Powered by FAN Token and housed on the blockchain, the FCFL will deliver an on-the-field product unlike just about anything the professional sports world has ever seen. I say “just about” because, for one glorious night in August of 1951, there actually was another professional sports team whose plays were crowdsourced by the fans – The St. Louis Browns faced the Philadelphia Athletics in a major league baseball game, and fans were provided with Yes/No posters to vote in real-time on various strategic decisions – the brainchild of the legendary Bill Veeck, an owner way ahead of his time. If blockchain and smartphones existed in the 50’s, Bill Veeck may well have created the FCFL himself.
So, the FCFL game will obviously be quite different from the usual professional sports game. While the coaching staff will draw up the playbook and teach proper technique and technical strategy to the players, it will be the fans who ultimately select the play. Our game will be quick and action-packed, getting rid of the long breaks that disrupt the flow of so many of our favorite sporting events. No commercials, no drawn out halftimes – just football. And given the acute role each fan will play in the action, viewers will have a non-stop experience when the clock is running.
But what about when the clock isn’t running? What sort of engagement and content will be available to FCFL fans when they aren’t calling plays in the middle of the game?
This is where things truly get interesting; where FCFL fan goes from coach to GM/Owner.
Scouting the Players
When we say that fans will be tasked with every crucial decision in running their team, we mean just that. This will start with the initial scouting of players, before any roster decision has even been contemplated. As we did with a select group of power fans of the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles of the Indoor Football League in 2017, the FCFL will rely upon fans to create scouting pages for potential players in the league – everything from basic information about height, weight, position, and history, to more intensive work such as scouting technique and potential production, and even posting film from games or workouts. Websites like YouTube and Hudl make for excellent resources for accumulating scouting information, and it will be up to the fans to mine these sites to find their next star slot receiver.
Active scouts will help populate a database of potential players and will script the report on each of these athletes (earning FAN Token along the way for their energy), helping narrow down a group of hundreds of players to a more elite handful for the rest of the fans to select from, which all leads up to…
As a die-hard Madden and fantasy player, there’s probably nothing in the world I enjoy more than a draft. I often take more pleasure in the process of putting together a roster than I do the games themselves. And in the FCFL, the draft of each of the eight teams will be decentralized through a fan vote. I suspect this day may be the most intense experience of the FCFL calendar year. I’m already pumped. Gotta go QB with the first pick.
Once the draft is complete, with rosters assembled, the real football can begin. But the fans’ work as a GM is only just getting started. Scouting never sleeps…
A football roster is an amporphic object, perpetually shifting and evolving into entirely new organisms. The Patriots will be playing in the Super Bowl this weekend, and their starting defense looks quite different from the roster that started the season on week one against the Chiefs. Injuries are an obvious reality, as are trades. And then there is simply poor performance. If the Defensive End is getting continuously pancaked into oblivion, despite how glowing his predraft reports, you may need to cut bait and look elsewhere.
FCFL fans will constantly be grooming their roster to improve or fill in gaps. Fans will have the option to propose potential trade offers for other fans of their team to approve; and these offers would then be extended to the appropriate team, whose fans would either accept or reject, possibly even counter. Fans will also continue to scout talent outside of the league, making suggestions for new acquisitions and free agent signings. And, as always, these suggested acquisitions will be placed to a vote.
Scouting doesn’t simply apply to your own roster, though. Just as important is the activity of scouting the opposition. FCFL fans will play a crucial role in breaking down film of upcoming opponents and helping the coaching staff devise a gameplan to expose weaknesses and nullify strengths. Fans will have the chance to work with their favorite team to strategize ahead of next week’s big game and help craft a winning approach. As they say, the game is often won or lost before the players even set foot on the field.
Of course, the more active you are as a scout, the more FAN Token you will acculumate, which will give more weight to your personal vote. So be active!
What is a catch, anyway?
Nobody seems to know these days. Even Roger Goodell has acknowledged that the NFL needs to start over with this rule altogether. Something so fundamental to the sport of football – what constitutes possession of the ball? – is STILL an unknown in the leading football organization in the world.
We want to have the fans lead the charge with the rulebook. We plan to launch a “Build the League” type series featuring FCFL Commissioner Ray Austin and Coach-of-the-fans Shawn Liotta where we debate various rules and playstyles: how big is the field? What to do about special teams? WHAT IS A CATCH? Each episode may focus on a different rule or situation, with fans chiming in afterward to help make it official.
The rulebook creation will be as interactive as the games themselves.
Blogs and videos
Not all levels of content engagement will be directly related to football operations. We also want to give fans a chance to contribute to more consumer-friendly content. After all, what good is having your team win a big game if you can’t spend the next week bingeing blog posts and video breakdowns of how awesome the game was (and in this case, a chance to gloat about how awesome the play calls were).
FCFL fans will actively participate in creating written, audio, and video content breaking down the past week’s games and projecting future outcomes. Frankly, the possibilities here are endless. We simply want to provide the framework for fans to create and consume as much media as they desire, so this exercise will ultimately reflect the will of the creators!
And we will reward engagement with voting power, thanks to FAN Token. You vote on a weekly pole of which player had the best touchdown celebration? FAN Token. You watch a video review of the best touchdown catches from week three? FAN Token. You create a daily podcast ranking the most promising play-calling talent in the league? LOTS OF FAN TOKEN.
Content, Content, Content!
But the content creation will not come solely from the fans. The players themselves will be integral to our collection of media. Players will be on their phones during games instagramming, snapchatting, and tweeting from the sidelines, interacting with fans on and off the field. This interaction will continue throughout the week, as players bring an intimate view of the life of the football player to their supporting fans (who also happen to be their GMs).
In addition to the telecasts of the games, we plan on creating a host of other related video content in a more professionally-managed production, working with our soon-to-be-announced leading production company. We want to give fans an up-close view of the life of the FCFL player (and perhaps add in some less serious video as well).
Some potential concepts for tangential shows and episodic programs include:
- Weekly recaps of the top performing fans and how they succeedeed
- Panel-style programs with leading fans discussing the past week’s action
- FCFL announcers breaking down both the players and the play callers successes from the week
- Compilations of the best video accumulated by both fans and players on the field
We want to bring in expert football coaches and have them analyze the performance of the fan play-callers (a little reversal of the armchair QB). We want to follow high-performing superfans in documentary-style filming. We want to create gameshows where FCFL players compete against each other and other athletes in a fun, interactive environment. We want to pit real football coaches against the top FCFL fans to see who calls a better game and who can accumulate more FAN Tokens through managing their team. We want to follow players trying to make it in the league, like a kind of hybrid of Hard Knocks and Real World.
We have tons of potential ideas for programming away from the field leveraging fans, coaches, players, and celebrities.
But the most important takeaway from this blog post should be that all of these ideas are still very fluid. While we will undoubtedly be implementing them into the fan experience, the shape they ultimately take is still to be determined. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!
With the Screaming Eagles, we operated a service called VFO – virtual front office – where a select group of fans, mainly those who participated in our Indiegogo campaign, frequently met for discussions and phone calls with our football operations team, discussing new ways to implement fan engagement. We plan on taking this experience and expanding upon it within the greater FCFL ecosystem (and to whichever new sports leagues are spawned from the FAN Token).
Which ideas resonate most? How do you think we should select initial scouts? Should there be any prereqs, or should everyone get a chance to participate? Which of the potential shows sound most appealing to you? Or perhaps unappealing? And what have we missed that we should consider applying to the FAN Token use case? How else should fans be able to earn FAN Token?
As always, our DMs are open. Join our Telegram channel and slide right in!