Inside a soccer league the place followers name the pictures

Martin Rogers
FOX Sports columnist

Remember the times when you screamed on the screen of a professional or college football game, lamented the game call choice, condemned refusal to play two, berated the offensive coordinator and wondered why they were settled down (or not) for a field goal?

In this case, FCF – short for Fan Controlled Football – could be the solution to those eternal frustrations on the weekend and, as the name clearly suggests, give chair lovers the opportunity to control the game.

It’s a clever concept that has a futuristic feel to it, and before it even starts this Saturday, the idea has some level of intrigue, some kind of spark that inspired several NFL players, rappers, and a pro-wrestler to come up with themselves as Part owners to join and Johnny Manziel to reappear and play quarterback for a team called the Zappers.

The official logo of the Zappers who will play in the Fan Controlled Football League.

“It’s super cool and a way to reinvent sport for the digital age,” social media influencer Josh Richards told me over the phone. Richards, who has 38 million followers on social media platforms and has vowed to become the first influencer billionaire, is on board as an investor and uses his following as well as that of his content partner Griffin Johnson, who is an important part of FCF strategy.

“It brings a whole new light to football,” added Johnson, as did Richards, a member of the influencer collective Sway House. “It’s a new way of looking at the game and really being a part of it.” Richards and Johnson will serve as the League’s creative directors and ambassadors.

FCF is not trying, like the XFL and the Alliance of American Football before, to track grassroots National Football League supporters directly with something that looks about the same. Both leagues quickly folded, the AAF was hit by an overwhelming cost, and the XFL was ruined by the timing of COVID.

First of all, FCF is in the hall, offering 7-on-7 teams on a 50-yard field. According to CEO Sohrob Farudi, it’s not about building something that you just see, but something that you play.

Sohrob Farudi will serve as Commissioner and CEO of Fan Controlled Football.

The interactive element appears whenever there is a failure as the trainers narrow down the choices to four run and four handover options that users can choose from in the app. When you sign up to support the league, you pick a team – Glacier Boyz, Beasts, Wild Aces, and Zappers – and the top rated pick for a game will be the one that is used.

It’s set to be a dynamic spectacle, with 25-foot LED screens illuminating the action and the players introduced like WWE Superstars with commentary and information heavily adopted from esports.

The goal is to reach a new age fan base who likes soccer but maybe likes video games even more. The matchups are streamed on Twitch and everything about it, from the looks to the colors to the broadcast, is designed more for Generation Z than for the traditionalists.

“A lot of people might think, ‘Oh, for the third year in a row a new football league is starting after the Super Bowl’ and that’s a story we want to kill,” said Farudi. “This is different from what you’ve seen before. It’s a new football brand that is genuinely fitting into the video game community.

“We’re creating something that has to do with both games and football. Fans draw the players, they name the games, they basically get involved in the whole thing.”

But football fans have also piqued their interest. Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch and Austin Ekeler are team owners, along with hip-hop star Quavo, New York Mets pitcher Trevor May, and WNBA champion Renee Montgomery. Fans can also buy a share of their favorite team for just $ 150.

Fan Controlled Football starts on February 13th and will include the following four teams: Glacier Boyz, Beasts, Wild Aces and Zappers.

There is a natural skepticism about every new football start, but the FCF is determined to keep things financially stable. Teams are not location specific, and all games at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, Georgia have no travel expenses.

Manziel was directly recruited by his friend and golf buddy Bob Menery, whose viral sports commentary has earned him a huge following. The former Texas A&M star is not looking for career redemption after his widely publicized string of setbacks, and the FCF players are not going to get rich with paychecks of up to $ 750 per game.

“Johnny wants to come in and help some of these other guys get their attention,” added Farudi. “It’s a big opportunity for them. Johnny knows he didn’t take his chance in the NFL. But when he can play football again, you bring some excitement and notoriety – and that’s why a few people in the NFL – he would be.” very happy. “

Johnny Manziel will play quarterback for the Zappers in the Fan Controlled Football League.

Maybe the thinking was wrong. There has long been a desire and ambition to fill the months without football with… football. Still, the NFL is so powerful, so deeply rooted in the culture, anything that tries to occupy its spot directly falls off as lower rent.

If the FCF is going in a completely different direction, it could give itself a real try, especially with its unique twist, to hang around and get some traction.

“It will be good football, real action, good players who care about winning,” said Farudi. “But at the core we have not lost sight of what is important. The experience has to be fun.”

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Here you can subscribe to the newsletter.

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