Cameron Irvine, SFL Commissioner
Banner Image by Andy Hamilton
It’s nearly 3am and it’s hard to sleep. With the semifinals just days away and a long day behind me, I just finished up watching the national news, to catch up on what I missed throughout the day, reflecting back on what was a whirlwind of an 18 hours.
To start the day, the first of 31 Discord conversations – Rich Pratchard helping me with a realtor and internet information in his area of Arkansas, a possible new location for SFL Headquarters, as my fiancée prepares for increased hours at the university when the fall semester begins. Commuting 10 hours a week to keep her adjunct job as she finalizes a doctoral degree, she risks losing the job entirely without the move after her travel and housing budget was slashed this semester, making profits for the efforts even less than usual. She’s had to work from home since COVID-19, sharing SFL Headquarters three afternoons a week.
I speak with internet service providers around the area and get caught up on the latest technological capabilities, from fiber optic backbones to dedicated business lines to residential homes that operate businesses critical to the web, like I do to produce national television broadcasts. We search, bookmark and investigate best-case scenarios for an eventual move between seasons in order to prevent any unrest to the league calendar.
Queen City gives a look into improvements to their team websites, as teams across the country, from Florida to Sioux Falls to Vancouver discuss their progress with the rest of the group. I find a direct message buried 50 down that I missed from Monday to respond about international payment concerns.
I touch base with Matt Doyle Designs, as branding projects are underway for newly purchased teams in Louisiana and Texas. Making sure all moving parts continue to move is one of my biggest daily objectives.
A helpful rookie Conner Darian shares a new and improved rookie guide upon first entry into the server, showing initiative far beyond expectations. In the community for just five weeks, Conner is already making an impact and hasn’t even hit the field yet. He plays tight end for Lincoln in the SFLm, which starts on Wednesday. I haven’t gotten to respond to him yet, but he knows how important his exchange with me today was in the short-term; by this diary, and I’ll get back with him in more detail tomorrow.
Two teams bring two separate concerns to league staff in the afternoon. I read through it so at least I know of the situation and was able to address one concern with one team and will have to resume the conversation with the other as soon as possible.
Mike Daggs, Andy Hamilton and I clear up a broadcast scheduling error that slotted Chris Curtis to call his own team, Queen City, a logistical challenge for the league to ensure that all broadcast crews remain unbiased to the games in which they are calling. After quick conferencing, it’s determined the game times need to be flipped and announcements are rolled out by Hamilton to ensure that everyone – as soon as possible – got the adjusted kickoff times.
A new broadcaster, Tim Hackett, reached out and I read his introductory message after he became the newest member of the team earlier in the day. He works at Learfield IMG College – also where Hamilton works professionally. Hackett is a studio host and producer and is a broadcaster, writer and editor for hillsboroughsports.com. He’s a public address announcer at Duke. I haven’t gotten a chance to respond, but saw his great hello.
A meeting was scheduled with two teams for the morning to clear up some business items as I guide teams on the business side of organizing new leadership and map out revised timelines.
A new Kramer Show is complete – it’s downloaded and uploaded to YouTube. I usually get to listen to great SFL content posted throughout our community when prepping for games on Fridays and Saturdays each week. It’s rare that I get to hear it all, but it’s often I at least get to enjoy some. Our content creators make some awesome stuff and are some of the most passionate in our community.
We’ve reached 300 subscriptions and some rookie pricing gets adjusted – the pro subscriptions stay the same ahead of the wave of veterans teams anticipate they will re-sign in a few weeks for the summer season, the SFL’s 15th Anniversary season. In other league staff business, Andrew Rastelli, now Deputy Commissioner, holds a coaches clinic at 7 pm CT as SFLm teams face their first playbook deadline Friday night. I pop in for the first 20 minutes to help in assisting with the more detailed questions about submissions.
In an effort to prepare for social hype, a slimmed down version of our epic playoff intro is needed for media push. I receive the details of the requested cuts from Hamilton and inform him that while I hoped to finish the project tonight, I ran out of time and will start it in the morning after that 9 am call. FTF requests a clip from the second game of the doubleheader to promote Sunday’s semifinals, which Hamilton clips and sends in my absence.
In the late-night hours, I speak with a team of SFL enthusiasts hoping to generate more content for the community and work with them on roll-outs and policies relating to league and team branding, coordination and communication with me and the rest of the league staff moving forward. More discussions to come.
Off Discord, there’s a buzz in my inbox. Another person interested in commentary asks for details, an introduction from a potential new business partner leads us to a specialist in digital advertising, YouTube, sponsorships and other platforms. An introductory meeting will likely be scheduled tomorrow, for next week.
A reporter from the Fort Worth Business Press catches wind of the SFL thanks to my association with the city and Texas Wesleyan University and asks some introductory questions. We have a call scheduled for the next day after I respond to all initial inquiries.
FTF wants info on the semifinals for TV guides, promo materials and internal memos. Game times are confirmed and match-ups are listed with records and seedings, to help their social team keep up to ensure accuracy across the board. That information is then relayed to the scheduling department and the company who works with Eleven Sports and For the Fans on ad overlays across their more than 40 platforms the games are broadcasted on.
Back on the phone, I talk with Carolina, Arizona, Queen City and Vancouver staff along with Rastelli about various topics throughout the day. I get on a Zoom call with a major collegiate and major league media provider with the interest in upgrading infrastructure to web and stat services. The call morphs into further opportunities as the two sides learn more about each others operations.
On Friday, League President Jermaine Smith will ready the semifinals adjustments, I’ll begin prep for the weekend and more unexpected messages, calls and opportunities will wash over the landscape. All in a days work. Now, I must rest my head and dream of the competitive, exciting football that is surely to come this weekend. My how we’re blessed.
Cameron Irvine, SFL Commissioner