Joe Montana has more to give to the football world.
The greatest quarterback ever now is the Chief Strategy Officer for a new 7-on-7 spring football league called Fan Controlled Football (FCF). And the league has taken off, because it's fan-friendly.
The game lasts only one hour, and the fans are in charge. Every Wednesday, there's a draft, and the fans vote on which players get taken first. And during games, fans actually call plays while watching from home.
Johnny Manziel plays in this league. Richard Sherman is part owner one of the teams -- the Glacier Boyz. And Marshawn Lynch is part owner of another team -- the Beasts. There are four teams currently.
I recently interviewed Montana about his involvement and vision for the FCF. Here's the interview:
Q: I see that you're not only an investor, but a Chief Strategy Officer. How did they get on your radar and why are you so passionate about this?
MONTANA: "There are always guys who slip under the radar of most NFL teams, especially on the skilled side of things, like defensive backs, receivers, even running backs, and even the linemen -- this allows guys to keep their skills honed. But I think the most fun part is having the fans involved. Anyone can jump onto the website and get registered and become part of one of those teams, and you get control. You can call plays. They had some issues with some bad calls, so now they're going to let fans get involved. I think it's going to get kind of crazy, but I look at myself after I retired -- I love football, love it to death, but I don't sit down and watch a full game anymore. And in today's world, things are moving faster, the youth today really is looking for things that fit into what they do, and an hour-long game where you're a part of it, that goes fast. And last week, Week 3, was the biggest week we've had so far with over 800,000 viewers. And that's crazy. You can't do that in a normal football game. You get a chance to call plays and even become part of ownership now.
Q: Can you imagine being in the huddle and getting the play called in from someone in the stands and not Bill Walsh?
MONTANA: "Well, you can usually tell. But hey, sometimes they might have as good of a chance to call a play as anyone else. I'd be curious to hear from the players, how they felt that went. They love being part of the game, and that adds a little more excitement.
Q: What is the vision for this league?
MONTANA: "I hope that the NFL at some point comes around and says this is worth something and we can move underneath their umbrella to a certain degree. This is something that is missing. A seven-on-seven league has always been something that I thought would be something really good for (the NFL). You're letting these guys continue to play. You're getting lots of one-on-one coverages. You're throwing the ball. The FCF is accomplishing that. Hopefully this gets bigger and bigger. If the numbers stay the way they are, the teams will expand and the league will start to expand and we'll have a larger league and a lot more viewership than 800,000. If you look at the youth today, that's the kind of thing they're looking for. They don't want to sit for three and a half hours."
Q: Speaking of 7 on 7, today's NFL sometimes seems like glorified 7 on 7. Would you have liked to play in this era in which quarterbacks are protected and make $40 million per season?
MONTANA: "If I said no, you'd think I'm crazy. I mean yeah, I'd like to play in any league right now. I just love the game. I love the challenge of it. I wish everybody had the chance to play one game on a Sunday afternoon, win or lose, just to feel the adrenaline, the excitement, the ups and downs, the comradery, there's nothing like it."
Q: Does participating in the FCF fill a football void in your life?
MONTANA: "Yes, because it's new. It's new for everyone to watch, and it's great to be a part of something that's getting going. I do investment startups, so it's fun to watch companies like this grow from where they started. They've got great people behind them on the investment side."
Q: Tell people where they can watch the games and what your goal is for the future of this league?
MONTANA: "The goal is to make it bigger and better and more exciting and be able to move to different venues. You can watch this on their app, the FCF app. It's livestreamed on Twitch and VENN TV back to back on Saturdays starting at 8:00 am Eastern. There are two games that will be played again this weekend, and then the playoffs start. And then the finals are March 20. That will take us through the first season."
For more information on the FCF, visit their website.