Inside the Tech Experiment That Wants to Change Football Forever

April 10, 2019


ON A MONDAY afternoon in Jacksonville, Florida, four hours before game time, quarterback Vad Lee is rocking leisurely on a foam roller on the carpet of a spacious hotel suite.

Or at least this used to be a spacious hotel suite, before the 91 football players, 19 coaches and 23 staff members who make up Your Call Football moved in for five weeks. The entire fifth floor of the hotel is now completely occupied in what looks like — at first glance — a hostile takeover. Behind Lee, there’s a faint outline of where two full-sized beds used to be; in the hallway, hampers are piled with dirty workout clothes; a few doors down, boxes of pro football gear reach the ceiling.

Lee should be napping right now. He’s been traveling practically every other day between Florida and Bloomington, Indiana, to be with his wife when she gives birth to their second child. “I’ve been sleeping in the airport a lot,” he tells me. He flew back today on a 6 a.m. flight so he can do what he’s enjoyed most since he was 5 years old: play football.

Or at least something that resembles football. While Your Call Football has all the traditional trappings of a football operation, it doesn’t have a permanent home base, and depending on whom you ask, it isn’t even really a league. In fact, Julie Meringer, YCF president, will tell you defiantly that it is not. “We’re about the fans,” she says.