New York Gothams or LA Stunners? What are the other team names the XFL considered?

A search of recent trademark registrations shows a bevy of team names were registered by “Alpha Entertainment,” the parent company of the XFL. As well as the eight team names revealed two weeks ago, other names were also considered by the league:

  • DALLAS BANDITS
  • DALLAS BLAZE
  • DALLAS LOBOS
  • DALLAS MUSTANGS
  • DC ARMADA
  • DC KNIGHTS
  • DC SENTINELS
  • DC STARS
  • HOUSTON COMETS
  • HOUSTON NITRO
  • HOUSTON OCTANE
  • HOUSTON WILDCATTERS
  • LA GOLD
  • LA LEGION
  • LA STUNNERS
  • LA WINGS
  • NEW YORK CANNONS
  • NEW YORK GOTHAMS
  • NEW YORK GRIND
  • NEW YORK POWER
  • ST. LOUIS ACES
  • ST. LOUIS ARCHERS
  • ST. LOUIS GREYWOLVES
  • ST. LOUIS PHANTOM
  • TAMPA BAY FRENZY
  • TAMPA BAY PREDATORS
  • TAMPA BAY SHARKS
  • TAMPA BAY STINGERS

Earlier in August, “Alpha Entertainment” also registered these alternate Seattle team names:

  • SEATTLE WILD
  • SEATTLE FORCE
  • SEATTLE FURY
  • SEATTLE SURGE

What do you think of these names? Feel free to comment below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Screen capture from US Trademark search engine below.

Paxton Lynch one of the first eyed by the XFL at the NFL cut deadline

Paxton Lynch cut by the Seahawks. Is he XFL bound?

Today is the day NFL teams must cut their rosters down for regular season play, and it is no secret that the XFL plans to take a good look at the crop of available players.

One player that has been touted as an XFL prospect is former first-round pick, quarterback Paxton Lynch. In fact, XFL Commissioner has said he was very interested in the battle between Seattle Seahawks backup quarterbacks Geno Smith and Paxton Lynch. Now we see that Smith won the job and Paxton Lynch was cut. Could an XFL contract or draft invitation be coming soon? Will Lynch end up as a starter or backup with the Seattle Dragons? We will see.

Other than this particular situation, there could be plenty more XFL contracts and draft invites in the coming days.

“When we look at the guys fighting for roster spots who might get released, we see incredible talent,” XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck recently told USA Today. “These are guys that fans will recognize.”

When it came to quarterbacks, Luck was especially hopeful for the XFL’s prospects. “You now have incredibly talented quarterbacks at the position for 15 to 20 years. One of the results of that is that you have a bunch of college guys who are very gifted but they find it difficult to make an NFL roster.”

The XFL Commissioner is upbeat about the XFL’s chances, and so are the fans.

At XFLBoard, where the hottest discussion is about NFL cuts, Mike Mitchell has weighed in with, “The XFL will be in contact with players who were cut all weekend. Invites will be extended this weekend to players and agents through correspondence and verbally. They are not going to be made public.  There’s an outside chance that we hear of a top tier signing or two in the next week or so but even those may be closer to the draft. Those are the only real players that will be signed to contracts.”

Now that the team names and logos have been released, it looks like XFL fans can look forward to some “team building.”

Come meet Houston Roughnecks head coach June Jones

The Houston Roughnecks will hold a Q&A session featuring head coach June Jones on Thursday September 5th at Pitch 25, 2120 Walker St. Houston, TX, between 6-7:30pm.

Everyone is welcome!

Seattle Dragons to host fan meetup

The Seattle Dragons have announced they will host a fan meetup this Wednesday 28 August, at Elysian Fields, 542 1st Ave S, Seattle, Washington between 5-7pm. The event will be located at 98104).

This will be the first chance for Seattle fans to meet the Dragons staff in person.

We review the XFL team identities… the best and the rest

Introduction by Mike Mitchell, New York Guardians Team Reporter

The old saying goes, “What’s in a name?” My answer is “history.” Brand new sports leagues don’t have the advantages that established leagues do. It’s very difficult to build a new league and to make it survive and thrive. It’s impossible for  fans to have the same type of emotional attachment that they have for established sports franchises like the NFL, and it’s something that takes a lot of time to build up.  A league like the NFL and it’s teams have a hundred years of history behind them. There’s a saying in sports that fans end up rooting for the “laundry,” rather than the players. There’s truth in that but it’s only because those brands and team names have the benefit of time served. What helped many of those brands grow in the early days was the quality of play,  the players and coaches. Historic figures like Vince Lombardi helped build those brands in the early days. Lombardi, was the leader of a small market team named after it’s sponsor, the Indian Packing Company, a company that was involved in the canned meat industry. Today, the Green Bay Packers are one of the most beloved and historic teams/brands  in all of sports.

So many great players and coaches from the past have helped make these team brands as strong as they are today. This example also applies to current players. The football world just lost a  great young player in Andrew Luck,  who unfortunately has decided to retire at a very young age due to mounting physical issues. In his press conference, Luck proudly proclaimed that he is going to forever be a Colt in his heart.  It means something because of the history attached to the name itself.  If this was the 1950’s, during the birth of the then Baltimore Colts, retiring as a Colt forever wouldn’t have had the same historical significance and meaning.

Some  people have a preconceived notion of what the original XFL was, and is. They see the XFL, then and now as low rent, or second rate. So the majority of the reviewers of the league’s team identities, are people coming from their own preconceived notions of what the league was, is, and will be. When you have a low opinion, or low expectations, it’s impossible to look in a fair and objective fashion.

I am coming at this from a different angle than most. When I think of XFL 2020, my hopes are high for what the league could end up being. I have great hope for what a league like this can mean to the sports landscape and to the game of football. I envision a league that is ahead of it’s time, and at the forefront of innovation. For all of it’s warts. The original XFL was exactly that. It was innovative from a visual and accessibility aspect. The way we view all college and NFL games in the last two decades can be directly attributed to the original XFL’s innovations. My expectations for the league are very high, despite being a brand new first-year league. I am holding the XFL to a high standard, and I expect the presentation and football to be first rate. I am not looking for a dated or complimentary product and the public isn’t either. So, my overall view and hope is that this will be a great standalone sports league for the year 2020 and beyond.

From cities being selected, to coaches and players, team names, logos and uniforms, league building can be a very exciting process for the fans.  When it comes to a brand new league selecting sports team names, it can be a very difficult and stressful  process. Just going through the creative and legal process is not easy. What’s even harder in a crowded sports world is picking names that no one else is using, at least in your pro sport. There’s also walking that fine line of being unique and different, while not being insulting. Everyone involved with the current XFL must have been feeling some serious pressure. There is pressure to not only “Get it right,” but to not “Get it wrong.” Especially when it comes to the XFL, because of the baggage it carries from the past. So while there is and was a great sense of anticipation for the XFL’s team identities to be revealed, for some supporters, there was also a great sense of fear. A fear that the league in an effort to be forward thinking and unique, would choose brands that are not appropriate for sports team names. The naysayers are probably most disappointed that the large majority of the XFL’s team names don’t fall into that category. There might be one.. more on that in a bit. The team names of the original XFL were bad.  Not because they were unique or different, but because they didn’t feel like real sports team names. They were a reflection of popular culture at the time.

Now, let’s get to the reviews! Below you will find reviews of the XFL team identities done by XFLBoard correspondents, Jackson Conner, Greg Parks, Anthony Miller, Brendt Doane and Mike Miller.

 

Review #1: Jackson Conner, Seattle Dragons Team Reporter

Originally rumored to be coming out in July, the XFL team names were admittedly a little late. Some people grew tired of waiting and immediately assumed that since the XFL didn’t meet a tentative deadline that it was just going to be a fail. However, most people were patient and kept a level-head and were eventually rewarded. I really enjoyed the rollout design of the team identities, there were some little things I would have changed but I enjoyed it as a whole.  I loved the little logo snippets because they caused a lot of speculation and drove up interest when they finally announced the final date for the reveal. My favorite part of the whole process, though, was probably the teaser trailer they released on Tuesday. The trailer was riveting and really did do its job and hype me up for the release. Now the release videos themselves were very good but I believe the timing could have been a lot better. The livestreams released the identities one by one but at the individual release parties themselves, the identities were all released at 9:30. A small thing, but I would have liked to see them coordinate a little better.

The best…

Dallas Renegades – This was a home run for me. Dallas did a great job of capturing their regional identity while blending it with a cool, non-mainstream name and an appealing logo. I try to judge based on those three characteristics and the Dallas Renegades hit on all three of those. The regional identity is in line with all of the other Dallas sports teams, including the NFL team Dallas Cowboys, while also not copying anyone and coming up with an original name. The Renegades is a perfect name for a football team, especially a Texas football team. When it comes to the logo, I stayed very impressed. The color scheme included a very appealing light blue color, black, and a little bit of red. I would expect the jerseys to be that light blue color and black which would make for some very, very cool jerseys. The logo design itself isn’t overwhelming but still features a very effective design. Overall, this is such a well-rounded team identity and is probably my favorite.

New York Guardians – Well the team name itself could go either way for me, the other aspects of this identity make this a hit for me. Starting off with the color scheme, I believe this gray and red combo will make for some of the best jerseys in the league and look great on the logo. While I’m not sure if the logo is something I would automatically associate with “Guardians”, the logo looks really cool and is all tied together well with the 4 lines on the left. Overall, the color scheme and logo design make this identity a hit and I am really excited to see these jerseys.

St. Louis BattleHawks – What actually is a BattleHawk? I have no clue but I love it; it is original and still sticks well with a St. Louis aerial sports team name. When it comes to the logo, it is great, they did a good job of creating a logo for something that doesn’t really have a logo. The logo also has a few easter eggs, real easter eggs @my AAF friends. When you flip the logo over you can see it spells STL and the two Ts in BattleHawks make a pi sign which is significant because the St. Louis area code is 314. The color scheme doesn’t make or break anything but is what you would like to see for that logo. Overall, it was an original team name that did a great job of constructing a new identity.

Seattle Dragons – As one of the biggest Seattle Dragons fans, I was not in love with the team name at first but it grew on me. The name Dragons could be seen as a fine fit with the Seattle sports somewhat loose theme but the best part of it is the color scheme it allows. The name “Dragons” allows the typical Seattle green & blue which is necessary for a Seattle sports team but also allows them to implement their own twist, Orange. The orange will be unique to Seattle XFL and I think it will be really interesting to see how they implement it on the jerseys. The logo is also really solid as well. I’ve seen a few people say that they plagiarized the UAB logo but I could not disagree more. The Seattle dragon has vastly different features than the UAB one and it is not like UAB is the only team that can use a generic dragon in their logo. Overall, I love the color scheme and think it is perfect for Seattle sports and that is enough to make it a hit for me.

Almost the best…

LA Wildcats – There is nothing wrong with this team identity at all but I don’t think it has enough to be considered a hit. The logo is probably my favorite part, it is simple and the colors really pop. The team name is fairly basic but that does not make it bad by any means, Wildcats is kind of a stereotypical football name and is fine for LA. When it comes to the LA sports theme, I couldn’t really find a distinct one but the colors match up well with the USC Trojans. Overall, as I said, it is solid but nothing crazy.

Houston Roughnecks – I was not a huge fan of this name and logo but I do understand the obvious similarity to the Oilers. I believe this was a smart move and really captures the identity of Texas football but I am not a fan of the logo. The logo is very similar to the Oilers but there is something about this Roughneck logo that I am not a huge fan of. The colors are fine, very similar to the Texans, maybe a little too similar but it is alright. The name isn’t the absolute best in my opinion but I can respect it as it is symbolic of Texas football and identity. Overall, this identity has its ups and downs but the reference to the Oilers makes it all alright.

The rest…

Tampa Bay Vipers – I don’t hate the Vipers team name but I wish they went in another direction with the colors and logo. I don’t hate green or yellow but together I don’t think they are too appealing. The logo does not do it for me either, the vanged V idea isn’t terrible but I’m just not a huge fan of it. I would have preferred if they had more of a snakehead logo with different colors. Overall, the Viper name is not bad but I do not like everything else about the identity.

DC Defenders – I do not think I will ever be a fan of a professional sports team named the Defenders. It is just such a vanilla name and I was really disappointed when I heard it. DC Defenders rolls off the tongue nicely but there is also another team with a similar style name in New York and I think Guardians is just a better name. The logo and color scheme aren’t terrible but it just does not make up for the name. Overall, this is my least favorite identity by a wide margin and think it is the only huge “miss”.

 

Review #2: Greg Parks, Tampa Bay Vipers Team Reporter

I think the logos and color schemes were largely fine. There’s nothing I’m super excited about, but nothing I’m baffled or disgusted by either. I was a little concerned when the teases were released that there’d be too many similar color schemes, but that didn’t bear itself out upon reveal. There’s a little bit for everybody here: Some traditional names (Wildcats), some unique names (BattleHawks) and some that even evoke the 2001 version of the league (Renegades).

The best thing the league and its diehard fans can do is ignore the social media noise. Yes, many made fun of the team names, but new names and logos always seem to generate largely negative reactions no matter what the sport or league. Everybody will get used to these names over time and they’ll become second-nature. Not every major sports nickname is a “hit” or makes a lot of sense, but they’re so ingrained in us that we don’t even think about it anymore. Hopefully, the XFL will be around long enough for the same thing to happen here. On the bright side, their partnership with FOX and ESPN has provided them with some positive media coverage of the logo reveal to balance things a little better.

The best…

I’m partial to what I’ve seen of the Dallas Renegades color scheme. I like that shade of blue and black. We’ll know more about the colors and how they match when we get the uniform and helmet reveals. There did seem to be an attempt to tie in a lot of the nicknames with the cities, which is always a smart move and a way to drum up interest locally. I also like the BattleHawks nickname; it’s unique without being too off-the-wall.

I like the Vipers for Tampa Bay and I’m interested to see if any other colors get added along with the lime green of that scheme. That could turn out really nicely.

Perhaps the best part of the nickname and logo reveal was the hype videos that were released along with the logos, as well as the teaser video sent out a day beforehand. If those are the kinds of video packages we can anticipate with the XFL, then it’s a good sign. They were really well done and I think hit the right tone. It harkened back to the 2001 version of the XFL; even though it’s safer now, the game is still inherently violent and not one played by the well-adjusted. Even though the league isn’t competing with the NFL, it’s still good to have a little edge, and that’s what I sensed from those videos. I wasn’t as manic about the need for the team logo reveal as some, but that brief video Tweeted out the day before revved my engine.

The rest…

I don’t know if I’d quantify anything here as a miss, per se. The DC Defenders name and colors (white and red) are a little on the plain side. I didn’t really care for the LA Wildcats (was hoping they’d largely stay away from animal nicknames) or the colors at first but when I learned of the name’s significance and saw the red and orange on the black background, I started to come around. I’m willing to concede I’m in the minority on not being too thrilled with the Dragons for Seattle; I thought there were several better names when the trademarks were discovered back in June. Even if I wouldn’t have chosen some of these names or colors myself, if they’re accepted by the fan base at large, that’s a trade-off I’m willing to accept.

It really comes down to personal preference, and everyone’s is different. Obviously, a hit or miss for me may be the opposite for someone else. Each person prioritizes something different when it comes to team logos and colors, and we’ll no doubt have a similar debate when the uniforms and helmets are disclosed. With eight distinct teams, logos, and color schemes, hopefully fans or potential fans can find at least one combination that they like and can support.

 

Review#3: Anthony Miller, Dallas Renegades Team Reporter

In one way or another, I enjoyed each of the logos that the XFL has showed us as it has a great blend of a feel of the old NFL/USFL to new, original logos that we have not scene. There is a nice balance of different color schemes that will separate one from the other easily. I personally feel the logos for the XFL are better, more thought out than the Alliance of American Football did. The additional year the XFL had to prepare for the 2020 season made a significant difference in the quality of the logos and team names. I do feel there is a major improvement from the 2001 XFL logos as these all have some kind of meaning to them. Overall, there might be things that I would tweak on them one way or another, but they did a great job with them. If I had to give them a final grade, it would be a B+.

Even though I am grading some logos as better than others, let me clarify that the XFL knocked it out of the park with the logos. I’m just going to be a little bit picky with my explanation of my hits and misses.

The best…

St. Louis BattleHawks – This is by far my favorite logo and team name. This one almost makes me want to change teams from the Dallas Renegades (but I’m going to stay loyal to the lone star state). I think dark blue is always a good color on any logo, but the logo itself is what got me the most. The wings with the sword in the middle is a logo style I have never seen before and it’s the most original logo I have seen in years. I also love the fact that if you flip the logo upside down, it actually spells out “STL”. Very clever XFL!

DC Defenders – They knocked the name and the logo out of the park! Any superhero fan who is also an XFL fan will be a fan of this team right away. Red is a powerful color for a logo and the style of it looking like a shield with thunderbolts and stars makes it an original logo. Defenders hasn’t been a name that has been used and the logo is new so for me, any team that is able to use a different logo and name from other sports teams will get two thumbs up from me. I can’t wait to see the jerseys for this team.

New York Guardians – I still don’t truly understand what a guardian is and how it associates with New York, but honestly, I don’t care. It’s awesome! The logo is great in how mean it looks and the color scheme is perfect for the dark setting they are trying to establish with the guardian. It looks awesome and I assume when the jersey designs come out, we can expect it to look intimidating. This is a great looking logo that is different from what I’ve seen and looking forward to seeing more from their jersey designs.

Seattle Dragons – It is a bit cheesy looking in my opinion, but for some reason, everything about this team has me really excited. I can see that XFL commissioner Oliver Luck was influenced by his days in NFL Europe when they had the Barcelona Dragons. The colors are perfect for that city and it meshes well with the orange, green, and blue together. The logo even seems cool to me as it just seems to be perfect for Seattle for some reason. This look gets me enough to the point of wanting to buy their merchandise because of it. I’m excited to see more from this team when jersey designs come out as well.

The rest…

LA Wildcats – This is one I have trouble with because I love the color combination of orange and red, but I think they missed the mark a bit on the name “Wildcats” and the logo. It has been overused so many times for so many teams in different sports. I was hoping for a little more originality especially since they are going to be playing in a large market like Los Angeles. I was also hoping since they were using the “Wildcats” name, I would hope for a chance to see a different logo other than the “LA” logo. We have seen that way too many times from Los Angeles teams and would of preferred to see an actual wildcats. A wildcat logo could have persuaded me to change my mind and move it away from the misses.

Dallas Renegades – This may come as a shock to most people since this is the team that I am covering for XFLBoard.com, but rest assure, it is not much of a miss. My main issue with this team is the color scheme. I don’t like the light blue with the red and I wished they could of made some tweaks to the logo to make it different. Other than that, I love the team name and love the font used for the team name as well. I am still a fan of the logo, but changing it a bit would of been cool. They could have explored it a little more.

Tampa Bay Vipers – I actually love the color scheme for the Vipers as it fits perfectly with how the colors of teams with snakes are. I do think they could of picked a different logo though. The way they made the V is pretty cool, but it is a very basic-looking logo and would have preferred to see the head of the viper or the body of the viper as the logo. Hopefully, the jerseys will change my mind about the simplicity of this logo.

Houston Roughnecks – Roughnecks is a perfect name for Houston so in that sense, the XFL did well. I also like the color scheme as it does remind me of what the Houston Oilers would have been if they never moved to Tennessee. With that being said, I am going to be that guy and say the logo looks way too similar to the Houston Oilers logos. I know that might be too picky, but if you do the side-by-side comparison, I don’t see any originality to it. For that, I penalize them for it, but the logo is good looking though. Just maybe try to do something different with it to separate it from the Oilers.

 

Review #4: Brendt Doane, Houston Roughnecks Team Reporter

We all have been waiting patiently to see the new teams finally get logos and colors.  My overall reaction to the team name and logo release was a highly positive one for the XFL and their respective markets. Looking through social media platforms, overall it seemed that from the production standpoint for the video releases were very positive. Looking over the designs and color schemes multiple times since release, I applaud the XFL for the job they did. Did some do a better job than others? Yes, so check out below you can find my tier list from the top to the bottom.

Ranking was based on combined names, colors and video.

The best…

New York Guardians – The video was amazing. The Gargoyles, the timing, the voice over of the video perfection. The guardian logo representing with the grey and red is spot on. By far the best reveal in my opinion representing a team from New York. The XFL knocked it out of the park with this reveal.

St Louis BattleHawks – The gray silver and blue just make them stand out with that wing design. What’s not to love here? The video production was jaw dropping and how much cooler can a name be than the BattleHawks. For St Louis to have its very first modern born and raised football team named the BattleHawks is a testament to what the XFL is trying to do here.

Houston Roughnecks – The Logo and design is what really did it for them here. The color scheme can go in many different directions with the predominant red white and blue. To implement the long standing tradition of the Houston oil industry with the emblem and team colors while subtly reminding everyone of the heritage of Houston football the XFL nailed it.

Dallas Renegades – The logo design with the black and blue and red piercing eyes is a perfect combination for a color scheme that is the Renegades.  The video production showcasing what cowboy country is like in the north part of Texas was outstanding for showing what hopefully could be a very good team in the western division with head coach Bob Stoops leading the Renegades.

DC Defenders – Color scheme very good. The red and white with the lightning bolts and general stars is a good combination.  The video production was good but something was lacking for me. I don’t know if it felt rushed, but the name is what got them here on this list at number five. Finally a team in the nations capital not called “Washington.” DC Defenders you cant really get much cooler than that for a team name.

The rest…

Los Angeles Wildcats – The video production was good but not great. What got them here was the logo design of the LA. The way the XFL implemented the design together just screams Los Angeles sports and the gold and red here is a good combination.  The name Wildcats dropped them down a little bit, but still a very good branding of the LA Wildcats team.

Seattle Dragons – The video production was very good. I thought with good implementation for football especially the beginning. What landed them here though is the color scheme. I love the name, but I believe the XFL could of done a better job with the colors for Seattle.  Overall a good job though.

Tampa Bay Vipers – The name “Vipers” is always a strong football name.  But again,just like the Dragons, the color scheme could use a little work. The video production was indefinably on the bottom of the list for me. Vipers is not really what Florida is known for but it is a cool name, maybe after a jersey reveal ill change my mind but for right now they are last on my list.

To wrap up this list I’d just like to say that I am personally excited to see how the XFL will continue to do an amazing job at attempting to restart this league. I cannot wait for the full list of players and to see who will be on each squad. Get ready for some XFL football because based on the  logo and team reveals you’d have to imagine that this time around the XFL is trying to get it right.

 

Review #5: Mike Mitchell, New York Guardians Team Reporter

For the most part, the XFL got their names right this time around, some more than others, but you have a collection of names that sound like pro football team names… and some already were.  The logos, names, designs and branding can be debated every which way but loose. It comes down to subjectivity and personal preferences at that point. Time is usually the best barometer for seeing how a team brand grows and whether or not it is successful. The Browns were named after Paul Brown. Houston’s NFL team is named after everyone in the state. The Packers were named after a packing company. The Dodgers were named after people in Brooklyn dodging trolleys. There are teams called Ducks and Horned Frogs, and the color Orange, originally Orangemen, is that better?  Some of these names got better with age, and some like Washington’s NFL team didn’t.  Once the uniforms for the XFL’s eight teams are released there will be a more clearer view of the overall package and presentation, but all we have at the moment is the team names and logos, something which XFL supporters have wanted for months. They have finally arrived. Here are my thoughts on the league’s eight team identities.

The best…

New York Guardians – From the name to the colors to the general theme and concept, this is great branding. The kind of name that can be in any pro sports league and it fits NY like a glove. Paying a subtle homage to the modern day guardians of New York in the NYPD, FDNY, service workers and others, while also finding a cool way to incorporate gargoyles into the branding. Staying respectful and honorable with a bit of an edge to it. The logo itself, while looking very cool, has left some people puzzled. Is it a Lion, a Panther or a Dog? The Gargoyles that the XFL seemed to feature in their branding video leaned mostly towards the half man/half beast gargoyles from ancient Egyptian lore, which are a part of New York’s structures. This creative choice was made rather than some of the other grotesques/gargoyles that are on many structures around the world. Using a gargoyle as your logo is a pretty brave move. I think it works.

DC Defenders – There’s a lot to like here, starting with the fact that the team is labeled as DC instead of Washington. The Defenders name is a modernized way of using a patriotic theme for the year 2020. It symbolizes not only all the different branches of the military and our nations leaders, but it could also include everyday people, who are defenders of justice, equality, freedom and liberty. The XFL could have gone more towards familiar tropes with patriotic themes like marines, generals, senators, presidents, statesmen, or other leaders from DC history. Instead of singling out one group, a lot like the Guardians, the XFL decided to honor all those groups with one name. The colors are also a reflection of going against the standard red white and blue concept that has beaten to death for every single team in this market. The lazy and funny take on the name “Defenders”  is to focus on football. In that vain, this team better score some points and have a great defense! Adding to the lighter side of the name’s critique, Marvel and DC Comics have finally set aside their differences here and united to join forces.

Houston Roughnecks – A name that was originally trademarked back for Houston in 1999 by the National Football League, before being abandoned in 2000.  The Roughnecks is potentially the most polarizing name of the lot, because of it’s tie in to the Houston Oilers. This is a hit for me because of that. The logo with the H in the middle of the derrick is terrific, as is the star on the very top. The name itself is great for the region as this team name embodies the working class and industry of Houston, no different than the Steelers do for Pittsburgh. Let’s face it, the term Roughneck sounds like someone who plays football, more so than an oil worker.  Personally, I was hoping for some Oiler blue in the logo. No shock that a former Houston Oiler Quarterback and current XFL CEO Oliver Luck would put his stamp of approval on this concept for Houston.

Los Angeles Wildcats – This was like saying good bye to an old friend. The last pro football champions in LA are no more, as the Xtreme hung up it’s jerseys and cleats on Wednesday. So, this is bittersweet for some of the original XFL fans. The team name ‘Wildcats’  holds historic significance as the first pro team to represent Los Angeles ( based in Chicago but a traveling team). To some, this name is considered to be old fashioned. When you are trying to be a contrast from a league that had insane asylum escapees, mob hitmen and orange meatheads, Wildcats is a very safe and smart play. It’s a classy pro sports name, and it fits the region as well, which is known for it’s bobcats, mountain lions and other members of the feline family. The branding on this one is interesting. No actual cat logo, at least not initially. The colors, like the name are understated.  The interlocking LA logo is well done. This is a case where the rest of the uniform and overall look will determine the overall quality of this brand. The name, however, is great. Let’s see where it goes from there stylistically.

Almost the best…

Dallas Renegades – The Renegades is another name that has pro football history behind it, as it’s been used in several leagues before, the USFL being one of them. Everything about this team has a retro feel to it. The name itself is perfect for the region, and perfect for any team that is coached by Bob Stoops, and that has Hal Mumme running it’s offense.  What makes this a near miss for me is the logo and colors. The logo looks like a distant relative to the Tampa Bay Bandits and Dallas Desperados. The colors are a unique choice for this type of brand, light blue, red and black. Perhaps it was done to differentiate itself from other similar logos from the past, but if any Texas team was going to incorporate this shade of blue, you would have figured it for Houston instead. That also may have been avoided for legality reasons. Either way, the logo for this team could have used a 2020 upgrade, rather than what appears to be a recycled logo from the past. Out of all the XFL’s team uniforms, I am most curious about how the league is going to make these colors work.

Seattle Dragons – This is another branding that falls into the near miss category for me. With CEO Oliver Luck at the helm, no surprise that a former NFL Europe team name would make it’s way into the league. This comes down to personal preference. Mythical creatures for sport team names are not everyone’s cup of tea. If you are fan of Dragons, as I am, then this works.  The colors work for me as well, but what really doesn’t is the logo. For as menacing of a creature as Dragons can be, this has more of a cartoonish feel to it… like a friendly dragon that would greet you at Universal Studios. The logo didn’t have to look like one of the dragons from Game of Thrones, but this one looks like it won’t burn down Kings Landing. This dragon might actually stop and help you plant seeds in the garden.

The rest…

Tampa Bay Vipers – This comes down to personal preference. The name fits the region, and snakes are underused team names in pro sports, but overall this entire branding was underwhelming to me… from the colors to the logo and name. The uniforms can really salvage this brand but it can also make it worse, depending on how married the league is to this team’s snake concept. Fangs are already a part of the imagery. Could the snake scales be a part of the team’s uniform concept?

St. Louis BattleHawks – I feel like XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck set the stage for this reveal by reading a disclaimer beforehand. How the names were chosen to signify ‘fun and football’. This is a fun name for sure but it’s the worst of the bunch. It’s a shame, because the logo and color scheme can be argued as the league’s best. I understand the overall aerial concept. It’s another case of team branding, that tries to combine more than one element that represent the same thing, rather than single out one specific thing like a particular bird or plane. It’s an overall theme that the league used a lot for their teams successfully, but it doesn’t work for me in this instance. This is one of those names that didn’t need to be over thought. It may grow on me over time because the team has the potential to look great on the field, but in a list of potential aerial themed names, BattleHawks would have never been one of my choices. St. Louis has a history of leasing football teams. They borrowed the Cardinals and Rams, two teams that were not born in St. Louis. However, this is a pro football team that is in fact Saint Louis’s own. STL fans may still embrace the team for that reason alone. I just feel like the league could and should have done a better job by the city with their name choice.

XFL registers trademarks for recently released logos… and more

The XFL’s parent company Alpha Entertainment recently trademarked its logos, and revealed a few more graphics it plans to use in its team identities.

The registrations were filed on August 20, the day before the logos and team names were revealed.  They appeared for public view on August 24th, which just happens to be the same day team-branded merchandise went on sale at xflshop.com.

Previously unseen in the initial logo reveal are a “viper head”, a “roughneck” and a “claw mark.”  However, these secondary graphics are now seen on merchandise being sold at xflshop.com.

The trademarks were registered for the following purposes:

C 025. US 022 039. G & S: Clothing, namely, tops and bottoms as clothing; headwear; sports caps and hats; t-shirts; shirts; sweatshirts; shorts; tank tops; sweaters; pants; jackets; golf shirts; knit shirts; jerseys; wristbands as clothing; warm up suits; gloves; ties as clothing; cloth bibs; sleepwear, namely, bathrobes and pajamas; underwear; socks; footwear, namely, sneakers, slippers, flip flops; scarves; bandannas; swimwear; Halloween and masquerade costumes

IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Entertainment services in the nature of professional football games and exhibitions; providing sports and entertainment information via a global computer network, mobile applications, commercial on-line computer service or by cable, satellite, television and radio; arranging and conducting athletic competitions, namely, professional football games; production and distribution of radio and television programs in the field of sports; entertainment services in the nature of live shows featuring football games, organizing live exhibitions, competitions, and live musical and dance performances; sporting activities, namely, football skills competitions and football showcases; distribution of television programming to cable and satellite television systems; distribution of television programs for others; entertainment services, namely, providing online electronic games; football fan club services; providing a web site featuring sports news and entertainment news; Entertainment services in the nature of a fantasy football game; mail order, on-line retail store services and mail order catalog services, all featuring general consumer merchandise related to sports and sports teams

Johnny Football to Dallas? Don’t count on it…

Johnny Manziel 2014 Browns training camp https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Johnny_Manziel_2014_Browns_training_camp_(3).jpg

Johnny Manziel at one point was one of the most exciting quarterbacks to play the game when he was wearing the Texas A&M Aggies uniform. Since then? Not so much.

Manziel has bounced around since being drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns back in 2014. He spent two seasons there before being cut from the team in 2016 and then proceeded to join the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League in 2018. After six weeks there, he got traded to the Montreal Alouettes, but after the 2018 season, he was released by the league after they had determined that he had “contravened” with his agreement with the league. He found a home shortly afterwards with the Memphis Express of the now defaulted Alliance of American Football. That’s where this story really begins.

Before joining the Express, the San Antonio Commanders had first claim on him since that was the team geographically closest to where he went to college. Commanders General Manager Daryl Johnston (former Dallas Cowboys fullback) waived his rights and that’s how he joined the Express. Johnston has never been the biggest fan of Manziel and that has been evident in the past, but he’s back in the news again regarding Manziel as he once again says he would pass on him.

“For me the chemistry in the locker room is critical, and especially the quarterback position,” now Dallas Renegades Director of Player Personnel Johnston said according to SportsDay. “He kind of sets the tone, especially for the offensive side of the ball, but really for the whole team. There is so much added responsibility that goes with the face, goes with the voice of the franchise. And I haven’t seen that from Johnny on a consistent basis that I would feel comfortable committing to him.”

There’s no question that Manziel’s troubled past has been the main reason he has not returned to the NFL, but the XFL is a league of second chances. This is where Manziel belongs for two reasons: 1. I have every reason to believe that he has truly matured with how he was with interviews with the Express when he played in the Alliance. 2. He would put people in the seats of every XFL football stadium no matter how people feel about him.

I personally believe the Houston Roughnecks would be perfect for him since he already has a personal relationship with June Jones from their time in the CFL. Manziel does not fit the offensive scheme that Dallas Renegades head coach Bob Stoops will have and I still believe the league will do what it takes to get Stoops and recent signed quarterback Landry Jones back together.

Manziel was average during his time in the Alliance as he was outshined by 3rd string quarterback Brandon Silvers (one of the XFL draft invitees) and never really had a chance to prove himself. I know he had second and third chances in the CFL and the Alliance, but there is still some spark of excitement with how he plays and I think he still somewhat salvage his career. Johnston may not see it now, but with a new league trying to attract attention and giving players another chance at playing professional football, I think it’s time for all of us to move on from the past and let’s give Manziel another shot.

Broadcasters we would like to see working with the XFL

Please join us as XFLBoard correspondents Mike Mitchell, Greg Parks and Jackson Conner review broadcasters they would like to see reporting on the league.

When it comes to the broadcasting side of things, the XFL doesn’t have to dig for the diamonds in the rough or settle for the best of what’s left out there.  In the past, secondary leagues have been a training ground for up and coming broadcasters who are looking to build up their resume and get a break. Secondary leagues have also been a home for the veteran broadcaster who is looking to get an extra paycheck. You want to avoid the latter like the plague.

With Fox, ABC, and ESPN as it’s broadcast partners. The wealth of broadcast talent in those networks is huge. With no college football or NFL transpiring during February till late April, anyone who is anyone in the football broadcasting world could be on the table and certainly available.  That doesn’t mean the XFL can’t be an opportunity for young broadcasters to break out in their profession, but the XFL shouldn’t be in a position of settling for whomever they can get. The networks need to put broadcasters in place who are fully invested in the product.

Brian Baldinger – Mike Mitchell

This is precisely the type of broadcaster that should be working for the XFL.  Back in 2007 when NFL Europe ceased operations, no one was more heartbroken or crestfallen than Brian Baldinger. He wrote a beautiful article twelve years ago on NFL.com about NFL Europe and what it meant to him and the football world. It read like a eulogy. Baldinger is someone who was fully invested and married to the concept of a second pro football league, and that’s what the XFL needs. Someone who is committed and believes in this concept. The last thing you want is someone doing the job to pad their resume, or just collect another paycheck. Not only is Brian Baldinger extremely knowledgeable, but he is passionate. Very few can break down players and game film as he can. The XFL needs someone who will treat the league, it’s players, coaches and the games seriously.

Charles Davis – Mike Mitchell

Five tool players. You will see that term thrown around a lot in baseball, and that’s exactly the type of broadcaster Charles Davis is. A former college football player who went undrafted, Davis knows the plight and journey of prospective pro football players. Davis knows the college and pro game. He’s also a good studio host and a good in the game broadcaster. Charles Davis is also very likable. Guys who are as knowledgeable as him usually come off as arrogant. Somehow, Davis shies away from possessing that type of quality. In a league like the XFL, where there will be a lot of former college football players that just missed the cut in the NFL, you want someone who knows of them and has scouted and followed their careers. Despite being a high profile part of Fox’s #2 NFL team with Kevin Burkhardt. Davis continues to work what would be considered the lower profile games like this past years NFL PA Collegiate Bowl for FS1, a game in which current XFL VP of Football Operations Doug Whaley compiled the rosters for the last two years. Davis is a top-flight talent in the industry and checks off all the boxes that you want in a sportscaster. If the XFL is trying to check off all the boxes of what a pro football league needs to look and feel like, this would a perfect marriage.

Gus Johnson – Greg Parks

To me, this is an easy call as far as someone I want calling XFL games. Johnson is a part of the FOX College Football broadcast team along with Joel Klatt, so he’d be available to call FOX XFL games. He brings the necessary excitement to contests and rises to big-time moments. The XFL is going to be a fast-paced game, and that works to Johnson’s strengths as a broadcaster. You want someone to reach out to the viewers and grab them, pulling them into the gameplay as fans familiarize themselves with players and teams throughout the first rebooted season. He may be a bit polarizing to some, but if the announcers seem excited, that will rub off on the viewers.

Rex Ryan – Greg Parks

Ryan has the credibility from years as an NFL coach to provide strong analysis to games. He’s been on ESPN’s NFL Countdown pre-game show for the last few years but has done a game or two in the booth. Ryan has a big personality, and while the XFL isn’t focusing on that as much as it did during the2001 incarnation, it’s still worth having a voice that isn’t a rehash of what you’d hear on NFL or college broadcasts. Just like some announcers’ voices are tied to certain leagues, ideally, you’d be able to identify some broadcasters with the XFL. Ryan could be that guy, even while he keeps his NFL Countdown gig.

Pat McAfee – Jackson Conner

As Mike mentioned earlier, the XFL is a place for up & coming broadcasters and I could think of no one better than McAfee. McAfee recently was announced to broadcast Thursday night college games for ESPN and this would be another logical step for his journey through the broadcasting world. While us XFL super fans will be locked into the games, the casual fans might need some extra flair to spice up some games from time to time. Pat McAfee is a guy that brings flair to the broadcast booth by adding comedy to his analysis and reimagining the way special teams is broadcasted. I tuned into the Baylor vs Texas Tech game last year to just listen to his broadcasting alone and I can almost guarantee that others would do the same if he was the ESPN announcer for the XFL. This is also one of my more likely scenarios as McAfee has been linked to the XFL on several occasions. Back in January of 2018, McAfee tweeted out how he wanted to be an owner of an XFL franchise. While this was meant as a joke and isn’t technically possible, it shows McAfee’s general interest in being involved with the XFL. Back in March, on a Wrestling Inc. podcast, McAfee has a few interesting quotes regarding the XFL and the AAF. McAfee told them “The AAF offered me a commentating spot for their league and it was literally the day after I signed my deal with the WWE… I said no because I knew that the XFL would be launching in a year from now. So I didn’t want to help launch a new league that would be in competition with the XFL.” When asked about being apart of the XFL McAfee said “If I’m a part of it, I have no idea. Obviously, if I’m with the Monday Night Football booth, which is a long shot, but if I’m there I’m not sure I could. I’ll be a fan of the XFL and if they want me to do something, then I’d love to…not to play. I’m not gonna play. I’m done with that but everything else is fair game.” McAfee, unfortunately, did not get a MNF gig but this does leave the door open for the XFL which McAfee labeled “fair game.”

Peyton Manning – Jackson Conner

While Peyton’s playing career is over, his broadcasting career is just getting underway. Manning was an all-time great QB and while that doesn’t guarantee you to be a good analyst, it has certainly helped in Peyton’s case. Manning’s hit ESPN+ show “Detail” has been very popular and has spurred some discussions about him possibly being the next Tony Romo in the broadcasting world. According to Yahoo.com, Manning was offered a spot on Monday Night Football but turned it down for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons included the fact that both the Giants & the Broncos were scheduled to play on MNF that year and Manning didn’t want to analyze games with his brother or former teammates. As of right now, Eli is not in the XFL and very few, if any, of Manning’s teammates, will play in this league. This offers Manning a great starting point to eventually move onto the NFL when it is further from his playing era. While Manning does not have any official connection to the XFL, this is a fairly logical possibility and the thought of him and Pat McAfee in a booth together makes me, and probably a lot of others, very excited.

Matthew Berry/Field Yates – Jackson Conner

This is a little bit of a bonus one as it kind of relates to my fantasy article from last week and is also a non-broadcaster. I talked extensively about XFL fantasy in my last article but I think fantasy XFL could really take off if there was a face to it. Matthew Berry, Field Yates, or possibly both of them could be the face of fantasy XFL. Even just tweeting XFL fantasy content to the over a million combined followers they have would be a lot but podcasts and maybe a portion of the halftime show on ESPN broadcasts would be huge. Seeing these guys commit to fantasy XFL would cause a lot of people to be very interested and inspired to maybe try it out, therefore leading to more interest in the league. In terms of which one, I do not know. Berry has the bigger platform and following but Yates has tweeted out about the Landry Jones news showing a possible interest. It doesn’t even have to be one of those two either, it could be a lesser-known ESPN fantasy analyst or it could just be all of them together. All I know is that having a person or group like this spearheading the XFL fantasy scene would be huge.

Honorable Mentions

  • Analyst Cynthia Frelund

 

Big news in big D: Dallas Renegades

There’s an old saying in Texas: “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” That would be the perfect statement to describe the kind of day it was for the XFL and XFL die-hards.

The names and logos were announced for all 8 of the teams Wednesday that included a combined coverage from the XFL, ESPN, and Fox Sports.

For Dallas, they got a first glimpse of their team as they will be called the Renegades. The Renegades are sporting a light blue main color followed by red on the eyes of the renegade and black around the outline of the face.

The renegades fits perfectly with what Texas is all about with the theme being “gunslingers, outlaws, and desperadoes” from the old days out in the country. The logo was a tough look to it with the text of “Dallas Renegades” is good-looking and makes sense for the Dallas team.

There has been some controversy with the logo as on Twitter, esports personality Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles tweeted after the announcement saying “What the actual f***. The Dallas XFL team just straight up stole the @Renegades name and logo. That was my creative vision.”

According to the other Renegade’s website, they were acquired by former NBA player Jonas Jerebko in 2016 as the website also states that the “Renegades is North America’s premier multi-gaming esports organization. Featuring professional players and teams in the world’s largest competitive games. Recent breakout performances in Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, Fortnite, and Paladins has helped launch Renegades into becoming one of the most prominent and recognized sports franchise around the world.”

Will anything come out of this claim made by MonteCristo on Twitter? Who knows, but with logos and names being released, Dallas fans can enjoy this exciting time of knowing who their new professional football team is and get ready for the XFL Draft in October to see who will be wearing the blue, red, and black colors on their jerseys in February.

Introducing the New York Guardians

YouTube video

 

The XFL has named their New York franchise, the New York Guardians.

“Sentries carved of stone. Watchdogs over the metropolis. A prehistoric predator. A beast evolves, turned loose in a new kind of jungle. All teeth and talons, eyes unblinking. They know fear, because they feed off it. They are your first line of defense, and there is no need for a second. The New York Guardians. On duty. February 2020.”

Under head coach Kevin Gilbride, the team will begin play in MetLife Stadium in February 2020.