Greetings, FCFL Fans!
My name is Jason Chilton, and I’m the Head of Football Experience for the Fan Controlled Football League. My job is to make sure that we deliver the ultimate sports experience to fans of the FCFL. That means putting a great football product on the field every week AND delivering on our “Power to the Fans” promise to keep you in control of your favorite FCFL Team.
We’re going to bring “Power to the Fans” to life in a ton of different ways, and we’ll be telling you more about them in the coming days and weeks. You’ll learn more about how fans are going to help shape the league rule book, call plays and more; but if I’m being honest, the thing I’m most excited about is the FCFL Draft. For the first time in professional sports history, the fans will be in charge of building their favorite team from the ground up. Over the course of two days and eighteen rounds, fans will vote on every draft pick to build their ideal blueprint for a winning team.
But when your team is on the clock, how will you decide which player makes the best choice?
That’s where the FCFL’s Virtual Scouting Department comes in.
The FCFL’s Virtual Scouting Department is one leg of the Virtual Front Office, the organization where the most dedicated and football-savvy fans will play a huge role in shaping their chosen Team and the FCFL as a whole.
Like so many parts of the FCFL vision, the idea of a fan-run Virtual Scouting Department got a successful field test with the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles. Starting in the summer of 2016, more than 70 Screaming Eagles fans scoured every corner of the Internet to find prospects and grind through film to bring the best possible talent to the world’s first fan-run professional sports teams.
And they did one hell of a job.
The fans’ headline find was probably quarterback Verlon Reed, who started out at Ohio State before finishing his collegiate career at Findlay University. Verlon made history as the triggerman for a completely fan-run offense, and he led the Screaming Eagles to the third-ranked offense in the Indoor Football League while running away with Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
But the fan scouting success stories didn’t stop at quarterback.
Fans helped us evaluate players who got onto our radar at a series of Scouting Combines prior to the season. One of those players, wide receiver Derwyn Lauderdale from Southwest Baptist University, also found his place in the history book by hauling in the first fan-called touchdown in pro football history.
Often, players competing in indoor football are chasing the dream of a career in the NFL or CFL. When one of “your guys” gets the chance to make that dream a reality, there’s a sense of loss but an even bigger sense of pride that he’s getting his shot – AND that you were able to spot some next-level talent. Screaming Eagles defensive back Don “The Deal” Unamba recorded four interceptions in seven games before getting the chance to join the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.
Finally, the biggest “diamond in the rough” success story for the Screaming Eagles’ fan scouts might have been James Calhoun. Calhoun was discovered playing running back and wide receiver for the SoCal Coyotes, a semi-pro team in Palm Springs, California. His athleticism jumped out on tape, and when he made his way into the starting lineup midseason – as a defensive back, not a receiver – he immediately lit the IFL on fire. Calhoun recorded nine interceptions in just ten starts, returning a ridiculous FIVE of them for touchdowns on his way to a pair of Defensive Player of the Week awards and a spot on the first team All-IFL defensive squad.
We’re counting on the next wave of Virtual Scouts to help us find that kind of difference-making talent and bring it to the FCFL. The inaugural Virtual Scouting Class for the FCFL will help us pore through the thousands of players who currently reside in the FCFL Player Database while adding new names to the list. If you’re an FCFL Virtual Scout, you’ll help us decide which players deserve an invite to one of our regional Scouting Combines. Players’ existing tape and performance at the Combines will determine which players receive FCFL contract offers and invites to the league’s Pre-Draft Camp: a weeklong testing, evaluation and scrimmage event in the vein of the Senior Bowl. During Camp, Virtual Scouts will be working overtime to break down film and complete the Player Draft Profiles that will guide every fan’s selections throughout the FCFL Draft. Even after the Draft, the Scouts’ work won’t be done – throughout Training Camp and all season long, you’ll have access to Coach’s View film of FCFL practices and games so that you can help guide your team’s decisions when making trade offers or other roster moves.
One of the other great things about becoming an FCFL Virtual Scout will be the chance to learn from pros who’ve been there and done that at the highest levels of professional football. We’ve got an exciting announcement coming up with a strategic Scouting partner for the FCFL who will help ensure that every Virtual Scout receives top-notch instruction in the art of evaluating players. Virtual Scouts will also get to interact with and learn from indoor football championship-winning coach and FCFL “Coach of the Fans” Shawn Liotta as well as ex-NFL players like FCFL Commissioner Ray Austin and NFL executives like former 49ers Team President Andy Dolich.
All that means that whether you’re doing it just for fun or if you’ve got aspirations of a professional scouting career, becoming an FCFL Virtual Scout will give you the chance to put your work front and center while guiding the fortunes of real, professional football teams – the kind of opportunity that’s never existed before. AND you’ll get the chance to earn FAN Token for your work – the exclusive digital token of the FCFL that determines how much your vote counts when it comes to every aspect of running your favorite Team.
Interested in learning more about how to become a Virtual Scout in the Fan Controlled Football League? Then keep an eye on our website and our Telegram channel, where we’ll be telling you much more about the Virtual Scouting program and all aspects of the FCFL experience in the coming days and weeks. We’re excited to make professional sports history, and even more excited to have YOU be a part of it.
Power to the Fans!