Friday, August 30, 2019

Ranking the NEW XFL Team Names and Logos!

In which we grade the new Xtreme Football Logo nicknames and emblems from worst to slightly less worse

By: Jimbo X

Considering just how much of a rousing success the Alliance of American Football was — not to mention the unparalleled triumph of Vinny Mac’s first go-at-it with pro football — I think it’s safe to assume that the new XFL is going to be a substantial financial win for virtually everyone involved with it. Surely, this iteration of the Xtreme Football League won’t be an overhyped, overblown Hindenburg-equivalent shitshow of a failed sports league, because this time around, McMahon and company … well, I’m not sure what they’re going to do, but they’ve only had 19 fucking years to think this thing over, so it has to do better than XFL 1.0, don’t it?

Things took a considerable step forward for the league earlier this month when the official team names and logos of all eight foundational XFL squads were unveiled publicly for the first time. While we’re still awaiting a player draft and details on team uniforms, for the time being we can at least sate our implicit yet for all things XFL by doing what we football fanatics do best — gauging the creative and artistic merits of the squads’ respective emblems, and critiquing them fine as a motherfucker. And, of course, we here at TIIIA being constructive critics, we’ve even thrown out a few suggestions on what the team jerseys ought to ultimately resemble — as well as what would’ve been some even better nicknames for the team, in hindsight.

And with those pleasantries out of the way, how about we start the unsolicited aesthetic judgement, fellas?

The Washington Defenders

What the fuck is this soccer-looking bullshit here? That boring-ass, fugly red and white shield motif just looks bush league as fuck, and the stars and lightning cross-striping makes the emblem looks like some sort of bastard hipster fusion of a CM Punk t-shirt, the insignia for a subpar Bad Brains cover band and a second-rate Major League Soccer squad alternate logo. That, and the name “Defenders” is just horribly basic and uninspired — no shit they’re defenders, all football teams are trying to defend their end zone, aren’t they?

WHAT THE TEAM SHOULD’VE BEEN CALLED: The Washington fuckin’ Federals. Instead of a generic, mamby-pamby, two-toned shield with a buncha’ Wingdings in it, the logo for the team should’ve been a sleek, stylized looking bald eagle with its wings stretched out, just ready to pluck a motherfucker’s eyes out at a moment’s notice. And their color scheme, of course, would be blood red, bluecoat-bashin’ blue and ultra-prideful white — with a stylized, reductionist silhouette of Washington crossing the Delaware as the alternate logo on the player’s shoulder pads.

The Los Angeles Wildcats

OK, I get the fact that they’re trying to cash in on the USC color scheme, but fuck almighty, is that one boring ass logo. It’s literally just a curvy, orange “L” with a curvier, red “A” right beside it — and that’s it. I mean, if you’re going to call your team the “Wildcats,” how hard can it be to draw up some kind of cartoon of an evil-looking leopard or lynx clawing shit up royally or getting ready to bite some motherfuckers good? Not only is this logo bland beyond description, it’s just plain lazy, ya’ll.

WHAT THE TEAM SHOULD’VE BEEN CALLED: The Los Angeles fuckin’ Spartans. We’re talking a logo that’ll strike fear in some motherfucker’s hearts, sort of an amped up version of the Ottawa Senators’ logo with a Centurion guard mean muggin’ like a motherfucker, looking just like the kind of soldier who would’ve crucified Jesus way back when. The alternate logo, of course, would be a flying battle hammer encased in a smooth and sexy triangular shield, while the uniforms themselves would embody Hollywood values be being sleek silver and gold — basically, the same uniform Ah-nold wore in The Running Man, except with a little less implied homosexuality.

The Tampa Bay Vipers

There’s a fine line between efficient minimalism and I just don’t feel like doing Jack Shit today minimalism, and this logo certainly straddles it finely. The green and yellow “V” design does its job getting across the “Vipers” imagery, also doubling as the eye of a serpent, which admittedly, is a nice touch. Of course, if they HAD to go with a snake gimmick, there are far better options at their disposal. Which, naturally, is a segue to …

WHAT THE TEAM SHOULD’VE BEEN CALLED: The Tampa Bay fuckin’ Cottonmouths. An homage to one of the six venomous snakes that reside within Florida’s ecological system, the logo for the team would be a silhouette of a snake getting ready to inject the shit out of something with lethal toxins, but in the family-friendly, safe kind of way, like it was the logo for a defunct roller coaster at Barnsley Gardens or something. The alternate logo would be something pretty safe, like a silhouette of the state of Florida with a coiled up snake spelling out “TB” superimposed over it, with the team’s color scheme consisting of green, brown and silver — colors perfectly befitting a team named after swampland predators, no doubt.

The St. Louis BattleHawks

First off, I have no idea what the fuck a “BattleHawk” is supposed to be. It’s not the name of any real species of hawk and when I Googled it, the first 20 entries I saw were about Fortnite, so tits to that. It really does sound like the name of a G.I. Joe character, or some really bad Image Comic from 1993 that only lasted three issues, and the logo is hardly any better. I mean, it’s basically just the sword tattoo on Brock Lesnar’s chest, with the wings from Bret Hart’s old logo superglued to it, ain’t it?

WHAT THE TEAM SHOULD’VE BEEN CALLED: The St. Louis fuckin’ Arches. Yeah, it’s a really obvious moniker that sounds a little boring at first, but the more you think about, the better it sounds. I mean, nothing really embodies the essence of the city quite like the Gateway Arch itself, and drawing the team’s namesake from something so idiosyncratically local would definitely suit a locale that, over the last 30 years, has already lost two NFL franchises. And as an oblique homage to those dearly departed pro football teams, how about making the team’s jersey red, blue and gold, complete with a stylized Mississippi River alternate logo spelling out “STL?”

The Seattle Dragons

Well, the name Dragons is pretty generic, but it’s the best one we’ve stumbled across so far. And the logo itself isn’t too shabby, striking a pretty good balance between new wave semi-cyber aesthetics and old school cartoon charm. Out of all of the XFL 2.0 logos, I reckon this is the one that most closely mimics the team imagery of 2001 — which, of course, is either a really, really good thing or a really, really bad thing, depending on your perspective.

WHAT THE TEAM SHOULD’VE BEEN CALLED: The Seattle fuckin’ Totems. Yeah, there’s already been a couple of minor-league sports teams using the name (and there’s a pretty good chance that’s what the city’s as-of-of yet unnamed NHL team may be), but it’s a moniker that just plain works for the market. I figure the jersey colors would be brown, blue and seafoam green, complete with a bad-ass, evil-as-fuck looking wooden eagle main logo and an even eviler-looking Sasquatch face as the alternate emblem. 

The New York Guardians

Now we’re getting somewhere. Part lion and part mummy golem stone warrior, the logo for the Guardians could very easily be the iconography for a 1980s action figure line ripping off He-Man, or perhaps even the trademarked graphic for a really bad straight-to-video production company in the early 1990s. It’s not an altogether perfect look — it definitely has a dated San Jose Sabercats vibe to it, but compared to everything else we’ve seen so far, it’s definitely the sleekest and most inspired visual. And the team nickname ain’t too shabby, either, considering LaGuardia Airport is close by the stadium and shit. 

WHAT THE TEAM SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED: The New York fuckin’ Emperors. New York is the Empire State, and the lion-gargoyle look could certainly be fine-tuned a bit to better reflect the improved moniker.  Of course, you can plaster a stylized Empire State Building with lightning and shit striking it as the alternate logo, while the uniforms themselves would take advantage of the very New Yorky tri-blend of cold silver, cobalt blue and fiery orange — with or without pinstripes, naturally.

The Dallas Renegades

It seems like EVERY Madden game since 2003 has included a similar-looking Skoal Bandit logo in its create-a-team mode, and while the emblem here is certainly generic, it nonetheless works considering the market and its pro football history. Considering the entire logo is just a swath of blue with some strategically-centered red here and there, it’s actually pretty impressive, and it definitely looks faster and more intimidating than any of the other XFL 2.0 logos, for sure. And the “Renegades” nickname, despite its unavoidable allusions to Lorenzo Lamas, isn’t that cringey. 

WHAT THE TEAM SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED: The Dallas fuckin’ Tornadoes. It’s kinda’ shocking to me that a major pro sports team hasn’t been called that by now. I mean, Texas is known for its ungodly twisters, and the namesake just makes perfect sense for a sport literally anchored around giving people black people brain damage. That, and the nickname just lends itself perfectly to fan culture; they can call the cheering section “Tornado Alley,” dub their defense “EF5,” call the in-house restaurant the “Storm Shelter,” so on and so forth. 

The Houston Roughnecks

Well, not that there was that much competition to begin with, but Houston definitely wins the competition for best XFL 2.0 logo AND nickname. That classy yet ultra-modern stylized H-logo immediately calls to mind memories of the Oilers and Warren Moon and those dapper powder blue jerseys, but it’s just distinct enough to probably avoid a lawsuit from the NFL. And that nickname is just decisively old-school, through-and-through, even if some detractors may be prone to calling the team the “Houston Rednecks” as a slight — which, in a lot of ways, is an even better nickname, come to think of it.

WHAT THE TEAM SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED: The Houston fuckin’ Apollos. I mean, Houston is where NASA is at and shit and Apollo is Latin or something for “star,” and since you’ve already got the Astros in town, everything just kinda’ syncs up perfectly. Even better, the team doesn’t even HAVE to buy new uniforms — they can just raid the AAF warchest, grab all the Orlando merchandise and be over and done with it and a fraction of the upstart costs.


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