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FAN Take: On the Clock

Posted on October 23, 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 NBA made its triumphant return with two stellar games: the defending champion Toronto Raptors vs. New Orleans Pelicans, and LA Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers (read: NFL, this is what opening night should look like). The main difference between last season and last night? TNT made an adjustment to their shot clock. Instead of keeping it statically positioned along the bottom of the screen like every other network has done since the dawn of time, they added a white shot clock on the floor above the foul line. TNT has actually been testing this out during its preseason games, but didn’t get as much attention until last night because we all know preseason doesn’t count. This change didn’t get rid of the static red-backed clock in the bottom right corner, but it does allow fans to keep their eye on the clock and the action without having to look around the screen. In the final five seconds, the color of the clock also changes, giving the game more of a video game feel – something we know all about.

We’ve heard many people describe the FCFL as the real-life version of Madden, so we’re absolutely open to making aesthetic changes to the game streams to mirror that idea and make the viewing experience be absolutely incredible for the fans. So, what kind of changes would the fans want to see? A play clock to run down on the field behind the quarterback? The first down marker to change color as the offense runs out of downs? Maybe a countdown timer that moves and shakes as time runs out for fans to call their next play? Let us know fans – we’re building this league for YOU!

Power To The Fans!

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The NBA is BACK!

Posted on October 22, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Sure, we may be in the middle of the NFL season, but the NBA is officially back in action tonight! The double-header for opening night features the Toronto Raptors vs. New Orleans Pelicans and LA Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers. We can only hope that these games turn out better than the season opener for the NFL, which shouldn’t be hard to do.

So what can fans expect this season? Maybe the question should be ‘who can the fans expect to show up this season.’ Well, not the Number One draft pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, for starters. Yesterday the New Orleans Pelicans announced that Zion Williamson will be out for a couple months after having surgery to repair a torn right lateral meniscus. And per the ESPN Breaking News alert we all got on our phones this morning, the Golden State Warriors aren’t expecting to see Klay Thompson on the court at all this season as he recovers from a torn ACL. On top of that, Russell Westbrook keeps managing to hurt his shooting hand. Pull it together, guys.

Who should they put their money on? Well, Seerat Sohi, Chris Haynes, Vincent Goodwill and Ben Rohrbach all picked the Los Angeles Clippers to take home the championship. Rohrbach was the only one to pick the Philadelphia 76ers as the other team in the NBA Finals – the rest selected the Milwaukee Bucks. While these four from Yahoo Sports are literally paid for their opinion, we still have a hard time believing the Clippers will end the season on a high note. Of course, the opinions we care most about come from the fans. Let us know in the comments who you think will make it to the 2020 NBA Finals!

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Kawhi, We Need An Answer

Posted on July 2, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

We know we aren’t the only ones that got that alert last night that Kawhi Leonard had agreed to sign with the Lakers, but as of this morning, he is still a free agent. A few people toyed with the idea that he was waiting to make his announcement until today, considering yesterday was Canada Day, and it would just be wrong to do Toronto like that. However, the folks at For The Win! Came up with five fantastic reasons for why he’s waiting to make any kind of announcement – sure, they aren’t all serious, but they are entertaining!

1. He’s waiting, to deliberately cripple the other teams

2. He’s using AOL to make the announcement

3. He’s taking his time to come up with the perfect tweet

4. He’s trolling all of us

5. He wanted to be nice to Canada on Canada Day

We think we can all agree here that no matter what the reason for waiting is, we need an answer ASAP. We’re sick of sitting on the edge of our seats! Thankfully, this won’t be a problem for FCFL fans in season one, as you will be the ones drafting players to your team. But for season two? This issue could present itself. And if it does, we expect to see you all demanding answers from your favorite players on Twitter too!

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Bucks and Jazz Win Big at 2019 NBA Awards

Posted on June 25, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

The Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors may have made it to the NBA Finals, but they weren’t really a factor at last night’s 2019 NBA Awards. Instead, the Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz cleaned up with a total of three awards per team – out of a total of 13 actual awards. Aside from Giannis Antetokounmpo bringing home the MVP, the other big highlight was getting to see both Larry Bird and Magic Johnson be honored for their lifetime achievements. We aren’t going to lie, while we were happy to see Bird and Johnson be celebrated, we were surprised it hadn’t happened sooner.

The full list of winners is below:

  • Most Valuable Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
  • Coach of the Year: Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers
  • Most Improved Player: Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
  • Rookie of the Year: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
  • Sager Strong Award: Robin Roberts
  • Lifetime Achievement: Larry Bird and Magic Johnson
  • Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year: Mike Conley, Utah Jazz
  • NBA Sportsmanship Award: Mike Conley, Utah Jazz
  • NBA Cares Community Assist Award: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
  • Executive of the Year: Jon Horst, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Hustle Award: Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics

Of course, we have the NFL Honors, ESPYs, and MLB Awards, but we can’t wait to see what happens at the end of our inaugural season! What kind of awards do we expect to see the fans giving out to our players? Without a doubt, there will be an MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Fan of the Year, but what about honoring a player or team for highest execution rate of fan-called plays? We think the fans would love to see that awarded, after all, they do want to see their plays flawlessly executed. They might also want to see an award given for best trash talking, although we think the competition could be tough between all the players, the fans, AND the Team Owners | Fan Captains! The possibilities are endless. Let us know what you think!

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Leaving Well Enough Alone

Posted on June 11, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Talk about not listening to your body. Last night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Warriors forward Kevin Durant made his triumphant return to the court after a nasty calf strain he sustained in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets. Well, maybe triumphant isn’t the right word to use here, considering he proceeded to likely tear his Achilles tendon in the second quarter. He’s expected to undergo an MRI later today to confirm the injury, and we can’t help but hope for the best. That is NOT a feeling we want to experience. If you look closely in the clip below, you can see his tendon ‘bounce’ in a way that will send shivers down your spine.

We mentioned on Twitter that our Chief Product Officer, Grant Cohen, was likely celebrating in the office when he heard the news. Did we jinx it? Maybe. Do we feel responsible? No. Durant probably should have given himself a little more time to heal. We get that the Warriors’ medical team cleared him to play, but we get the feeling that Durant’s ego might have played a role in the decision. When it comes to players in the FCFL potentially missing a make-or-break playoff game, we think the fans would hope the players err on the side of caution. We don’t think the fans would say that one game is worth a serious injury that could affect their playing abilities forever. But of course, we’re all ears if any of you fans out there think differently!

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We are READY for the 2019 Women’s World Cup

Posted on June 10, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Sure, Kevin Durant was just declared fit for Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors, and the Boston Bruins have forced a Game 7 against the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Finals, but the World Cup is here! You know, that major soccer event that comes around every four years, ever heard of it? The 2019 Women’s World Cup may have kicked off last week, but we are gearing up for the United States’ first match up tomorrow against Thailand at 12pm PT/3pm ET! You can watch their game, and all the World Cup action on Fox and FS1 in English, or Telemundo and Universo in Spanish. You can also catch them on June 16 against Chile at 9am PT/12pm ET and wrapping up group-play on June 20 versus Sweden at 12pm PT/3pm ET. For the full 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup schedule, click here.

The U.S. Women’s National Team is defending their title from 2015 where they defeated Japan in the finals, but their team looks a little different now four years later. With a blend of veterans like Carli Lloyd, Julie Ertz and Alex Morgan, and newer faces like Alyssa Naeher, Rose Lavelle and Jessica McDonald, we’re certainly feeling optimistic for their chances at being back-to-back World Cup Champions! We know soccer isn’t everyone’s favorite sport, but there’s nothing that unites the fans together quite like cheering “U-S-A” in head-to-toe red, white and blue! So fans, let’s rally and get your USA chants going! We may not have home teams to root for in the FCFL, but we certainly do for the World Cup!

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Please, Step Away From Kyle Lowry

Posted on June 6, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Sorry guys, we have more NBA Finals news for you. Last night in Game 3 between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors, things got a little rough. Kyle Lowry fell into the fans sitting courtside while chasing down the ball, and was shoved by someone sitting in the front row… and by someone, we mean part-owner of the Warriors, Mark Stevens. Not only was Lowry fired up about the incident, but the NBA has decided to take action.

In a statement released by the NBA, they said: “A team representative must be held in the highest possible standard and the conduct of Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens last night was beyond unacceptable and has no place in our league. As the review of this matter continues, Mr. Stevens will not be permitted to attend NBA games.”

We think the fans will agree here, that what Mr. Stevens did was not okay. We’ll leave it to you to debate whether or not his actions deserved a ban on all NBA games. We’re going to go ahead and let this serve as a gentle reminder to the fans – our players are friends, not foes. When you have the opportunity to meet them, we advise against pushing them out of your way. We strongly encourage high-fives though!

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Golden State Makes It To 5th Straight NBA Finals

Posted on May 21, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Remember how we said Boston ‘must be stopped’ last week? Well, while highlighting the championships that city has been earning over the past 12 months, we may have glossed over our concern that the Golden State Warriors need to be knocked down a peg as well (This is the part where our Chief Product Officer, Grant Cohen, immediately stops reading and demands that this blog be taken down).

Last night, Steph Curry and the Warriors punched their ticket to their FIFTH-straight NBA Finals. And if you can believe it, the Warriors are the first team to do that since the Boston Celtics (1957-66) – apparently we can’t get a sentence in without mentioning one of those pesky Boston teams, even from a historical perspective! Just the way we are rooting for the San Jose Sharks/St. Louis Blues over the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals, we will be rooting for either Drake and the Toronto Raptors or the Milwaukee Bucks over the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

But first, let’s take a moment to focus on what happened in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. We watched Steph Curry completely dominate over his brother Seth on the court (Can you imagine how awkward that next family get together will be? Yikes.). Even without Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors managed to sweep the Trailblazers out of contention by the end of overtime, by TWO POINTS. Just let that sink in for a moment. This comes after the Warriors trailed by 17+ points in three of the four games. Watching the Trailblazers let their berth to the NBA Finals slip out of their hands looked a little something like this:

via GIPHY

We’ve talked about tough losses( before, but this one actually made us hurt for the Trailblazers and their fans. Not only is there the sibling rivalry aspect, but this series really should have gone to Portland, or at the very least gone on for another few games. If you’ve got 1) a significant lead in three of four games and 2) two major players missing from the other team, and still can’t take down the Warriors, you’ve got problems. If our fans were running Portland’s front office, we’d expect that they might smash a few things in anger, at least initially. But after blowing off some steam, we think they would go back through footage from not just the playoffs, but the entire season to pinpoint what changes they need and can implement to better prepare for next season. That, and we think they will start (if they haven’t already) really diving deep into the 2019 NBA Draft Class, identifying the best person to take with their #25 pick in the first round.

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Stay In Your Lane, Drake

Posted on May 20, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Unless you’ve somehow been living under a rock for the last few years, actor-turned-rapper Drake is a MASSIVE Toronto Raptors fan. He essentially has a permanent seat in the front-row at Scotiabank Arena. Per usual, Drake utilized his prime seating to trash talk anyone that could. Last night’s main victim of the Eastern Conference Finals series: Milwaukee Bucks’ Power Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. This went on throughout the entire game, but luckily for us, the NBA on TNT cameramen captured one moment in particular where Giannis couldn’t be bothered to deal with Drake. Obviously, Giannis was pretty busy trying to help his team to a third-straight win. Unfortunately for him, Kawhi Leonard helped bring the Raptors to a win for the second Sunday in a row, after reaching a score of 118-112 by the end of double overtime.

Sometimes you just like to watch the world burn, and honestly, we wish Giannis had given Drake a piece of his mind. It would have only added to the drama of a game that kept fans on the edge of their seats the entire time.  Can you imagine if Giannis had turned around and told Drake to stay in his lane? And maybe refer to him as Jimmy, the character he played on (you guessed it) Canada’s hit teen show, Degrassi: The Next Generation? It could have been everything. While we are the first FAN CONTROLLED league in sports, the fans have been inserting themselves into the NBA for as long as we can remember. We’ve previously mentioned how Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller plans to mess with opposing quarterbacks the night before a game this season, but we can’t wait to see how you, the fans, make your own impact on whoever is unlucky enough to go up against your team. Will you focus solely on trash talking across social media? Will you be sending them truckloads of memes, aimed at letting them know how much they suck? Or are you planning on having a front row seat in the arena, hoping to make eye-contact with someone during a pivotal moment in the game? No matter what path you choose, we can’t wait to sit back and watch.

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The 2019 NBA Draft Order Is Here!

Posted on May 15, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

For anyone that missed it, last night was the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. Although the draft itself won’t be held until next month, June 20th to be exact, the fans now have a little over a month to explore every possibility of what their teams will do in the first round. With a ton of talent heading into the draft this year, including Zion Williamson, a lot of fans are hoping to see their teams turn it around next season. And with that, the order for the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft is as follows:

  1. New Orleans Pelicans
  2. Memphis Grizzlies
  3. New York Knicks
  4. Los Angeles Lakers
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers
  6. Phoenix Suns
  7. Chicago Bulls
  8. Atlanta Hawks
  9. Washington Wizards
  10. Atlanta Hawks (they get a second pick through a previous trade with Dallas)
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves
  12. Charlotte Hornets
  13. Miami Heat
  14. Boston Celtics (through a trade with Sacramento)
  15. Detroit Pistons
  16. Orlando Magic
  17. Brooklyn Nets
  18. Indiana Pacers
  19. San Antonio Spurs
  20. Boston Celtics (through a trade with the LA Clippers)
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder
  22. Boston Celtics (okay now they’re just getting greedy)
  23. Utah Jazz
  24. Philadelphia 76ers
  25. Portland Trailblazers
  26. Cleveland Cavaliers (through a trade with Houston)
  27. Brooklyn Nets (through a trade with Denver)
  28. Golden State Warriors
  29. San Antonio Spurs (through a trade with Toronto)
  30. Milwaukee Bucks

For anyone that’s predominantly a football fan, the NBA Draft doesn’t take playoff results into consideration when determining draft order. Meaning, if you’re fans of the Knicks, Cavs, or Suns, you not only have an abysmal record, but you also don’t have the draft placement you really need. Not to be immature, but it sucks to suck. While we have not determined how the draft order will be selected in the FCFL, we’re curious to know what the fans want to see. We think fans will want to see a lottery-style for the first season. But for every season after that? We think there’s going to be a split consensus. We think some of the fans will want to keep the lottery style moving forward, while others will want something more similar to what we see in the NFL. That’s our best guess for now, but if you feel strongly one way or the other fans, let us know!