Former ESPN analyst Merril Hoge is joining the startup company Your Call Football for an innovative, fan controlled, live play-calling game.
Your Call Football (YCF) offers a new technology giving fans the opportunity to call plays in a live broadcasted football game. Beginning in the spring of 2018, two teams of YCF professional players will compete as fans get to vote on play calls using the YCF app. Through the app, fans are provided a selection of play options from the coaches to vote on. To add to the competition, fans are awarded points based on their play calling skills which can lead to cash prizes.
Merril Hoge, who joined ESPN in 1996 and was widely recognized for his analysis and opinions on NFL Matchup, fell victim to the networks April round of layoffs. Hoge will resurface by signing on to coach one of the YCF teams.
“We are thrilled that Merril Hoge is bringing his wealth of football experience and knowledge to YCF,” said Julie Meringer, president of Your Call, Inc. “Whether running plays or breaking them down on TV, Merril has shown a real passion for the intricacies of play calling. That he’s also embraced the innovation that is YCF makes him an ideal coach to lead this revolution in the fan experience.”
As head coach, Hoge will need to put together a staff of assistants, develop a roster, conduct training camp and practice. Hoge will go head to head with opposing coach Mike Sherman, former Green Bay Packer coach and most recently the offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins.
“YCF truly represents the future of the fan experience, and I’m thrilled to be involved,” said Hoge. “I know from my days on the field and in the analyst studio how much fans want to get in the game and really show how knowledgeable they are. I’m looking forward to seeing them put that knowledge to the test in a real, live environment.”