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COVID-19: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Posted on March 23, 2020

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

2020 is officially the year we can’t have nice things – no March Madness, no NFL Draft in Las Vegas, and potentially no Olympics. While many sports leagues have been postponing and cancelling games due to COVID-19, the International Olympic Committee has stayed pretty quiet regarding the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, set to take place in Tokyo this summer. But that stops now! After USA Swimming and USA Track and Field both issued letters, urging the committee to postpone the games, Canada swooped in and announced that they would not be sending athletes for ANY sports if the games continued as scheduled, and urged for a one-year postponement. It didn’t take *too much* pressure from others to get the IOC to take action. Yesterday, IOC President Thomas sent a letter to the athletes acknowledging their frustration with unanswered questions about the games, and confirmed that cancelling the games is not an option they are considering. They will, however, have an answer within the next four weeks whether or not the games will be postponed or continue as planned.

Do we think the fans would want the games to happen as scheduled, but in a scaled back fashion? No. Aside from the incredible athleticism of the Olympics, one of the best parts is how grand the entire event is, from start to finish. Having a watered-down version of the Olympics just wouldn’t be as fun. Do the fans think postponing the Olympic and Paralympic Games is the right thing to do? Absolutely. While we, like the fans, are longing for the return of incredible athletes on our screens, we know containing this pandemic is far more important. So fans, take this opportunity to do your part to ‘flatten the curve,’ because the faster we do that, the faster we can have sports back!

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SNL Gets Into Gaming

Posted on October 28, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Esports are finally getting their due – in addition to the enormous prizes for live tournaments, the integration of AI pop stars, and widespread viewership on Twitch and ESPN, they’re being covered by the ultimate program in pop culture: Saturday Night Live. In Saturday’s episode, featuring Chance the Rapper as both host and musical artist, Chance reprised a previous role of an MSG Knicks reporter being thrown into primetime coverage of a sport that isn’t basketball. This time around, he was required to cover the 2019 League of Legends World Championship – of course without any knowledge of the gaming community.

Do we think fans want to see more of esports outside of Twitch? ABSOLUTELY. And yes, the caps were necessary; they were a must to show how confident we are in this answer. There’s been talk about esports making its way into the Olympics, so why not have them spill out into the larger world of entertainment? Do we think the fans will appreciate how spot on Chance the Rapper’s impression of a traditional sports fan learning about esports was? Of course. Watching that sketch reminded us of every time we’ve found ourselves trying to explain how our league is the gamification of traditional football. One thing is for certain, we’ll be rooting for the mainstream expansion of esports while we wait for the FCFL to get the SNL-treatment.

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NFL Kickers Have Nothing On Carli Lloyd

Posted on August 23, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Remember last year when Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey really screwed over his team with four failed kicks during their match with the Detroit Lions, letting each one hit the uprights? Of course you do, it was hilariously tragic. In fact, it reminded all of us at the Fan Controlled Football League exactly WHY we won’t have kicking in the league. Well, earlier this week Carli Lloyd, had us briefly second guessing that decision. Lloyd, who happens to be a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, stopped by their joint practice with the Baltimore Ravens to show their kickers exactly how it’s done. The two-time World Cup champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Player of the Year made a 55-yard field goal attempt look easier than deciding which FCFL team to align yourself with.

If members of the US Women’s National Team can make such fantastic kickers in football, we’re wondering where else they could fit in to the sport. Could the fans imagine Lolo Jones, who specializes in 60-meter and 100-meter hurdles, as a running back? Not only is she crazy fast, but she’ll be able to jump over anyone trying to stand in the way between her and the goal line. What about a UFC fighter like Paige VanZant or a WWE Superstar like Natalie Eva Marie – both of whom are tough as nails, as a cornerbacks? We know we wouldn’t want to have them trying to stop us from scoring a touchdown. While not everyone is on board with seeing women expand into male-dominated sports, we do think our fans care more about watching an entertaining game with phenomenal athletes.

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Serena Williams Was the Best Part of the Oscars

Published February 25, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

You read that right: Serena Williams was the BEST part of last night’s broadcast of the 91st Academy Awards (don’t @ us). During a commercial break, Nike aired a new ad narrated by Williams, “Dream Crazier.” Even if you didn’t watch the ceremony, you will have likely heard it by now because it is being shared non-stop across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and especially, LinkedIn. Seriously, I scrolled through my feed for at least two minutes seeing connections honoring the brand’s latest ad, and rightfully so.

The ad highlights numerous icons from various sports, including WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhhamad among others – all women who have broken barriers and inspired people all over the world. It was almost as if Nike looked at their much-talked about Colin Kaepernick ad and decided, “you know what, we can definitely outdo ourselves.” Thankfully, they didn’t include that as part of the narrative and instead chose to go with this show-stopping line:

So if they want to call you crazy, fine.

Show them what crazy can do.

Do we think our heavily male fan base were fans of the spot? Of course! Our fans know how to recognize true athletic talent, and that was one minute and thirty seconds full of female talent. Just because these ladies aren’t playing in the FCFL (yet), doesn’t mean our fans don’t care. Do we think this will teach some of our fan base to not call women crazy? Hopefully, but even if they do, we get a feeling they’ll soon find out what crazy can do.