Author’s disclaimer: This article is as scientific as a four-year-old’s coloring book. Nothing discussed below should be taken with any sense of sincerity.
With that said, let’s take a look at the XFL’s names.
Dallas Renegades | Grade: B
According to the dictionary, a renegade is “a person who deserts or betrays an organization.” While that might not give off the best omens for the players on the team, Renegades is a pretty cool name. It inspires a certain swagger about the team. While the team has yet to play a down, the name Renegades should strike fear in the hearts of opponents across the XFL. As a whole, Renegades is a well-rounded name and is one of the best from the set of XFL team names.
DC Defenders | Grade: D
Defenders just lacks originality. While the team just using DC is a fun introduction, Defenders is very bland and very boring. In all honesty, it sounds like the team name your high school P.E. teacher gave to your flag football team. It is a very literal name as half of the players are defenders. Would you support a Wiffle Ball team named the Pitchers? Of course, you wouldn’t. This is lazy from the city of Washington D.C., and President Trump should pass an executive order to change the name.
Houston Roughnecks | Grade: B
Similar to Dallas, Roughnecks is just an all-around cool name. It is somewhat original, and it lends itself to a specific brand of football without being “Defenders.” The Roughnecks should not be afraid to play dirty. If the XFL brings the opening dash back for the reboot, I would be terrified to have to go up against a Roughneck. Roughneck has a better ring to it than “thug” or “hoodlum” does, but this has piqued my interest. Imagine a team called the Rochester Ruffians or the San Antonio Scoundrels. Those would certainly be better than a certain team from DC.
Los Angeles Wildcats | Grade: C-
While a “LAW” abbreviation is certifiably amazing, Wildcats is overused in athletics. If you have filled out a March Madness bracket (or 500), then you know that about 75 about of colleges are nicknamed the Wildcats. (Don’t fact-check that. Just trust me.) Wildcats are cool but criminally overused. If half of the NCAA was not made up of Wildcats, Los Angeles might have earned the highest grade. However, we live in a world where higher education exists, so this (Arizona) Wildcat — yeah, me — awards a subpar grade to the Los Angeles Wildcats.
New York Guardians | Grade: B-
This team might be guarding good football. The Jets, Bills, and Giants don’t really have much of an attack on the Guardians, but if the Jets or Giants are actually relevant for once, then you can ignore them because they technically play in New Jersey. Jabs aside, “Guardians” is a pretty solid name. It is not particularly amazing, but it gets the job done. If it were a restaurant, I would give it three stars. On the bright side, the Guardians will probably be the best football team whose abbreviation is “NYG.”
At least you can look forward to Daniel Jones.
St. Louis BattleHawks | Grade: A
In terms of originality, the BattleHawks are unmatched. In terms of practicality, what is a BattleHawk? According to Wikipedia, a BattleHawk is either a fictional fighter squadron, a video game, an aircraft carrier, a Japanese TV series, a drone, or an XFL team. I guess St. Louis would have run into problems if the team was called the Japanese TV Series or the Video Games. Regardless, BattleHawks is an innovative name, and it is the best of the XFL’s bunch. I give major props to St. Louis for being creative … unlike a certain team from DC.
Seattle Dragons | Grade: B+
While somewhat generic, Dragons is an exciting name. It has the feel of the randomly generated names of video games, but it has not lost its luster because of college teams (sorry LA). Dragons are based in myth similar to Seattle’s second Super Bowl ring. In all seriousness, Dragons is a high-quality name, and they would advance to the XFL Name Final if I had my way. They would be handily beaten by the BattleHawks, but at least Seattle fans would not have to complain about the referees or their offensive coordinator in this championship loss.
Tampa Bay Vipers | Grade B
While I am not a huge fan of snake-based names, I will give Tampa Bay a bonus for having a relatable team nickname. Florida has five venomous kinds of pit vipers, so the name actually fits. The bonus is removed because I had to look at a University of Florida website to find that fact, however. The Vipers will likely be the best Florida-based football team in 2020. Vipers is an above-average name, and it has some originality, unlike the oft-mentioned LA and DC teams. I look forward to watching the Vipers slither around on the field come February because the Dolphins, the Buccaneers, and the Jaguars will have been long eliminated from relevance.