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FAN Take: Life After Football

Posted on November 20, 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!

The last time we prepared ourselves for an exciting announcement from former TE Rob Gronkowski, we were left disappointed – although we did appreciate him being open about his reasoning behind leaving the NFL behind. So naturally, this week when we heard there would be another announcement from Gronk, we weren’t expecting much. To our surprise, yesterday he announced he’ll be making an appearance in Miami for the Super Bowl – but instead of on the field, it will be to host a one-day music festival the day before the big game. “Gronk Beach,” will feature artists like Diplo, Kaskade and Flo Rida and while we think the name is lacking some creativity, we are loving the event logo. Clearly, Gronk’s having a great time after ending his NFL career.

We always enjoy seeing NFL players have a career after football, especially one that isn’t just serving as an analyst on a sports network. Our very own Co-Founder Ray Austin became an actor, model and entrepreneur after hanging his jersey up for good. So what kind of career paths do the fans hope to see their players take after playing in the FCFL? Do they want to see a few stick around in the FCFL as coaches? What about working with some of the fantastic corporate partners of the league, including Twitch? Maybe even follow in the footsteps of Ray and show up on some of your favorite tv shows? Let us know!

Power To The Fans!

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FAN Take: Get Your Head Right

Posted on August 28, 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!

Alright, fans – it’s time we dive into some deeper subject matter: mental health. On Saturday night, Andrew Luck retired from the NFL, citing his need for a different and more healthy way of life. He sustained a laundry list of injuries during his career, including a torn abdomen, concussions, a torn labrum, and a lacerated kidney. And that’s just some of his injuries. So, we think his reasoning is pretty valid. “This is not an easy decision. Honestly, it’s the hardest decision of my life,” Luck told the press. “But it is the right decision for me. For the last four years, I’ve been in a cycle of injury, pain, rehab. And it’s been unceasing and unrelenting both in season and offseason. I’ve felt stuck in it and the only way I see out is to no longer play football. It’s taken the joy out of this game.” If you’re still questioning the necessity of him leaving the game to pursue a more full life, consider the fact that he’s walking away from a contract that offers him $51.8M in future money and the shot at a career that could have taken him to the Super Bowl and Hall of Fame.

Luck wasn’t the only NFL star to retire early this year. Rob Gronkowski hung up his jersey for good in March, and yesterday announced what his next chapter would be. We all thought was him entering the wrestling ring on a more regular basis, but instead revealed he would be partnering with CBDMedic. He shared with reporters that the physical pain brought on by football had a negative impact on his well-being. In his own words, “Football was bringing me down, and I didn’t like it… I was losing that joy in life, the joy. I really was.” He describes his use of CBD products “life-changing,” and that physically, he could absolutely come back to football – but it’s the need for mental rest that is keeping him from coming out of retirement.

Naturally, we want some insight from the fans when it comes to their players’ mental health. Do sports leagues need to put a bigger focus on the mental well-being of athletes? Do you think the FCFL needs to prioritize an athlete’s mental health over their physical health? Do you think they should be valuing their own health higher than what’s best for the team as a whole? If an athlete is looking for help, do you think CBD products should be made available to them without any repercussions in the league? Let us know what you think!

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How Many Tight Ends Does It Take To Replace Gronk?

Posted on July 24, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Answer: more than five, apparently. Earlier today, the New England Patriots signed Lance Kendricks to fill the Gronk-sized hole on the roster. But it should be noted that he certainly was not the only one signed for that position. The folks at For The Win! put together a timeline of all the transactions (and other notable events) the Pats have made:

  1. Signed Matt LaCosse, March 15
  2. Signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins, April 10
  3. Traded Jacob Hollister to the Seattle Seahawks, April 29
  4. Signed undrafted free agent Andrew Beck, May 4
  5. Signed Ben Watson, May 10
  6. Watson gets suspended for four games, Late May
  7. Released Seferian-Jenkins, June 4
  8. Traded with the Detroit Lions for Michael Roberts, June 13
  9. Trade for Roberts falls apart, June 14
  10. Signed Lance Kendricks, July 24

With 43 days left until the start of the regular NFL season, we wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few move moves made by the Patriots to replace Gronk. Now, we know the fans won’t go this HAM in an effort to replace one of their players after they hang up their jersey for good, but we do think they’ll be extremely thorough in the scouting process. It’s one thing to watch along with the draft and throw in your votes for who will make the cut, but it’s another to make sure the best talent ends up at the draft! So keep those eyes peeled fans, make sure you’re scouting out the best talent to end up on your team!

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March Madness: NFL QB Edition

To nobody’s surprise, NCAAM March Madness is completely dominating headlines on ESPN, Bleacher Report, and virtually every sports-based website, with the exception of the Gronk news of course. But let’s face it, we live and breathe football at the FCFL, so we decided we needed something to bring this amazing sport back to the forefront of your minds. Enter, the NFL QB Edition of March Madness.

ESPN published their 2019 QB Confidence Index, ranking the NFL quarterback situations 1-32. Sure, this was posted back in January, but it still holds up pretty well. While ESPN ranked all 32 QBs in one group, we went ahead and separated them by the respective conferences. So all this week, the fans will be voting on these match-ups to crown their champion on our Twitter and Instagram accounts. Not following us yet? We guess now is as good a time as any to stop living under that rock!

For the NFC, ranking is as follows:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. New Orleans Saints
  3. Seattle Seahawks
  4. Green Bay Packers
  5. Atlanta Falcons
  6. Minnesota Vikings
  7. Detroit Lions
  8. Los Angeles Rams
  9. Dallas Cowboys
  10. Carolina Panthers
  11. Chicago Bears
  12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  13. San Francisco 49ers
  14. Arizona Cardinals
  15. New York Giants
  16. Washington Redskins

For the AFC, ranking is as follows:

  1. Indianapolis Colts
  2. Kansas City Chiefs
  3. New England Patriots
  4. Los Angeles Chargers
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers
  6. Houston Texans
  7. Oakland Raiders
  8. Cincinnati Bengals
  9. Cleveland Browns
  10. Tennessee Titans
  11. Baltimore Ravens
  12. New York Jets
  13. Buffalo Bills
  14. Denver Broncos
  15. Miami Dolphins
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars
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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. 

View this post on Instagram

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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Is That The New England Patriots Or A High School Team?

On Sunday, Tom Brady set yet another record. As of Sunday, Brady is at the top of the list for most touchdown passes (regular-season and playoffs) with a whopping 582. While he may trail Peyton Manning (539) and Drew Brees (518) for the most regular-season, he’s also been to a LOT of playoff games and made plenty of Super Bowl appearances to rack up his overall total. Unfortunately for him, the rest of his team did not play as well as he did on Sunday.

With a mere seven seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter, the Miami Dolphins executed a 69-yard hook-and-lateral touchdown to win the game, 34-33. A lot of fans expected more from the Patriots defense that game and – wait a minute – was that Rob Gronkowski on defense? It was. In a press interview earlier this week, Bill Belichick explained that Gronk was thrown in for the last play because “it would be his ability to play the deep, long throw,” anticipating that Miami would have attempted a Hail Mary. It wasn’t the worst idea, as it wouldn’t be the first time they threw him in for a play like that. But boy, was he wrong. While we all expected the same from Miami, we would also think that an NFL coach that had been to the Super Bowl 8 times (with 5 rings to show for it) would have prepared for something else to be coming. You know, especially considering that Ryan Tannehill’s arm strength and leg injury would likely prohibit him from successfully throwing a bomb down the field. But what do we, and several sports talk radio pros, know?

We’re not sure if its more impressive that the Dolphins had actually been practicing that crazy play than it would have been if they just pulled that out of thin air. What we want to know, is if the fans would vote for their team to practice such a play, knowing that its proper execution could completely shake up the playoff standings. The short answer – yes, we think they would want to be prepared for any late game situation. Unlike the Patriots, apparently.

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FAN Take – Gaming: Connecting Athletes and Fans

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!

We’ve talked about well-known NFL players that have voiced their love for gaming, whether it’s PUBG, Fortnite, or any other game – but NBA players like Kenneth Faried are into it too! So much so that it was announced last week that the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) had partnered up with ReadyUp.  Together they will launch an “esports smart calendar that will act as the comprehensive source to find esports matches, tournaments, and livestreams that includes video game fan experiences and media events with NBA Players.” The players will be filling in the calendar with their own game livestreaming events so that fans are able to either watch or join in and play.

With 85% of NBA players playing video games, what do you think the percentage is like in the MLB, NHL, MLS, and NFL? How pumped would the fans be to see this kind of calendar put together across other sports as well? You could be watching Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels) one day and Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders) the next? Would you rather watch these athletes stream or get in on the action? If you’re just spectating, would you team up with some of your friends to watch your favorite athletes? Would you want to see a calendar like the one NBPA and ReadyUp are making for FCFL athletes? Maybe even some of the coaches, depending on how savvy they really are? We want to know how important it is to you, the fans, to watch your favorite athletes get their game on!