Sunday, January 29, 2023

Fan-controlled football league shows promise: 5 takeaways from opening week

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The fan-controlled football league had its first week of games, and it was a lot of fun.

There were a few hiccups (like the controversial refereeing at the end of Game 1), but for the first week of a brand new product, it wasn’t too bad. Johnny Manziel was the biggest name that got people watching, but this league is full of talented players, even if they aren’t known.

The opening week’s two games were close with the Wild Aces leading the Glacier Boyz 30-22 and the Beasts beating the Zappers 48-44. Both matches ended with a chance of a tie or victory in the final discs. The Glacier Boyz seemed to have a close-to-tie take on the game, but officials disputed it.

The Zappers legitimately came close to returning to one of the craziest last games I’ve ever seen in a football game.

MORE: Everything you need to know about fan-controlled football

There are clearly a lot of differences in this league from your typical football league, like being able to call the games on the pitch. But there were a lot of other big things in this league besides the big stuff.

Below we’re going to go over some of the big takeaways from the first week of games.

1. Mobile quarters are king

I’ve always liked mobile quarterbacks more than standard passer, so for me, the scrambling in this league really caught my eye. I don’t have the numbers because CLF doesn’t have readily available box scores, but most quarterbacks seem to have finished with over 50 rushing yards.

Beasts backup QB TJ Edwards had 96 rushing yards (by broadcast), and Manziel finished with 68 rushing yards (by broadcast). Zappers backing quarterback Logan Marchi had a 40 yard touchdown in the first quarter and had more pushes, so he was definitely over 50. Glacier Boyz QB David Pindell ran the entire game and even though I didn’t ‘haven’t got his numbers, I’m pretty sure he’s over 50 as well.

Because it’s 7v7 football, it really allows the quarterback to run free in almost every game. You have 3v3 block, then 3v3 cover, which just leaves the 1v1 QB against a defender. All the QB has to do is miss this man, and it’s a clear line to run.

2. Fans love to call assists

Again, I don’t have the numbers available, but I felt like fans were calling assists on at least 90% of the games for all four teams. The only time a run would be called is if it was a short distance downhill or near the goal line. Otherwise, they were bombs for the quarters.

It ultimately led to a lot of scrambling, as I mentioned in the first point, but it led to a lot of action throughout the game. It was like the fans just wanted to see the quarterbacks throw him deep or just run. They weren’t too interested in handing the ball over to their backers.

Although running the ball is probably a good strategy if your team has the lead. There is a lot of downtime between plays while waiting for the fans to call. And since this league has a running timer, you could pretty much just chew up the timer if you constantly called racing games and reaping the early tries.

3. The broadcast booth was not afraid to be different

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the night wasn’t the play on the pitch, but the comments about it.

In the first game, Beasts co-owner Marshawn Lynch was invited to the booth and allowed to truly be himself. He didn’t have to censor his tongue and spoke freely about whatever came to his mind. Including taking as – after eating a Caesarean salad.

Even though Lynch was the star, the broadcast booth was great overall. Richard Sherman, Glacier Boyz co-owner and NFL player, was also invited to speak and had a very good conversation with Lynch. They later brought in Renee Montgomery, co-owner of Beasts and former WNBA player, who brought some excitement to the booth. It was fun to see all the different co-owners come and talk about their teams and the league in general.

The last thing that struck me was that the broadcast booth was fine for letting in some swear words. While that might put some people off, I thought it was perfect for the type of league the CLF wants to be.

4. The call of games is a fun experience

When I saw that the league allowed fans to call games, I wasn’t sure how that would work. I thought fans might get access to the entire playbook and just spam some nonsense games over and over again if they wanted to. But this is not the case.

Fans have a first run or pass option … fairly straightforward. From there, fans can choose any of three pieces in this category. These games are predetermined by an algorithm which considers them to be good games to follow in this situation. In other words, fans don’t have the option of choosing a horrible piece.

After choosing your game, you are taken to a screen that displays the six available game calls and you can see which one has received the most votes. It’s pretty cool to see the room you pick is actually called, and see what happens next.

Not only is it a fun experience, but it’s incredibly easy. All you have to do is choose your team, then connect your FCF account to Twitch through an extension. From there the expansion will appear on all offensive games (fans don’t call defensive games) and you go from there.

5. The extra points system is fantastic

One thing that really stands out about this league is the fact that there are no kicks at all. There aren’t even any goal posts to suggest the idea of ​​field goals or extra points (there is also no punting). This is the first football league I can think of that just completely eliminated the idea of ​​kicking. Even the Arena Football League, to which this league is most similar, had field goals and extra points.

Instead of scoring an extra point, the teams line up in a 1 on 1 battle between WR and DB. Quarterbacks “slam” the ball from a chair, then have three seconds to throw away. It’s a fun and exciting way to make some extra points instead of just boringly watching a kicker make a basket while defensive players stand around doing nothing.

It’s just another little element that makes this league stand out.


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