My journey from being the #1 fan (by FANIQ ranking) to Football Operations Manager
By Rob Walker
Hi, my name is Rob Walker. Football has been a part of my life for over a decade now, starting from when I played Pop Warner back in my young days all the way to Temple University where I am now. I wasn’t serious about it until I got to high school, where I ended up as an All-League Offensive Tackle in a very competitive league in Northern California.
For college I headed to Frostburg State University, but injuries derailed my career. I stayed involved though, and I took the job of filming practices and games, so I could still travel with the team and be a part of football. Eventually, I landed in Philadelphia, my birthplace. My favorite team was and always will be the Philadelphia Eagles (Side note: Go Birds!). And I still have plans to play for Temple University, but this time only as a punter, so my body will take less of a beating. Temple football plays in the same stadium the Eagles do, so if all goes well, I should be playing at Lincoln Financial Field, where I’ve watched my Eagles play since I was born. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about this possibility!
Fantasy sports have been in my life since 2010, when I had my first fantasy football league. It was just a couple friends in high school who put together a league that’s still going on today, albeit with some new faces. I have played in more and more leagues each year because I love the sport so much and I want to be more involved. That’s why when I got an ad on my phone back in early Spring last year letting me know “You can control a real football team,” I immediately looked into it. The ad brought me to the Indiegogo page of a tech startup that promised to bring football to the fans, for the fans, called Project FANchise. I looked at the options and saw I could be a scout and receive real training from industry professionals, so I jumped at the opportunity and not even a month later I was on group calls with former NFL players, coaches, scouts, and even the front office of Project FANchise, which created a Virtual Front Office (VFO) – I felt like I was involved in everything with this team.
I loved every second of my experience last year, from preseason trivia that helped me rack up points called FANIQ, to voting on the team’s name – I voted for the Screaming Eagles. Of course, we all now know the Screaming Eagles as the first fan run professional sports team. As I interacted more, my FANIQ shot up, and I noticed I was among the top fans. Once the season rolled around, I did not miss a game, I called many good plays, some bad plays, but watching Verlon Reed take off and score an easy touchdown was just one of many highlights from that magical season.
After the season ended I stayed in contact with the VFO and once news got out the guys behind Project FANchise were going to expand this platform into a whole league, I offered my help and kept shooting them ideas. I guess some stuck, because here I am as the Football Operations Manager of the Fan Controlled Football Laegue: a league built for the fans by the fans. I’m even being sent to Texas for the National Fantasy Football Convention and I can’t wait to meet other fans there and introduce more people to the Fan Controlled Football League!
At the end of the day, I’m still just a fan, it’s where I came from and I’ll always be one. I want to provide an experience for every fan to be a part of the Fan Controlled Football League, and I will make sure each fan is equipped with the necessary knowledge to make educated decisions for all things Fan Controlled Football League.
If you want to get to know me more, you can find me on Twitter @itmerob – shoot me a follow and tweet at me your questions, regarding the Fan Controlled Football League or anything else on your mind!
Power to the FANS!