Obscure Leagues: Fan Controlled Football League

Johnny Manziel is playing professional football again.

Say what?

This news caught my eye over the weekend.

Manziel, the former Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M basically fell off of the football map after stints in the National Football League, Canadian Football League and Alliance of American Football.

He is now playing again in the Fan Controlled Football League.

The Fan Controlled what?

The Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL) is an indoor professional football league which was created in 2017 and the first sports league controlled by fans. It’s like a live version of a video game. The league’s first season began this month with all four teams playing their games over six weeks at the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia to limit COVID-19 issues.

This concept began by an organization called “Project Franchise” created a fan-controlled team named the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles of the Indoor Football League in 2017. A mobile app was created with a subscription service for fans to call plays during a live game. The experiment worked although the team finished 5-11.

So how does this really work?

Games are televised on the gaming network Twitch. There is real time play calling where fans have the option to run or pass when their team is on offense. When the option is pick, play options are selected and voted on. The top vote winner will be the play that is used.

Games are played indoors with seven players on each team. There is no kicking, punts or special teams. Teams start at their own 10-yard line and drive 40 yards for a score. Extra points are a one-on-one battle between a wide receiver and defensive back.

It’s definitely different.

In addition to Johnny Manziel, other recognizable names are invested in the league. Marshawn Lynch, Mike Tyson and Richard Sherman are owners in the four-team league. The teams are definitely like video game teams with the names Zappers, Wild Aces, Beasts and Glacier Boyz.

For more information about the league, visit https://www.fcf.io/

Manziel rushed for a touchdown for his Zappers’ team but lost to the Beast 48-44 in the season opener.

Johnny Manziel returns to professional football