Ah, the Alliance of American Football. For a short stretch in the spring of 2019, the AAF was the hottest thing since avocado pool floats. But the upstart football league tried to beat everyone to the punch, lacked funding, and it folded without reaching the league’s playoffs in its first season. However, there’s one more league on the horizon set to kickoff it’s inaugural year in 2020, and this time, the XFL is doing everything in its power to stick around for a long time.
Hosted by XFL commissioner Oliver Luck and ESPN’s Laura Rutledge and FOX’s Colin Cowherd, the XFL announced the team names and logos in a press conference on August 21 that included some pretty awesome hype trailers to unveil the eight team names and logos that you’ll see competing in the league’s inaugural season.
XFL Teams 2020
- St. Louis BattleHawks
- Tampa Bay Vipers
- New York Guardians
- Seattle Dragons
- Los Angeles Wildcats
- DC Defenders
- Houston Roughnecks
- Dallas Renegades
According to the Associated Press, Disney-owned ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, along with Fox Sports, FS1 and FS2, will televise XFL games for football fans all over the country to enjoy.
While rosters haven’t been decided, each of these upstart franchises landed in major markets where fandom has proven to take hold. The new XFL — not to be confused with WWE overlord Vince McMahon’s first iteration — is taking it’s time with quality spring camps to evaluate talent and isn’t rushing towards being first in line. Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones was the first player to sign, but plenty more one-time college football stars are sure to join in the next few months. (Johnny Manziel, anyone?)
These eight teams each have a unique identity, and the XFL is making sure every fan base knows exactly who they’re coming to see.
St. Louis BattleHawks
Coach & General Manager: Jonathan Hayes
Home Field: The Dome at America’s Center
“Winged warriors. Preparing to fight. Preparing for flight.”
The “chaotic” persona of this St. Louis franchise gives me goosebumps. No, this isn’t the LucasFilm video game from 1988. These are the new BattleHawks, and they’re bringing football back to the Midwest.
Tampa Bay Vipers
Coach & GM: Marc Trestman
Home Field: Raymond James Stadium
“Demons born in darkness. Hunters by instinct. Cold-blooded by nature.”
Sure, Vipers sounds a little cliche and in no way is compares to the west Florida geography, but I think the Vipers have a legit chance of overtaking the NFL’s Buccaneers as the most-competent franchise in that city.
New York Guardians
Coach & GM: Kevin Gilbride
Home Field: MetLife Stadium
“Watchdogs over the metropolis.”
This nickname might be my favorite. “They are the first line of defense, and there is no need for a second.” These subtle odes to the NYPD and first-responders there is perfect to draw interest in New York City.
Coach & GM: Jim Zorn
Home Field: CenturyLink Field
“Rising from the turbulent sea. Beneath the darkening skies of their weather-hardened home.”
Yeah, now we’re talking. Seattle is famous for accepting any and all sports franchises that enter that area of the country. If the Dragons become anything close to what the MLS’ Seattle Sounders or even Seattle Sonics meant to the city, they could very well be the XFL’s attendance leaders in no time. Plus, head coach Jim Zorn, who started 100 games as quarterback of the Seahawks, is perfect for this new franchise.
Los Angeles Wildcats
Coach & GM: Winston Moss
Home Field: Dignity Health Sports Park
“In the land of bright lights, far from the flash and fame, they’ve already begun to prowl.”
Oof. Los Angeles is already infamous for struggling to embrace football teams not named the Rams (Sorry, Chargers). Now, you want to throw an upstart team with a high school football name like the Wildcats into the mix? L.A. better be ready to bring a huge superstar to California. Otherwise, this team could get buried.
Coach & GM: Pep Hamilton
Home Field: Audi Field
“On the shoulders of giants, they stand tall. Incomparable. Unyielding.”
At first, I wasn’t sure about another Washington D.C. football team, but the Defenders might already be better than the Redskins. This franchise embraces the American ideal that comes with its territory, and those red and white colors couldn’t fit better.
Coach & GM: June Jones
Home Field: TDECU Stadium
“Unceasing, and often unseen, they labor deep in the trenches. Mercenaries in the muck.”
It’s no contest, this is the best XFL logo there is. Plus, the Roughnecks are embracing Texas’ hard-working, blue-collar fans and bringing them into the fold. They may not be the NFL’s Texans, but the Roughnecks sound about as Texan as you can be. But to be honest, does this not look a little bit like the old Houston Oilers logo?
Coach & GM: Bob Stoops
Home Field: Globe Life Park
“Where big, meets bold, meets bad ass. This is outlaw country.”
Football and Dallas are synonymous, but I’m still not sure how another football team will be received in Cowboys country. However, the Renegades, much like the Roughnecks, are appealing to that gritty, working-class Texas audience. They’re not here for glitz and glam, they’re here to be “hell on wheels, between hash marks.” Former Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops might be the best this league has to offer.
And the answer is yes, I am so damn excited to see the XFL in action.