced enough of last season with a backup QB, and weren’t prepared to do it again. After a scoreless first half, Rodgers reemerged from the locker room more determined than ever to get the game back on track. Racking up 24 points in the last half, Rodgers helped lead his team to victory against one of their biggest rivals, the Chicago Bears, and left with a promise that he would be back next week to take on the Minnesota Vikings.

We wonder how the fans would react if they were on the field, or calling the shots, in these situations. Would they let the pressure rattle them? Would they play it safe and sit out the rest of the game? We think the answer for both of these situations is a resounding no. If the fans were up against Big Ben or Tom Brady after having a terrible record or an embarrassing first fumble, we think they would use that pressure to fuel them – to make them fight harder. If they were injured and knew they could get back in the game to secure the first win of the season or sit out, they would go in. Our fans have proven themselves to not be afraid of a little risk. And with big risks, comes big rewards.

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When A Brand Chooses Sides

By Annalece Montgomery

Flashback to August 2016 – Colin Kaepernick has caused a stir and a movement by deciding to kneel during the National Anthem in protest of racial injustice. Fans, athletes, coaches, team staff, and just about everyone else was divided and torn. While some were cheering on Kaepernick for making a statement, others were booing him for disrespecting those who have served in the armed forces. Following that season, he entered free agency and has not been signed to any NFL rosters, despite having 72 TDs, 12,271 passing yards, 2,300 rushing yards and a 88.9% passer rating in his career.

That brings us to yesterday, when Nike unveiled Kaepernick as the face of their “Just Do It” campaign, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. He has been with the brand since 2011, when he made his start in the NFL. Although terms of the new contract have not been publicly announced, it reportedly gives him his own branded line consisting of shoes, shirts, jerseys and more, and includes a contribution to his charity, Know Your Rights. It also puts him “in the top [pay] bracket of NFL players with Nike,” even though he isn’t currently playing in the league.

The announcement comes on the heels of arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank sending Kaepernick’s grievance with the NFL to trial, denying the league’s request to throw out claims that owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests. As a reminder, Nike is the current NFL sponsor for uniforms. That’s right, not only is Nike standing for what they believe in with this campaign, but they are sending a message to their partner.

We’ve been wondering for awhile now what the fans would do if they were in charge at the NFL, but now we’re really more interested in what they would do if they were in charge at Nike. If the fans were calling the shots at Nike, not only do we think they would continue with Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, but they would include other athletes that have faced the same criticisms. We’re talking about Eric Reid (San Francisco), Brandon Marshall (Seattle), Kenny Stills (Miami), and Seth DeValve (Cleveland), among others. While it can be more than just argued that Kaepernick has received the biggest blows as a result of his protests, we don’t think the fans would want the other athletes excluded.

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Sherman Rips NFL Rule, Again

By Annalece Montgomery

San Francisco 49ers cornerback and NFL Players Association Executive Committee member, Richard Sherman, is making headlines again by speaking out against the NFL’s controversial new helmet rule. You may remember that when the NFL first announced the rule earlier this month,  Sherman was frustrated with the rule, stating it will be ‘a disaster’.

Shortly after his team lost to the Houston Texans 16-13, Sherman turned to Twitter to let the world know how he really felt about the rule. “To all those ppl including those who made the rule. I want a video of YOU running full speed and being lead by anything but your head while also attempting to bring down a moving target. You will soon realize its impossible,” he tweeted, along with a video of a tackle from his teammate Raheem Mostert that drew a penalty flag. But he didn’t stop there. Sherman also shared a video of a rugby tackle, saying it would be penalized in the NFL and that the game will soon become the same thing as flag football.

Just a few weeks ago at training camps across the country, there were reports of officials still debating whether or not this penalty occurred in play. It raises the question of how the officials can be ready to properly call this penalty with only a few weeks before the regular season kicks off. Can the NFL expect officials to fully understand the rule when every time they try to clarify the rule, they only confuse people more?

In the first two weeks of preseason games, we’ve already seen over 25 penalties because of the new rule, with the Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles being tied for the most penalties. Our Co-Founders Sohrob Farudi (CEO), Grant Cohen (CPO), and Patrick Dees (CGO) debated the rule a couple weeks ago during FAN Call Friday, and their views on the matter aligned with Sherman’s. Tune in to see what they had to say, as well get a fantastic demonstration of the three-point stance from Sohrob.

So where do FCFL fans stand on this? While we think the fans do have concerns over serious head injuries to their favorite athletes, they are most certainly going to get sick of all the penalty calls very fast. The game is already long enough as is because of yellow flags being thrown here, there and everywhere, and adding this rule is only going to increase the frustration among the fans. If this rule were brought to a vote amongst the fans, we think they would strike it down by more than a landslide. The fans are here for their love of the game, not for the officials’ love of hearing their own voices after every penalty they call.