I heart emails!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ka-kawww!

The first Screaming Eagles game was this past Thursday evening in Salt Lake City and it was awesome.
A little backstory for those who don't know... About 10 years ago, Grant and his buddies were at a bar in NYC musing about how cool it would be if the fans had more of a voice in professional sports. How many times had they found themselves screaming at the screen, calling plays that seemed so obvious to them but for whatever reason, the coach wasn't calling? The idea behind Project Franchise (now Project Fanchise) - the first fan-run sports team where fans called everything from what concessions to sell in the stadium to who the mascot was to individual plays in an actual game -  was born and while they worked tirelessly to get it off the ground for a good couple of years, even going so far as to submit an audition to Shark Tank (which we filmed at the Newark Airport in the stairwell of the parking garage - big production budgets, let me tell you!), eventually life got in the way and the idea was put on the back burner.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago when Grant was approached by a guy who had read a New York Times article about Project Franchise and asked him if he'd be interested in making this come to life. This guy had dabbled in Arena Football League ownership and loved the idea of having the fans call the shots. I won't go into all of the details here, but what we've ended up with is the first professional sports team - Indoor Football League (IFL) - that has ever been completely fan-run. Fans chose the city, the name, the uniforms, the dance team, the coach. And last Thursday, fans called all of the offensive plays via the Screaming Eagles app - and did a pretty damn good job of it! Unfortunately, the final score was not on our side, but the team put up a good fight and boy was it a hoot!
Grant and one of the co-owners, Sohrob discussing plays while a GQ editor looks on. {there will be a lengthy feature on Project Fanchise and the Screaming Eagles in the May issue of GQ}  

 We decided to make a mini-vacation out of the event and rented a house in Park City with our close friends, the Scuras. Joe was another one of the brains behind the original Project Franchise idea and Janine is one of my best friends from college; they have two kids - Hudson (5) and Sienna (2) - so family vacations with them are just easy. We brought the boys to the game on Thursday night and left the girls at home with an outrageously overpriced sitter (worth every penny as it would not have been their scene). 
Joe and Grant, part of the original Franchise crew...
We had all-access passes so we pretty much had the run of the place, which was a new experience for us being at a public sporting event. The Maverik Center, where the game was held, is also host to the Utah Grizzlies, SLC's hockey team, so we got to sit where the hockey players' bench was (I won't pretend to know what this is called - my Canadian family is shaking their heads right now). This meant we were seriously up close and personal, which was awesome albeit slightly terrifying in a game that's as physical and rough as IFL games tend to be.
The Screaming Eagles Dance Team...
Grey spent a good hour of the game watching Batman on Nini's phone...
Screaming Eagles youngest fan calling the shots...
The game was unlike anything I've ever been to. Fans were invited onto the field after the first touchdown. Army men hung from the rafters during the singing of the National Anthem. Swag floated down from the sky via mini-parachutes. The IFL mascots - all twelve of them - played dodgeball in between plays. I never fancied myself an IFL fan (hell, I didn't even know what IFL was before all of this!) but it was really a ton of fun.
 A good video recap of the game - my Insta-story of the day.
We have plans to go to another game at the end of March when the Screaming Eagles play the other team we have partial ownership of, the Colorado Crush, but if y'all have the chance, you should totally try to attend a game. It will be unlike anything you've ever been to.
In the meantime, check out some of the press they've gotten leading up to 
and since the 1st game last week:

 
As for the rest of the trip, we decided to forgo skiing this time around - too much hassle for too little time - but had a great time exploring Park City for the rest of the long weekend, hitting up the snow tubing at Gorgoza Park, getting a bowling game in at the Jupiter Bowl and roasting s'mores at the Montage Deer Valley. The kiddos couldn't get enough of the snow, spending every waking moment outside shoveling snow banks and we had a nice relaxing weekend with friends.
 This little one saw snow for the first time...

I swear, he was having fun...
S'mores at the Montage...

No comments:

Post a Comment