By Zach Garrett (@zthaguru on Twitter)
Breaking News: It’s ‘breakup’ week here at Fan Controlled Football, and that means all types and variations of ‘break’. Did you experience heartbreak after one of your favorite players was traded away? Don’t worry, we can talk it out. See any players step up and step out into the spotlight this year? We’ll give them the shine they deserve. Heart-broken after a pivotal loss in Season v2.0? Depending on which team you are a fan of, this could be like salt in an open wound or a time to reminisce on the good ol’ days. I think you get the point…
There might be a couple of extra fun tidbits of ‘breaks’ thrown in at the end, but this is going to be a fun one. Buckle up, get your Kleenex and ice cream (or streamers and party hats), and let’s all take a look back at some heartbreak, shall we?
FCF Breakups and Their Impact
From trades and drafts, to being released by the league, these breakups changed the FCF landscape. Was it for the better or for the worse? I’ll let you be the judge.
Zappers fans, depending on how you look at this, this could be seen as a turning point in the season. In the first ever FCF trade in the history of the league, each team’s owner and their respective fans, approved the trade by supermajority which included sending the NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver from the Zappers to the Knights of Degen. All seemed to make sense as KOD bolstered its wide receiving core, the Zaps got themselves a true and reliable QB1, and the Beasts received a good backup QB with high upside and a much needed 1st overall pick in the Week 4 Draft, but not all was as it seemed.
In no fault to TO, KOD did not end up making the playoffs and to many people’s surprise, the Zappers embarked on an incredible run, and to kick-start it all was the player they got from this trade, QB Stew (more on him later). The Beasts fell just short of the playoffs as well, but it seemed the cards had already been dealt for Prototype81 to miss out on the playoffs. While he definitely showed out for both of the teams he played for, ultimately, the Knights of Degen fans were the ones reeling from this trade in the end.
For the true OG fans, you will remember that Deondre Francois sported a previous jersey in Season v1.0. Francois was a pivotal part of the Glacier Boyz playoff run that saw them make it to the first ever People’s Championship game. Granted, he was the backup quarterback, but once he got his opportunity he took it. He and current Glacier Boy Andrew Jamiel developed true chemistry, and even worked together in the offseason in preparation for Season v2.0.
He was simply too valuable to pass up however when the first draft of the year found Francois going 1.01 to the newly formed Bored Ape FC. Of course, the Glacier Boyz could have chosen to franchise him instead of Jamiel, but that’s a choice no one truly wants to make. The Boyz found themselves struggling to figure out their QB situation all year while Francois balled out, ending up with the 1 seed in the Ballerz division. Do you think the Glacier Boyz made the right decision? Regardless, it would be interesting to see how Season v2.0 goes with Francois at the wheel for the Boyz…
Man…this looks off. Ed Crouch in a Wild Aces/Shoulda Been Stars jersey?! Aces fans absolutely fell in love with Crouch in Season v1.0 of Fan Controlled Football, and for good reason. He was the second option at QB, but stepped up when it truly mattered most, especially in the ground game. He scored the game-winning TD in the first ever People’s Championship, won the People’s Championship MVP, and was instantly thrust into a fan favorite for the then Wild Aces.
Fast-forward to Season v2.0, and with the introduction of the Ballerz division, Crouch was simply too valuable to let slip in the draft. The Knights of Degen snatched him up at the 1.02 and the Shoulda Been Stars had officially lost their guy. It can be truly painful to watch your quarterback go on and do big things with another team, and that’s exactly what happened. Crouch finished 2nd in Offensive Player of the Year voting and just barely missed out on a playoff spot (more on that later). Not to say the Stars didn’t have a good year, but in a different world where they get to keep their guy, who knows, maybe they make it back-to-back. I guess we’ll never know.
Jason ‘QB Stew’ Stewart
Jason Stewart entered training camp with lots of high praise from the coaches and players, and many were optimistic about his future in the FCF. In the trade with the three teams mentioned above, QB Stew found himself a new home, moving on from the Beasts and landing at the struggling Zappers.
Many thought all was lost for this team, but in Week 5, Stew stepped up to the plate tossing for 3 touchdowns in a win over the top seeded Shoulda Been Stars. It looked like the Zappers had found their pairing for Johnny, but after violating league rules, sadly Stewart was released by FCF. Who knows what happens for the Zappers if #17 stays. Would they have gone with him of Kelly Bryant? Do they make the unlikely run to the People’s Championship? The what if game can be a nasty one, and unfortunately, we’ll just have to keep wondering what could have been for Jason Stewart in the FCF.
Breakout Players in Season v2.0
The talent pool in Season v2.0 was filled to the brim as we saw many players take the stage, but there were a select few that really shined among the rest. Yes, there were the Mitch Kidds and the Jordus Smiths of the FCF, but these guys really broke out and played major roles on their teams that fans might not have expected at the start of the season. Let’s take a look at who they are.
Before I type anything else, check out these stat lines from Seasons v1.0 and v2.0:
Season v1.0: 3 rec, 16 yards, 1 TD
Season v2.0: 19 rec, 333 yards, 7 TD
If that doesn’t scream breakout, I don’t know what does. From role player in his first season to top 5 receiver in the league is a jump I think few expected. The native Atlantian established great chemistry with star QB Mitch Kidd and eventually became his number 1 option. At times he was even in consideration for the MVP of the entire league, and for good reason, just look at those numbers. He was incredibly efficient with his opportunities, and could make a play at the drop of a hat. The dictionary has Boykin’s picture next to it when you look up ‘breakout’.
Brycen Alleyne’s Season v2.0 stats are as follows:
72 carries, 349 yards, 8 TD rushing and 2 rec, 25 yards, 1 TD receiving
This dude truly came out of nowhere and surprised almost everybody when he took the field with the Glacier Boyz. Amongst the quarterback carousel, Allyene provided a constant for the offense that they could rely on. He was the league leading rusher on the season and even finished 4th in the Offensive Player of the Year vote. Mr. Alleyne did not mess around in Season v2.0, and with a performance like that, it seems that he will definitely have a chance to play in the upcoming future.
Even though Tirri Jones played for a team that didn’t win as often as they would’ve liked to, he was the established leader of the team. At the beginning of Season v2.0, no one really knew much about Jones, but man would we find out fast. Here are his stats:
36-82, 629 yards, 14 TD, 2 Int passing and 52 carries, 288 yards, 7 TD rushing
That is one crazy stat line for a 7 game regular season. One could argue that this might be the most impressive stat line of any player for the 2021 season. The Kingpins kind of lucked into Jones after not franchising him after his first start with the team. They eventually locked him up as their QB1, and this guy took his opportunity, and literally ran with it. There are certain types of players you love to root for in football, and Jones fit the type to a T. Going from virtually unknown to the 5th most vote getter in the Offensive Player of the Year vote is the essence of what a breakout player is. Kingpins, you got a good one.
Heartbreaking FCF Games
Season v2.0 had its fair share of close games, heartbreakers – if you will. If you’re a Beasts, Bored Ape FC, or Knights of Degen fan, you might want to skip this section as I don’t want to cause any physical, mental, or emotional harm. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s take a look back at some of the games that ripped the hearts out of some of our fans.
Bored Ape FC loses in the People’s Championship
This one had less to do with the game itself and more to do with the disappointment of the outcome of the journey. The Zappers came into the People’s Championship as the heavy underdog with nothing to lose. The Apes rolled in feeling fantastic, finishing with the best record in FCF and riding their 1 seed into the championship game.
The Zappers came out hot and never let the foot off the gas. Francois and Baker did their best to keep Bored Ape FC in the game, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to get the job done. A season of domination and high hopes ended in a disappointing end, and to top it off, a cinderella story is what knocked them out.
Bored Ape fans have been and will continue to think back on what could have been. Hopefully it will be used as motivation for the future, but championship runs are never guaranteed.
Beasts lose to Zappers in Week 7
Emotions were running high with a packed crowd, owners in attendance, and a trip to the playoffs on the line in a matchup between the Zappers and the Beasts. It went back and forth all game long until one team finally broke. That team was the Beasts.
With just seconds left in the game, the Zappers scored the go-ahead touchdown and all but decimated the hopes and dreams of a playoff run for the Beasts and its fans. QB Alphonso Howard had done all he could for his team, but it wouldn’t be enough against the team of destiny – Zappers.
Looking back now on this game, the entire playoffs look quite different if Howard, Smith, and the gang get the victory. There was a good chance the Beasts advance to the playoffs with solid QB play, standout wide receivers, and a solid defense, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Beasts fans, keep your head up, it could always be worse…(heads up KOD fans).
Knights of Degen lose in Week 7 matchup AND Playoff Showdown to 8OKI
I’m really not being mean on purpose, I am simply just laying out the facts and presenting them in a way that may or may not be heartbreaking to some fans. This one though, was by far the roughest heartbreak a team went through in Season v2.0.
In a win and in situation for the Knights, they controlled their own destiny and all that was in the way was 8OKI. It turns out, 8OKI was a ginormous, unmovable boulder that would not get out of KOD’s way. Mitch Kidd and the boys were simply too much for the Knights as they lost their final matchup of the season. BUT there was still hope. 8OKI had simply forced a Playoff Showdown for the tiebreaker, giving each team a chance to advance to the playoffs.
Ed Crouch and the wide receiving core of the Knights could not get it done in the 1v1 matchups, and ultimately, 8OKI out played KOD’s defensive backs to advance to the playoffs. So just to review, all the Knights had to do was win the game and they made the playoffs. Instead, they just barely lost the game, still had a chance to make things right in the tiebreaker, and still choked it away. That’s hard to live down. Maybe next year Knights fans!
This year, the fans had the pleasure of witnessing an FCF record happen in real-time. Check out which one we saw take place in Season v2.0.
Farthest Touchdown Completion
Mitch. Kidd. What can’t this guy do? The reigning Offensive Player of the Year tossed the longest touchdown in FCF history, and it’s about as far as you could possibly throw it on the FCF regulation field. In Week 5 against the Kingpins, Kidd stood in his own end zone and after a bit of scrambling, launched the ball with his three and a half yards into the end zone. The rest is, well, history.
And another angle shows just how far the ball traveled.
Malik Elion caught the ball in stride and dove into the end zone for what is the longest touchdown pass in FCF history. Unfortunately (for 8OKI fans) Kidd and Co. would go on to lose the game, but nonetheless, the record holds strong. In my opinion, this is a record that will be very difficult to beat, but in Fan Controlled Football, as the fans know, crazier things have happened. Maybe we see it broken next year?
Breakup Bracket Update
Don’t forget to tune into votes that are happening everyday on the FCF website and app! Happening live now is our Breakup Bracket which is pitting our two regions, sports and celebrities, against each other to determine which breakup was the most heartbreaking. The votes will run through the weekend, so be sure to get your vote in while you can!