From Dirty Bird to Gutter Cat

By Frank W. Gillespie | Posted 2 years ago

Former Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson led the NFL in rushing in 1998 with 1,846 yards on 410 attempts. Anderson averaged 4.5 yards per attempt and scored 14 touchdowns for Atlanta en route to the playoffs. The Falcons finished the regular season with a stellar record of 14-2. In Super Bowl 33, Anderson’s Falcons flew into Pro Player Stadium in Miami to face John Elway’s Denver Broncos. 

The original “Dirty Bird”, Anderson danced and plowed his way to 96 rushing yards, averaging a juicy 5.3 YPC. Anderson also caught three passes for 16 yards, but his efforts were not enough to thwart the Elway mystique. The Broncos caged the Falcons, winning 34-19 on the magic of Elway’s MVP performance. 

“It was like a predetermined outcome.” Anderson admitted to OSDB.” We all had wanted to play the Jets to avenge the beatdown they had given us in New York earlier in the year. The Jets were the only team that dominated us that season. They were winning the AFC Championship Game 10-0 at halftime, and we were like ‘alright, we’re gonna get our chance’, but the Broncos came back to win and the rest is history.”

Anderson wanted to choose his Super Bowl opponent, and now he’s an owner in a football league where the fans pick the plays. Fan Controlled Football (FCF) launched six days after Tom Brady won Super Bowl 55 with Tampa Bay in 2021. FCF began with only four teams, and still became the fastest-growing live sports channel on Twitch, producing almost 10 million live views in its inaugural season. 

Now heading into its second season, the fan-powered football league has doubled in size. Four squads were added, including “The Gutter Cat Gang,” owned by Anderson, King BlackBored, Dr. Dicatrio, Vivek Ravishanker, and Spottie WiFi. Atlanta is the hub for FCF, and The Historical Pullman Yards has been secured as its venue going forward. Team ownership in a football league with Atlanta roots is a natural fit for Anderson, who played his entire eight-year career with the Falcons.

“This is huge for the city of Atlanta, and if the league’s popularity continues to grow at this pace, the sky's the limit.”, Anderson told OSDB, clearly exhilarated. “FCF can definitely become as popular and globally recognized as the NFL.

“Where else can the fans get involved like this, becoming part owners of a team and actually voting on the plays that are called? This is an exciting situation, and the FCF Ballerz Collective is real. We’re expanding the NFT space, and new artwork will be revealed soon. It was the Gutter Cat Gang art that originally drew me into their brand of NFT. Everyone is really pumped up for the second season and to see how far we can go with this.”

Anderson isn’t the only NFL-connected FCF owner in play, either. Former RB Marshawn Lynch, CB Richard Sherman, and RBs Dalvin Cook and Austin Ekeler are also FCF team owners. In the first FCF Championship, Ekeler’s “Wild Aces” came back from 14 points down to defeat Sherman’s “Glacier Boys” 46-40. Anderson hopes that his “Gutter Cat Gang” will be in the postseason mix the next time around.  

FCF season two kicks off on April 16, and there is a great deal of buzz circulating. 

There’s even been discussion that former NFL WR Antonio Brown might get involved as a player and/or coach. Shortly after head coach Todd Haley of the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits had offered Brown a roster spot, AB allegedly found himself in talks to become a coach in the FCF. Brown’s potential involvement in Fan Controlled Football’s second season adds electricity to an already live wire, so stay tuned.        

Get updates on the launch of OSDB Plus and sign up for the OSDB Newsletter.