OK, so this is happening. The XFL is a thing. It appears its revival will start in February.
As regular chat visitors on this site know, Tipsheet has tried to rain on XFL owner Vince McMahon's parade every chance possible. Other than bitter NFL fans seeking revenge sex, who will go to these games?
But the league is going to play and St. Louis will have professional football (of sorts) again. And our team. the BattleHawks, have a name that our new MLS team will have a tough time topping.
We all owe it to ourselves to at least buy a BattleHawks ball cap to get on board with this.
Writing for USA Today, Kevin Allen ranked the BattleHawks high among the XFL team names:
- DC Defenders: Give the XFL credit for being non-traditional in deciding to call the franchise in the nation’s capital “DC” instead of “Washington.” The DC Defenders is a 21st Century name. It’s stylish.
- St. Louis BattleHawks: It’s original. It has bite. The double capital letter makes it memorable.
- Seattle Dragons: Given the popularity of Game of Thrones, it’s impossible to go wrong putting dragons front and center. If Seattle has a ferocious, hard-hitting outside linebacker, that presumably makes him the mother of Dragons.
- New York Guardians: Maybe it’s a too Marvel, but the name is strong in its simplicity. You can almost hear the broadcaster talking about the Guardians closing the gate on a goal-line stand.
- Houston Roughnecks: One of the definitions of Roughneck is “oil rig worker.” That works for Houston.
- Tampa Bay Vipers: If you are wondering if there are vipers in Florida, the answer is "yes." Florida has six kinds of venomous snakes, including five of the pit viper variety. But that doesn't make it a great nickname.
- Dallas Renegades: The synonyms for a renegade are traitor, defector, deserter, turncoat and betrayer. Nope. Not going there in naming a football team trying to build team unity.
- Los Angeles Wildcats: Too 1950ish. Not hip enough for a Southern California sports team name.
Writing for the The Ringer, Shaker Samman gave the BattleHawks his thumbs up:
The logo is a sword with wings. Per the XFL’s description, it can dive, dodge, swoop, and strike. And it’s worth noting that when it strikes, it strikes with a freaking broadsword. That’s probably fatal. And likely won’t bode well under the league’s “no criminality” law. Until the BattleHawks are all banned for sword-related murder, however, they take the top spot here. A BattleHawk sounds terrifying, the wings on the logo look like other, smaller blades, and the blue, silver, and white color scheme is clean and could make for some dashing uniforms. All in on the BattleHawks.
Here is what else folks have been writing about the XFL:
Barry Petchesky, Deadspin: "The names are, on the whole, bland as paste. If you can’t tell right off the bat from a team’s name whether that team belongs in the CFL or roller derby or Conference USA, you’ve (screwed) up. 'BattleHawks' is, I think, the only half-decent name here, both because that’s not actually a thing and because it’s not clear what a BattleHawk would even be or do. Weird is good, and these aren’t weird. The logos are similarly, disappointingly generic. They look like the teams in a direct-to-Netflix movie that opted not to pay up for real Arena Football rights. They look like the logos on SB Nation’s team sites. They look, more than anything, like the league announced the logo unveiling before realizing they hadn’t created any logos yet, and then quickly hired someone for not very much money to draw them all in a day."
Cody Benjamin, CBSSports.com: "The XFL, which lasted just one season during its initial run, has teased potential roles for big names like Johnny Manziel and already begun recruiting ex-NFL players -- former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones becoming the first of them to sign. By May, the league had filled all eight of its head coaching jobs with recognizable names from both the college and professional ranks: Bob Stoops (Dallas), Jim Zorn (Seattle), Jonathan Hayes (St. Louis), June Jones (Houston), Kevin Gilbride (New York), Marc Trestman (Tampa Bay) and Pep Hamilton (Washington, D.C.) When the 2020 season kicks off, more than half of the XFL's games will be broadcast on ESPN and FOX."
Alanis Thames, Yahoo! Sports: "Whistle blowing. Fans groaning, cheering and, sometimes, crying. Popcorn and nachos crumbled in piles of debris on the ground. Players colliding, trash talking and celebrating after touchdowns. The environment that’s typical of most football games is what Los Angeles Wildcats team president Heather Brooks Karatz hopes the XFL elicits when it relaunches in February 2020. As the first of eight team presidents hired by the XFL, Karatz helped construct the league’s makeup, including under what mission and policies it will operate and how it will do things differently — and better — than it did in 2001 when WWE chairman Vince McMahon launched the league the first time. Progressiveness is a focus of the new XFL, starting with its front office. Karatz is one of the league’s two female presidents. Janet Duch — the president of the XFL’s New York team — is the other."
“The XFL is about football and fun, and our team identities are intended to signify just that. Now it’s 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."
XFL President and COO, Jeffrey Pollack, trumpeting the new team names.
Twitter users weigh in on the name
BattleHawks? Was NinjaSpiders taken?— Scott Petre (@MrPetre2You) August 21, 2019
Which is best?
Tampa Bay Vipers isn’t awesome, but it beats the hell out of “St. Louis BattleHawks”. That sounds like a rejected HeMan toy idea. https://t.co/NVK66rAvZz— Heath Cline (@heathradio) August 21, 2019
5) (cont.) BattleHawks is a bizarre name choice, and I don't see how it fits the city at all. And that logo looks like it was ripped straight from The Legend of Zelda. Yikes.— Braden Johnson (@SportsBraden) August 21, 2019
6) Seattle Dragons - another case of the mascot not matching the city at all. Why? Just, why?
Renegades = 👍🏻— Brooks Roland (@BrooksRoland82) August 21, 2019
Roughnecks = 👎🏻
Wildcats = 👎🏻 too generic
Guardians = Ok, could be better
Defenders = 👍🏻
BattleHawks = 👍🏻
Dragons = 👍🏻
Vipers = 👎🏻 (would’ve gone with either Bandits like the USFL days or something shark-related) https://t.co/SNfY2WXnuz
Battlehawks— Fragile Straight Cis White Male (@ColinLGlover) August 21, 2019
Too close to a rival?
@XFLStLouis Question ... Why would a St l. Louis team go with anything Hawks?? Biggest NHL rival is the Blackhawks..— Ryan Johnson (@SIR6Rhino) August 21, 2019
Some fans of the name
The #STL #XFL team honors our sports, aviation, and namesake history, #IMO. Hawks NBA Franchise, military plane/jet manufacturing, battle sword for King Louis IX (logo). I like it. @xfl2020 @XFLStLouis #BattleHawks pic.twitter.com/6YHi9IqhVJ— DominicThomas (@Dominic_Thomas9) August 21, 2019