One of my favorite things about unboxing the newest Madden NFL game every year is knowing that for the next month, I get to trash talk random strangers until I get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and get my account suspended. After my inner ugly child is sufficiently let out, that’s when I invite my buddies over and take the time to truly appreciate the finer mechanics of the game. For example, how Madden 15 and 16 emphasized defense and receiving while Madden 17’s focus was on the running game.
But never in my life did I ever think I would have the opportunity to actually call plays for a professional football team…until now.
You read that right. The eFL is looking to become the very first fan controlled Pro Sports League. That means YOU get to draft the players, YOU get to hire and fire the coach, and YOU call the plays.
No, this isn’t like Draft King where you create a team and are competing with stat lines. You literally are the one calling the plays for the team on the field.
But Is eFL The Real Deal?
You bet! eFL has been in development since October 2015 investing over $2 MM dollars to pilot the very first fan controlled professional Indoor Football team called The Salt Lake Screaming Eagles.
Their very first game kicked off on February 16th, 2017, and included thousands of users participating in real-time play calling both inside and outside the arena via eFL’s mobile app. Although they lost 78–47, the concept was a success as it reached an indoor audience of around 8,000 people and 200,000 streamers-world wide.
However, rather than just being satisfied, eFL pushed forward to explore alternative methods of integrating users into play calling. That’s when eFL landed a partnership with Twitch.tv in late March and successfully integrated thousands of users play calling through Twitch Chat.
“For them to actually call plays is… awesome,”- Defensive Lineman Seante Williams of the Screaming Eagles
The eFL gives its fans 100% complete control over the play calling. Here’s what the on-the-field Coach Matthew Sauk had to say about the fans play-calling in the Screaming Eagles’ loss on April 14:
“[It] was bad. There was three or four run calls during the game even at times when we were close or even,” Sauk said. “It’s too hard to win when you’re not running the football. It’s just something that you have to do in this game because of how the defenses are built to run against an offense.”
Coach Sauk did not mince his words, but perhaps he was channeling his inner Phil Jackson by wanting to send a message to all the play-callers watching the interview. Although the Indoor Football League is a pass-first league, the team should run the ball more.
Though the concept of thousands of people voting on play calls in-game may sound a bit surreal, this innovative approach has caught the eye of several media outlets including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and even Wall Street.
And now with a proof of concept at hand, eFL is looking towards its next steps by leveraging the ever growing ecosystem of distributed blockchain technology through a token called the Fan Access Network (FAN) token.
The FAN Token
Built off of Bancor, FAN tokens owners are entitled to many perks and can use them in several ways. Below is a summary of the 4 main ways FAN can be used on the eFL platform:
- FAN entitles the token holder to increased Coaching Power.
- FAN entitles the token holder to opportunities to be the sole play caller at distinct moments in the game
- FAN tokens can be used for In-App purchases such as “voting boosts” or limited-edition merchandise
- FAN can also be used as tickets to enter into platform wide sweepstakes.
So this coming December, after your account gets banned from a month’s worth of steady trash talking on Madden NFL 2018 (which you can preorder here), it might be worthwhile to check https://playefl.tv/ if you want to try coaching a real professional sports team through this truly one-of-a-kind application of blockchain technology.
Remember to give me claps to the left and share with your friends! Until next time, onwards and upwards. 😁
I’ve submitted this article to eFL’s bounty program.