WEST VALLEY CITY — Forget being an armchair quarterback. I can call myself an offensive coordinator now.

In fact, strike that off the bucket list for many of the reported 8,191 fans in attendance as the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles played their inaugural game Thursday night, a 78-47 loss to the Nebraska Danger in the 2017 Indoor Football League season-opener at the Maverik Center.

The new-in-town Screaming Eagles touted their plan to let the fans call the offensive plays via the team’s app, and, as per the boss’s request and my own curiosity, I got my taste.

I was initially skeptical. Before the game, I logged on to the team app — the Screaming Eagles poured $100,000 into an upgraded Wi-Fi at the arena — and it was lagging a half-hour before the game. Let’s chalk that up to the powers that be just getting the bugs out of a new system, though.

By the time the contest got going, there were minimal issues overall. There was a first-quarter blip and occasionally the app didn’t give fans enough time to call plays in a hurry-up situation, but its overall efficiency was impressive.

Fans chose between four plays each down, with the occasional third-down play where you simply chose a pass or a run. Also, they could choose to kick the extra point or go for two on conversions and decided between a normal kickoff or an on-sides kick. (Disclaimer: my special teams calls need some work.)

When fans called the play that was ultimately chosen on the field, the app would display a green stripe across the top of their phone after the play that said, “Your play won.” If there was positive yardage on a play or a touchdown scored, fans got bonus points. Talk about bringing you a little satisfaction.

How was the experience for the Salt Lake team?

“Every once in a while, it took a little bit to get the system going, but it seemed to work fairly well. I didn’t see any issues where we didn’t know what was going on. There’s bumps and bruises along the way with that aspect, too, but every play that got called in got brought to me, so it was good from that standpoint,” Screaming Eagles coach William McCarthy said.

I’ll admit, I’m glad the Salt Lake team only has fans decide offensive plays because when I chose defensive plays on EA Sports’ Madden or NCAA Football video games, it was generally a disaster. Smart move, Screaming Eagles.

“As long as we execute, it doesn’t really matter who’s calling the play,” Salt Lake quarterback Verlon Reed said.

Like my days of calling plays in the video games, I tended to find myself calling a lot of plays that involved flag or post routes over curls, hitches or out routes. Coach may need to talk about me showing a wider range of play-calling.

The team app displays your “statistics,” how many yards and touchdowns and turnovers you accounted for when the plays you called were the ones chosen for any given play. You also build up what they call a FanIQ score, and the higher yours gets, the more your play-calling is weighed over novices.

Four times, my play calls resulted in a touchdown. I won’t let that go to my head too much, with the high-scoring nature of the indoor game and the fact I chose a fourth-quarter play that led to a critical turnover for the Screaming Eagles. Everybody likely called their fair share of scores on this night.

Still, it's an entertaining part of the whole app business that makes the user experience more enriching for the fans.

The experiment got off to a rocky start, as the Screaming Eagles netted minus-15 yards on their first two drives of the game and Nebraska scored touchdowns on a fumble recovery in the end zone and a blocked kick.

I do question how long it can keep the interest of the community, if they struggle in the team’s inaugural season. The Screaming Eagles rallied to make it a 35-27 game in the first half, which kept the interest level high throughout the first two quarters.

Calling plays when there is a lot on the line is much more enjoyable. Case in point: the fans went crazy when their play call on the final play of the first half resulted in a Screaming Eagles touchdown, making it a one-score game.

The team fell further behind in the second half, though, which for me decreased my desire to continue calling plays. By the tail end of the third quarter, fans started to exit the building as the more experienced Danger took control of the game.

Remember that time when you threw an interception in Madden and felt like sulking? That moment came for me in the fourth quarter, when my play was called on the Screaming Eagles' first snap of the quarter and Reed threw an interception deep downfield. Can an in-the-stands OC lose his play-calling duties?

Of course, I made up for it later. Former BYU tight end Devin Mahina caught the team's final touchdown of the game on a 7-yard grab, and I called that one, too. Why not throw it to the local player and generate some fan interest? That happened a lot Thursday night, as Mahina had a team-high six catches for 54 yards and the touchdown.

Maybe we'll have to renegotiate my contract.

Play-calling by the fans? That's much better suited for a niche market than anything you'd see in mainstream sports.

If the team can learn from the game-one mistakes, though, it feels like there's a staying power to this social experiment. The technology runs smooth enough to allow it to continue.

“It doesn’t matter who’s calling it. We have to execute the plays that are being called,” McCarthy said.