Fan Controlled Football players try to coax teammate to sing national anthem before game
Johnny Manziel’s backup in the new Fan Controlled Football (FCF) league might take the field first on Saturday — to sing the national anthem.
Manziel is the marquee name, but the FCF has assembled a versatile group of quarterbacks whose talents on and off the 50-yard field continue to emerge.
Take Logan Marchi, the quarterback who came off the bench for Manziel Saturday in the debut for the four-team league. He posted a video on his Instagram account that got his teammates’ attention.
Marchi is crooning “Beautiful Crazy,’’ a country song. Now his teammates are urging him to sing the national anthem Saturday night before the Beasts play the Wild Aces in Game 1 and the Zappers play the Glacier Boyz in Game 2.
“When do you see a quarterback go and sing the anthem before the game?’’ Lindquist said. “I’m not sure where he is with it right now, but we need an anthem singer for Week 2.’’
And there's Caleb Lewis, a quarterback on the injured reserve has turned into a team barber, cutting the hair of several teammates while he waits for his lower-body injury to heal.
“He brought his clippers, his buzzers and he’s got a lot of people every night,’’ said Eric Lindquist, who handles player relations for FCF. “It’s tough to get an appointment.’’
During Week 1, each of the league's four teams used two quarterbacks, but none as successfully as the Beasts did. Quinton Flowers and T.J. Edwards II combined for seven touchdowns — three passing (7 for 12 for 147 yards) and four rushing (10 rushes for 124 yards.)
Despite his solid performance, Flowers said, a few days after the game he said he was struggling emotionally — up at 2 a.m. while thinking about his father, who died in a driveby shooting when Flowers was 7; his mother, who died of cancer in 2012; and his brother, who was shot and killed in 2014.
“Knowing that you can’t wake up to them people, it hurts,’’ Flowers said. “Just knowing that you can’t talk to them people, it hurts.’’
But on Saturdays, Flowers said, football will provide him with a unique outlet.
“Football is a violent sport to where you can take your anger out on people and not get in trouble for it,’’ he said. “So every game, every first play, I used to run just directly into someone on purpose because I have to let my body know that it’s a violent game.
“Football is like where I have my free mind and have my fun. It takes my mind off of a lot of other things.’’
Edwards has a hard time taking his mind off of something that may have limited his progress. He played Division II college football and thinks he’s struggled to find pro opportunities as a result.
“I’m kind of pushed to the side a little bit,’’ he said. “But I know I can play. My numbers talk for themselves. Every time I go out, I try to prove myself. A little chip on my shoulder, but I’ve been having that my whole life.’’
He added “Just be looking out for me, T.J. Edwards, number 12.’’
There are a few others to look out for:
— Ed Crouch, who played NAIA football in Kansas at McPherson College, where he picked up the nickname “The Magic Man.’’
— Jackson Erdmann, who played Div. III football in Minnesota at Saint John’s, redshirted his freshman year at Penn State.
— Deondre Francois threw for 34 touchdowns and 6,291 yards in three seasons at Florida State before getting kicked off the team in 2019 after his girlfriend alleged that he had abused her.
— David Pindell, a pro-style quarterback, threw for 23 touchdowns and 2,899 yards during two seasons of Div. 1 football at Connecticut.
Then there is Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy. On his first snap in Week 1, he scrambled for 38 yards, landing just yards short of the end zone on the 50-yard field.
“It was just spectacular,’’ Edwards said, “just to see him and watch him up close.’’
Not to mention the barber, the singer and the rest of the FCF quarterback crew.
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