Over the years there have been a number of football leagues trying to start up and be played as a secondary league to the NFL but with the CFL around and now the XFL as well there will never be another secondary league but with three major leagues, the NFL, CFL and XFL there is still a large pool of talented free agents. The amount of talented football players still on the open market following the seasons of what you may call ‘the big three leagues’ in a normal year is unreal and they deserve an opportunity somewhere to possibly play in one of the bigger leagues. Yes there are arena football leagues and depending where you live there are semi professional football leagues as well but no alternative league outside of the CFL and XFL have ever created as much buzz as the Fan Controlled Football League from just 2 games on a Saturday night.
The Fan Controlled Football League started up by former NFL and XFL defensive back Ray Austin has been all over social media for the last couple of months, gearing up for their inaugural season and to kickoff one week after the end of the NFL season following the Super Bowl they got a lot of viewers, likely more than they expected. Watching live were over 35,000 people during the second game, tuning into Johnny Manziel and his Zappers but on social media and through SportsCentre there have been hundreds of thousands of people that have seen something related to the Fan Controlled Football League over the last 24 hours. It is great to see the success that the league had publicity wise in their first night where they had their four teams play in two back to back games from 7:30 Eastern all the way until midnight on Twitch but it wasn’t just the league that had success, the players did as well.
In all of the leagues that have started outside of the major ones in the NFL, CFL and XFL each one of them have prioritized their players and them getting an opportunity but a lot of the time, opportunities don’t come, simply because the league doesn’t have a platform to create opportunities for players that want to play at a high level. Changing the look of things in a alternate league and hence the name of the league, the Fan Controlled Football League have prioritized its fans before anything else. Players, coaches and owners in the league all understand that without fans the league is nothing, and with fans the league grows and that is exactly what the people associated with the league, Ray Austin, Patrick Dees, Grant Cohen, and Sohrob Farudi who are at the top of the league have set it up so the fans that support the league not only cheer their respective teams on while the games are on but throughout the week leading up to a game the fans are a part of the front office and coaching staff. Every Wednesday during the season there are live drafts via Twitch where fans of their favourite teams vote on who to be on what team and then on game day fans have the chance to pick the plays for their team’s offence live during the game. Some things that we saw in the first week of the league being around, including the two games played last night was the connection that players may have to fans and the impact in can have. For instance when Johnny Manziel came to the league and had been franchise tagged by the Zappers and Bob Menry a number of people were choosing the Zappers as their team to be a part of and wanted to build around Johnny Manziel for game one. Or another one would be the way Andrew Jamiel has connected with fans through his success on the field and his interactions off of the field on social media. He has proven himself to be a reliable target for quarterbacks at every level of football and has a great personality that fans of the FCF have grown to like, making him a power up player, like an X-Factor in Madden but in real life.
The fans and player interactions have been amazing to see over the span of the last week leading up to last nights games and it is proven that some of the things that happened throughout the week between fans and players may have impacted the games as well, considering the fans do call the plays. They call the plays and given the two great one possession games that the FCF had last night the fans were calling the right plays, here is a list on who sticked out in last night’s games and some players that, if they continue to play like they did last night could just land themselves a contract at the next level whether that is the CFL or NFL.
Andrew Jamiel has been a stud since day one of the Fan Controlled Football League. He was featured on Donald De La Haye aka Deestroying‘s YouTube video when the news about the league first came out and fans have loved him ever since. He has been active on social media, building his reputation off of the field and last night he matched what he’s done off of the field with what he can do on it. As a power up player for the Glacier Boyz last night Jamiel caught a few passes but what really stuck out on his end was the two touchdowns he hauled in, one from David Pindell and the other from Deondre Francois. The two touchdowns helped the Glacier Boyz stay in the game last night, they weren’t enough to win the game but moving forward Jamiel will be able to win some games with other teams that he may be drafted to and even at the next level following the season.
Checkout two articles of mine that feature Andrew Jamiel in them using the links provided, learn more about him and the Fan Controlled Football League: https://jzmedia.ca/2021/01/02/seeking-an-opportunity-reliable-receiver-andrew-jamiel-looks-to-create-a-spark-in-new-fan-controlled-football-league/
Of all the performances in last night’s Fan Controlled Football League games, the most impressive would have to be Quinton Flowers. Flowers, playing against Johnny Manziel was given a big stage to play on. The buzz around the league thus far has been Johnny Football and Bob Menry‘s Zappers but beating the Zappers and putting up 48 points against them Flowers silenced the Zappers fans and made it clear that he can still sling it at the professional stage. It may not be a big league, though the talent he is going against are professional athletes just like himself, some have even had shots at the NFL, CFL or XFL. Flowers, before coming to the FCF has had opportunities in the NFL and XFL following his tremendous career at the University of South Florida. At South Florida he led the Bulls offence to two Birmingham Bowl Championship games, in both 2016 and 2017. They won both games, Flowers winning MVP in them both as well, his best year coming in 2016 where he threw for 2,812 yards and 24 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,530 yards and 18 scores. The numbers put up in 2016 and the similar ones in 2017 added to his totals where he now owns records at the school for career rushing, passing and total touchdowns in his collegiate career of three starting seasons.
Last night in one of his biggest moments in his football career post-university Flowers stood out and proved himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the Fan Controlled Football League. He showcased his arm as well as his legs which he used a combination of during his University days and even at the professional level with the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers. He made some big plays last night as well, beating Manziel’s Zappers 48-44, scoring touchdown after touchdown with his Beasts and whichever team takes him next week will be getting a hot quarterback ready for an opportunity at the next level.
Flowers’ rights as of 2018 are owned by the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers if he ever decides to come to Canada.
In the Fan Controlled Football League, with fans calling the plays there is more pass plays called than run plays, making the receivers the biggest factor in the games played, though last night in both games fans were able to notice the spark that a big run can give an offence. Among the running backs in the FCF and one that made an impact last night for the Beasts was LaDarius Galloway of University of Tennessee Martin. The 23 year old back out of UTM showed electric speed in last night’s game against the Zappers, helping establish the run game alongside dual threat quarterback Quinton Flowers and running back Calen Campbell. Galloway is yet to have an NFL opportunity but in every opportunity he’s had, whether that was at the University level or even at the professional stage with the Calgary Stampeders in 2019 for the CFL pre-season he has showed off everything that he can do in the run game and in the pass game.
At Tennessee Martin University he played one season in 2018 where he gained a total 788 yards and scored 7 touchdowns on a combined 164 offensive touches and although it didn’t lead him to an opportunity in the NFL he was able to play two pre-season games with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders against the Saskatchewan Roughriders and BC Lions where he showcased his speed every time he touched the ball, making a highlight tape off of just 5 plays where he gained just under 70 yards on the ground and through the air.
In his Fan Controlled Football League debut last night Galloway wasn’t able to get the 20 plus carries that some running backs would be used to in the NFL or CFL but with the occasional rush and catch out of the backfield he was really able to showcase what kind of player he is. Watch out for LaDarius Galloway moving forward in the FCF!
Best of the rest: QBs Jackson Edermann, David Pindell, and TJ Edwards Running backs Anthony Jones, Calen Campbell, receivers Treydonte Hill, KaVontae Turpin and defensive back Marquill Osborne