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Draft Do-Overs

Posted on April 10, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Okay, this might be our favorite thing that ESPN has pulled together in the past few months. Each of the the 32 NFL team’s beat writers were tasked with taking the biggest draft mistake of the last five years and correcting it with another player.

The rules were fairly simple:

  1. The re-drafted player has to be at a position of reasonable need in that particular draft.
  2. The re-drafted player has to be available at the pick in question.
  3. You cannot trade the pick you’re looking to re-draft, but you can choose not to trade a pick the team traded.

Some of the highlights include Michael Thomas (WR, New Orleans Saints) going to the San Francisco 49ers, Todd Gurley (RB, Los Angeles Rams) to the Atlanta Falcons, JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers) to the Seattle Seahawks, TJ Watt (OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers) to the Green Bay Packers, and literally anyone else to the Cleveland Browns instead of Johnny Manziel. That line-up alone has us imagining what could have been for some of these teams in the NFL. For the full list, you can read it here.

We have all the confidence in you, the fans, that you will make the best decisions when it comes time to draft players for your team – but sometimes mistakes happen. Half-way through the season you might think to yourself, “Man, what were we thinking? This other guy would fit in to our style so much better.” And if you do, that’s fine – there’s always opportunities for a trade. And if you don’t, even better. That just means you have earned that FanIQ!

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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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FAN Take: The Breaking Point

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!

Monday night, the Minnesota Vikings faced off against the Seattle Seahawks and lost, 21-7. Of course, Vikings fans were upset, but maybe none more so than the anonymous fan who decided to post the team’s stadium for sale on Craigslist. The posting, which has since been flagged for removal, offered the following description for U.S. Bank Stadium:

For Sale: Lightly used $1,000,000,000 stadium. Occupant has been a team that only has success in breaking the hearts of the fans. Long history of collecting talent with no ideas on how to use them.

Included: $84 million QB who can’t win against teams with winning records, and is 0-7 on MNF. A league record!

All reasonable offers considered. Will even entertain ideas to convert to a homeless shelter, as there is a greater chance of one of those folk becoming a success.”

In addition to the savage description, the disgruntled fan added photos, including one of a dumpster fire. The anonymous fan is the only one who has been upset. For at least the last three years, including the current season, Green Bay Packers fans started petitions on websites like Change.org to get then-head coach Mike McCarthy fired. But now that we think about it, we’re wondering if Mark Murphy and Brian Gutekunst took those seriously before letting him go last week. A few years ago, a pretty upset Chicago Blackhawks fan tried to sell goalie Corey Crawford, although it seems their anger was misplaced as Crawford had his best season yet that year.

We’ve previously covered fans selling their fandom after too many disappointing seasons and posting a job description for a head coach, but what breaking point would YOU have to reach before putting your team on blast? Is it keeping the same head coach on season after season? Is it handing a win your team should have easily had over to your opponent on a metaphorical silver platter? Is it the team administration not doing enough to keep their players in line? We want to know! What would it take from your team to get you to the breaking point?

Power To The Fans!

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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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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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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.