After nearly twenty years, the XFL is back. The experimental spring league rising up from the dead, now hopefully wiser than before having learned from the mistakes of both their own failures and those who have fallen since.
This afternoon, the league made their return that much more real with the unveiling of the names of logos of all eight of the franchises making up their inaugural (or is it their second?) season kicking off in 2020.
Perhaps one example of learning from their past, the team names are certainly a lot less “eXtreme” than they were in 2001, here we have a nice mix of traditional and safe with a few more modern monikers thrown in. What was once the Memphis Maniax, Los Angeles Xtreme, and Orlando Rage is now the LA Wildcats, Seattle Dragons, and Tampa Bay Vipers.
Yes, it seems we’ve all grown up quite a bit in the last twenty years.
Let’s take a look at names and logos of each of the eight XFL teams for the 2020 season:
Deep in the heart of Texas beats a different kind of pulse. A spirit untamed A swagger that can’t be denied. Where big meets bold meets badass. This is outlaw country, inside the lines. This is hell on wheels, between hash marks. This is their home on the range. The Dallas Renegades. Raising hell. – XFL
Good news, Oilers fans. Powder blue returns to the Texas gridiron! But it’s in Dallas. Sorry.
The Dallas Renegades are powder blue and black with a hint of red, the logo showing a renegade (a person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles, says OED) with a hat on its head and a bandana over the lower half of its face, the red eyes the only visible feature.
On the shoulders of giants, they stand tall. Unconquerable. Unyielding. Marching ever forward, a force united. One quest. One purpose. One resolve. Seeking glory through grit. Victory through valour. The DC Defenders. Taking their stand. – XFL
Washington’s newest football team (likely unintentionally) named two other active Washington “football” teams in their intro video – Valor and United, of Arena and Soccer respectively. The DC Defenders are red and white, the logo is a red shield with two crossed lightning bolts on it as well as three stars (just a shot in the dark here, they represent DC, Maryland, and Virginia).
Resolute. Rippling with heat. Railing against fatigue. Unceasing and often unseen, they labour deep in the trenches. Mercenaries in the muck. Brawlers in blackened dirt. Not just for three hours. Not just when the lights are bright. These are the scratching, grinding, never-bending few. The Houston Roughnecks. Going to work for you. – XFL
Good news, Oilers fans (seriously this time), Your oil derrick is back, but this time in the colours of the Houston Texans. The derrick in red, blue, and white with the bottom half in the shape of an H, a red star at the top.
LOS ANGELES WILDCATS
In the land of bright lights. Far from the flash and fame. They’ve already begun to prowl. Enter their den and be dominated. Run away and be ripped apart. This is prime time meets primal instinct. This is showtime with a snarl. This is our time to roar. The L.A. Wildcats. Unleashed. – XFL
Who are we? The Wildcats!
A far cry from the Los Angeles Xtreme of the original XFL, the LA Wildcats give us about as traditional of a name as you can give us… and I’m okay with that. The logo is orange and red, a stylized “LA” – perhaps the flourish from the “A” is meant to be the tail of a wildcat? Unsure. There’s not a lot of information from the league about these logos at this time.
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 defence, and there is no need for a second. The New York Guardians. On duty. – XFL
A reference to the gargoyle statues seen on buildings throughout New York, but the Guardians logo looks more like a lion to me, perhaps inspired by the two lion statues *guarding* the New York Public Library? Ghostbusters fans know what I’m talking about. The colour scheme for the Guardians is black, silver, and red and like all of New York City’s pro football teams, they’ll be playing in New Jersey.
ST. LOUIS BATTLEHAWKS
Winged warriors. Preparing for flight. Preparing to fight. They await their orders. Then attack as one. Diving, dodging, swooping, striking. Their mission: create chaos. Their mandate: Win at all costs. The St. Louis BattleHawks. Cleared to engage – XFL
St Louis gets its own pro football team, no nothing relocated this time, and they’ll be known as the BattleHawks (one word, capitalized midway through) with a colour scheme of blue and silver. The logo features a sword with two wings. Not entirely sure what the reference is to St. Louis in this name or logo, again, information is scarce.
Rising from the turbulent sea. Beneath the darkening skies of their weather-hardened home. Relentless, ruthless, ravenous. Not of mythology, but of muscle and might. Not of folklore, but of football. This is your darkest fantasy…in cleats. The Seattle Dragons. Breathing fire. – XFL
I said consummate V’s!
The Seattle (or UAB?) Dragons are blue, green (because Seattle!), and orange with a dragon head breathing fire as its logo. Another good old-fashioned name for the new league, one which we first saw as a possibility for this team two months ago (and if I recall correctly, Dragons was my choice from that list, so… I suppose I’m pleased)
TAMPA BAY VIPERS
In the shadows, they wait. Demons, born in darkness. Hunters by instinct. Cold-blooded by nature. Their bite, unavoidable. Their grip, inescapable. They slither and stalk their competition. Luring all who challenge them into the jaws of defeat. The Tampa Bay Vipers. Ready to strike – XFL
Finally, we have the Tampa Bay Vipers. A green and gold colour scheme (nice) with a logo that’s both a “V” for Vipers and the fangs/lower-head area of a snake.
“The XFL is about football and fun, and our team identities are intended to signify just that,” said XFL President Jeffrey Pollack in a press release. “Now it is up to our fans and players to help write the story. What happens on the field and in the community in the years ahead will determine the true spirit of each team.”