The first fantasy football league is generally accepted to have started in 1962 with a group of fans in Oakland, California. The Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League (or GOPPPL) was organized by Bill Winkenbach, a minority owner of the Oakland Raiders. As you can imagine, the league was quite simplistic, with scoring amounting to no more than the total of touchdowns and field goals accumulated by the players selected.
As such, the first ever pick was Hall of Famer George Blanda, who managed to score points as the rare dual-threat QB/kicker combination, not unlike what fantasy baseball owners will be juggling this upcoming season with SP/OF sensation Shohei Ohtani.
As the years progressed, so has the complexity of scoring within fantasy sports. Simple counting stats like touchdowns scored gave way to yards gained and later to receptions totaled, with PPR becoming a staple in the fantasy industry. Then there was the integration of defense, with turnovers, total points given up, and even total yards yielded entering the equation of fantasy points. Team Defense gave way to Special Teams scores, and in some cases even integrated individual defensive players’ stats.
And then, of course, came the launch of DFS, with FanDuel and DraftKings driving rapid adoption of daily scoring.
As fantasy football has continued to grow in popularity (and technology has continued to simplify the process of compiling and comparing statistics in real-time), the complexity of the mechanics of quantifying fantasy excellence has simultaneously expanded. We are no longer simply tallying the most basic counting numbers: rather, we are unearthing the intricacies of success through granular statistical interpretation.
And now, we are ready for the next evolution in fantasy football scoring, or the quantification of football knowledge and predictive capability.
A new football league called the Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL) is about to launch the latest incarnation in fantasy sports: a measurable fan intelligence quotient.
The FCFL will rely on fans to control every element of professional football management; starting with scouting the league’s first potential crop of players and culminating in a real professional draft. The FCFL will feature eight teams playing on an indoor, 50-yard field, and every play will be called by the fans.
You read that right.
Before each down, fans will be served a selection of potential plays on their screen that correlate to down, distance, and score (either through the league’s proprietary app or through its broadcast channel on Twitch.tv). Fans will then make their choice, and the highest-voted play will be immediately relayed to the QB to call in the huddle. The experience will be similar to that of Madden or Tecmo Bowl, except with real, professional athletes carrying out the play calls.
Depending on the outcome of the play, the voting fans will be awarded tokens for their efforts – again, very similar to a video-game environment. The league has created its own ERC20-compatible token called the FAN Token, which informs every aspect of league activity, most notably play-calling. The more tokens a fan earns, the greater power is allotted to their individual vote, so the best fans gain a greater say in each decision. By distributing tokens for each successful engagement (like, say, calling a play that yields a touchdown pass), the FCFL can easily track the competency of every active user who acts as hybrid fan/coach/GM.
Unlike traditional fantasy football, where each player’s score correlates to the output of a pre-selected group of athletes, fans of the FCFL will be scored based on every single decision and point of engagement they have within the league: from scouting and drafting, to proposing trade ideas, to calling plays on the field. The FCFL will maintain a Fan Leaderboard where all players can see where they rank in real time, and the highest-performing fans of the championship-winning team will even receive a cut of the $1 Million+ purse!
We are entering a new era in fantasy sports scoring, one that will truly level the playing field and reward the fans who demonstrate the deepest knowledge base of the game of football.
Ain’t the future a delight?