What is Fan Controlled Football?
Fan Controlled Football is a brand new startup football league which focuses on a true fan experience unlike any other. The origins of the FCF date back to 2017. A company called FANchise, LLC had the idea to take a professional football team and add a slight twist to it’s everyday operations from top to bottom. FANchise established its own Indoor Football League (IFL) team, known as the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles in 2017. FANchise would go on to acquire the Colorado Crush during that same year. The Crush would serve the same purpose as the Screaming Eagles, serving as a “testing ground” of sorts. Based off of their decisions and votes, fans of the Screaming Eagles were able to select each member of the Front Office, Coaching Staff and even rosters using an app on their phones. As players and staff were set, fans were actually able to call offensive plays during IFL games. The Screaming Eagles would finish 5-11 that year, while the Crush would finish 3-13. Both teams ceased operations and were apart of plans for a new league titled the “Electronic Football League” in late 2017. After a few name changes, Fan Controlled Football was born.
League Structure and Rules
The FCF will hold its inaugural season in early 2021. The league boasts four teams (detailed below) and will consist of a 6 week season. Four regular season weeks, a playoff week and the championship week. All games will be held at a single site in Atlanta, Georgia which mimics that of a TV studio. Each game will be live-streamed via Twitch, a streaming platform tailored to gamers and eSports enthusiasts. Per @NewsFCF on Twitter, players will be heard via microphone during broadcasts. Additionally, players will have cameras on their helmets. Drones will also be used to gives viewers a new, unique experience and perspective of the game as it happens.
The format is similar to that of Arena Football. The field of play is just 50 yards and no kickers or punters will be used. Offensive and defensive lines will be managed in groups and not as individual players. The 7 on 7 league will be the most unique league the sport has ever seen. As mentioned above, everything about this league has, or will be, voted on by the fans. As previously done in 2017, the FCF will allow fans to vote on all aspects of the game. A pool of players will be there for the taking each week. Fans will also be able to call each play and players will then execute said players on the field. FanIQ will allow fans to rack up points to better influence their individual votes on plays. The higher the IQ, the more weight is held on a potential play.
Breakdown of the 4 Teams
Fan Controlled Football will feature four teams, The Beasts, The Glacier Boyz, The Wild Aces and The Zappers. Each of the four teams are owned by high profile athletes and social media personalities. The Beasts are owned by former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch, Boxing legend Mike Tyson and Professional Wrestler Miro. The Glacier Boyz ownership group contains Rapper Quavo, current 49ers Cornerback Richard Sherman and former University of Central Florida kicker and social media influencer Deestroying. The Wild Aces are owned by former IGN editor and manager of the YouTube channel “Kinda Funny” Greg Miller and current LA Chargers running back Austin Ekeler. Lastly, the Zappers are owned by New York Mets pitcher Trevor May and Comedian Bob Menery.
Noteworthy Player Signings
Perhaps the most interesting signing of the FCF, former Texas A&M and Cleveland Browns Quarterback Johnny Manziel has signed with the league. Manziel won the Heisman trophy in 2012 and was a 1st round pick of the Browns in 2014. Manziel has also played in the CFL and most recently played in the AAF with the Memphis Express in 2019. While the exact transactions are unknown at this time, it appears the Zappers have acquired Manziel and subsequently placed the Franchise Tag on him for the 2020 season.
Other notable signings include: Former Florida State Quarterback Deondre Francios, Former XFL Team 9 member Treydonte’ Hill, Former XFL Wildcats draft pick Jerimiah Spicer, 2020 Spring League Quarterback Jackson Erdmann and more. Unsubstantiated rumors of two former NFL players have also circulated. Those players are former Bears Linebacker Brian Urlacher and former Dolphins running back Ricky Williams. Exact involvement of Urlacher and Williams are unclear at this time.
Fan Votes and Things to Come
So far, fans have voted for Team Names, Team Logos and Jersey selections. Fans can vote by heading to the Fan Controlled Website, fcf.io. Below is the next item in line for a fan vote, Team Hashtags. Voting for a League-wide rule is also taking place currently in the website. The FCF is asking fans to vote on whether a player needs just one foot or two feet in bounds for a catch to be ruled complete. Still to come are votes for other League-wide rules as well as live athlete selection interviews.
Spring Football leagues have caught a bad rap recently. Whether it’s a league not being funded properly, poor health protocols or a global pandemic leaving an entity no choice but to shutdown, one would think trying to start a league is questionable. Fan Controlled Football is instead looking past the woes of football from March through June. The FCF aims to take the game to an entirely new level. Handing the keys off to the fans of the game and creating an innovative way to watch and interact with football.
If Fan Controlled Football appeals to you, be sure to head to fcf.io and create an account. This gives you access to all of the voting features leading up to the start of the regular season. Lastly, the FCF has partnered with clothing brand Champion to provide merchandise for each of the four teams. If you’re interested in repping an FCF team, check out all of the merch available at store.fcf.io.
Fan Controlled Football will hold it’s minicamp starting on January 17th and the regular season is set to begin in February. The FCF is yet another platform for players to showcase their skills. What started out as a crazy idea has bloomed into a full scale, professional football league. I look forward to seeing what Fan Controlled Football brings to the world of spring football.