Fantasy football has become a critical part of the NFL fan experience, and to me, the reason is obvious: people want to be part of the decision-making process of an NFL team and pit themselves against others to measure their front office acumen.
The Succeed in Football reader, however, is more than just a fan. Our readers are so passionate that they want to be part of the game. That’s why you, dear reader, need to know about the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles, an Indoor Football League (IFL) franchise that’s holding a tryout (along with several other IFL teams) in Dallas next weekend.
“If you’ve ever had a passion to help build your own football franchise from the ground up, the fanchise is necessary in your life!” said Ray Austin, a former NFL player who is the co-founder and Director of Team Operations for the Eagles. “We respect our fans, we engage directly with our fans and give our fans direct contact with us. There are so many awesome components of a football team, from scouting, coaching, or being a bad-ass play-caller, or even a part of our GM staff, to helping with marketing the Screaming Eagles. Either way, you have a say with your team.”
The Eagles are a ‘fanchise’ that literally allows members of its virtual ‘front office’ to make important team decisions, even calling plays during the game. Already, Screaming Eagles subscribers (you can become a scout, assistant coach or assistant GM depending on the monthly fee you choose) have chosen the team’s name, uniform colors, head coach and team logo, with votes ahead on the team’s field and uniform design as well as the makeup of the dance team. Still on the horizon is the big kahuna: actually selecting the players that will try out for the team.
“Fantasy football and gaming is the closest you can get to ever coming close to coaching, calling plays and or drafting or building an actual dynasty. Until Fanchise,” Austin said. “It’s easy to go off of best athletes in the world. How good are you? Can you really eye talent? Can you really choose that key third-down play? We’re giving fans the ability to decide from the name to the coach, to even 3rd and 5. Tell me, what fantasy poll can give you that?”
Though the idea of running a team is tantalizing, there have to be players at the tryout before cuts can be made. That’s why the Eagles (along with the Wichita Falls, Iowa and Colorado IFL franchises) will be in attendance Oct. 22 from noon-4 p.m. at the D1 Dallas facility, 8081 Walnut Hill Ln, #100, Dallas, TX 75231. Cost is $75.
If you’re a player or represent one interested in trying out, click here to register. If you’re interested in becoming part of the team braintrust, click here to get started. Either way, Austin wants to welcome as many Screaming Eagles aboard as possible.
“In February 2017, the first fan-run football team will step on the field, built and run by the fans since Day 1,” Austin said. “Coaches and players will be selected by the fans who want to win. The experience has been amazing, and we look forward to sharing this with the world.”