In Vince We Trust
(30 August 2000) — When the XFL announced the eight team nicknames, colors and logos last week most fans were watching with a certain level of excitement. Here at XFLBoard.com, we were also waiting for the team names to be announced. Mostly though, we wanted to see if the predictions on this board would turn out to be correct. We got more than we bargained for.
Most of us really didn’t know what to expect. Would the announcement just consist of Vince McMahon pointing at a flipchart with a pointy stick? There was suppose to be a video simulcast. What would it consist of?
We soon found out.
One only has to watch the announcement video, which can still be viewed at http://www.xfl.com, to see how polished this announcement really was. The announcement turned out to be a first class affair. Most media and fans found themselves reacting to the big announcement with excitement and optimism.
Before the announcement, many fans were caught up on the rumors of what people termed as “awful” team names. Once the announcement was done most fans were settled on the fact that these names and logos were cool.
The big questions is this: How did the name Orlando “Rage” go from awful to cool? The Orlando press tried to put it all in perspective when they said “at least we are not the Maniax”. Meanwhile over in the Memphis camp they have unofficially renamed the Liberty Bowl as the “Asylum”. Both reactions show some level of acceptance by the local media and/or management of these franchises.
It turns out that most fans and media went on to accept the nicknames and logos in one single afternoon. We still hear some fans complaining about the names, but the target demographic, young men (18-24) are not complaining at all. They are loving this.
This league is targeted for them. Even the video soundtrack has a harsh, techno-rave beat. This was not meant to appeal to the over-forty, baby boomer set. This is strictly Gen X and younger.
Of course there has been more than one fan who has expressed their displeasure for these names. One fan in particular, a regular contributor to the XFLBoard.com message board, went on to say that because of the Los Angeles Xtreme name, he couldn’t go on posting as “L.A. Fan”. In fact, he said that he would not be following the XFL anymore. This is a fact of life. Some fans will not ever be able to accept some of these team nicknames. The up side is that for every fan the XFL has turned off, they have probably gained a thousand more.
How did most fans turn to accept these nicknames and logos? It is because Vince McMahon has been telling us that we were to expect something different, and especially, something opposite to what the NFL was providing. The team name announcement set the tone for what to expect in the future, and also proves to us that the XFL means to set itself apart from other leagues. This is exactly what Vince has been telling us all along.
One fan in our message board has recently commented that “the XFL was suppose to be a return to the football that our fathers watched.” He went on to say that the team names and logos did not represent a bygone era of football.
The real answer to this comment is simple. We are in still in for old-time football, the team names and logos will be 21st century.
Extra Point: Did you see the XFL football flying through the air in the team nickname announcement video? Now that is cool! If this is comment is coming from someone who is over 35, I wonder what the 18-24 demographic thinks of this ball?
Mark Nelson – XFLBoard Editor