Could a new "Fan Voting" Experiment with the Sounders Translate to the NFL?


In a “first ever in professional sports” the Seattle Sounders have announced that fans will decide the fate of General Manager Adrian Hanauer.  Should he stay or should he go?  Fans will be making that choice rather than the owners.  This may be just a publicity move, but I’m thinking it gives fans a real connection to their team and could make someone a LOT of money.  This could be something that Fans can do, besides come to games and scream at the tops of their lungs, that will have a major effect on the team.

This got me to thinking; could this work with the NFL?  Fans love their fantasy football, right?  What would happen if fans got to pick between several coaching candidates?  Or what players make the team?  How about picking this weeks starting QB?  Or even the game plan?  Make it all interactive on the web with some fancy software that will take the average of all responses from choices offered by the software.  Maybe throw in some kind of wild card to shake things up; such as an electronic “wheel of fortune” with choices like picking one player from the opposing team that will have to sit out a quarter.  How cool would THAT be?  This would give the games real meaning to the people who support the team in every NFL city.

Can you imagine what this idea could do to the game?  It would make it an interactive real-life computer sports game.  Think of all the ways fans could exercise their will?  Of course there would have to be safeguards to prevent fans of enemy teams from infiltrating our fan choices to weaken our team.  But that can all be worked out.  Maybe you’d buy into different levels of voting.  For example; you could have a “basic” package that allows you to vote on the defensive coach and two offensive lineman, a linebacker, and a safety.  The “silver package” allows voting on head coach, defensive coach, and 4 offensive and defensive players but not the QB.  The “gold” package would give you control of all coaches, and all players.  And the “Platinum” package adds game planning and 3rd down play calling during the game.  The “Super Double Platinum” level gets you into the NFL DRAFT!  Yeah BABY!

Crazy you say?  I’m absolutely insane?  Yeah, but how much would you PAY for this kind of control of your Seahawks?  Hmmm?  If the powers that be determine there’s a boatload of cash to be made, I’m thinking there may soon be conversations along these lines.  In fact, it’s already being done in other entertainment genres.  Ever hear of “American Idol” or “Dancing with the Stars”?  They already have fan voting.  If there’s one thing franchise owners like, it’s new revenue streams.  Fan interactive voting would be a FAT new source of cash for owners.

Call me crazy, but remember… you heard it here first.

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Tags: Sounders