Last week we introduced you to the Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL). This week we thought you’d like to learn a bit more about how they are bringing their slogan, “Power to the Fans” to life. Fans will help shape the league rule book, call plays and more; but what’s most exciting abut 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, 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.
The fans’ headline find was 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 evaluate players from 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 books 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.
The FCFL is counting on the next wave of Virtual Scouts to help them find that kind of difference-making talent and bring it to the league. The inaugural Virtual Scouting Class for the FCFL will review 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 have the opportunity 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, they’ll have access to Coach’s View film of FCFL practices and games so that they 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. 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. In fact, fans can communicate directly with league officials right now – through their Telegram channel.
Becoming an FCFL Virtual Scout will give fans the chance to put their work front and center while guiding the fortunes of real, professional football teams – the kind of opportunity that’s never existed before. AND they’ll get the chance to earn FAN Token for their work – the exclusive digital token of the FCFL that determines how much each vote counts when it comes to every aspect of running a team.
The FCFL will truly give power to the FANS!