The Squared Root: Predicting the XFL Team Names
The last several days the XFL has decided to drop teaser photos pertaining to the possible logos of their eight franchises. Accompanying those teaser photos was a press release, after the last set was released, confirming that this Wednesday, August 21st at 1230pm, across all major media outlets associated with the XFL, that those franchise names, logos and color scheme will be officially announced. In corresponding manner, the XFL dropped a teaser video today for all eight teams for their fans to try and piece together potential team names. I, along with my partner in crime Mark Angst, have spent the last couple hours going over every detail we could think of watching this video repeatedly. We have drawn our eight conclusions and this is how we drew such conclusions.
First, I want to discuss the video that was released today. If you use the shot of the tunnel as a reference point, it clearly paints all eight teams with two images apiece. This was an important piece of the puzzle that helped us draw our conclusions.
Seattle – CLUES: Dragon Eye and Waves/Storm brewing
The first two images shown in the video are of waves crashing, or starting to rise, and what appears to be a dragon’s eye. The Seattle Dragons seem to have become the popular prediction amongst fans because of this. When Mark and I really started bouncing ideas of each other, we realized that it may not be so cut and dry. The storm brewing, or waves, was really throwing us off. What relation did that have with a dragon? Two common phrases used in the world of meteorologists are; “a storm surge” and “eye of the storm.” If you look the logo that resembles a dragon, the eye is red; on radars, the eye of the storm is generally red.
Our Prediction: Seattle Surge with the dragon eye being apart of the logo.
St, Louis – CLUES: gargoyle statues
This clue was one of the most obvious. Gargoyles. It would make a kick ass team name, right? But what city? And why? Well, at first we toyed with the idea that it could have been connected to New York. A quick glance on social media and appeared that most people felt that way. As our conversation progressed, we made the connection of gargoyles to the Catholic Church. When discussing religion, the term “saint” or “saints” appears quite often. So, would the XFL, who had released a series of teaser photos and a teaser video, just give this answer away? The St. Louis flag’s colors are red, white, blue and yellow and the carries a fleur-de-lis, which is a staple of the Catholic saints of France. If you look at the eight teaser photos, there’s only two logos that depict two colors, the black and silver logo and the red and white logo. With the logos being zoomed in it’s very possible that the blue or yellow was left out of the red and white “lightning bolt” looking design. Also, could the XFL just make the name “gargoyles” so predictable? We didn’t think so. After all, why go through all the trouble of teaser photos and a video if it was that simple?
Our Prediction: St. Louis Archers with the gargoyle possible sitting atop of an arch as the logo
Houston – CLUES: fire, oil rig
At first watch we both thought this could have been referencing a blade being sharpened. With the fire, the dark imagery and sounds of a blade being sharpened it felt like that the direction the video was taking us. After we paused and slowed down the video, it became more apparent that it was someone working on an oil rig or something resembling that. We know with the Houston Oilers of the NFL moving out of town and going to Tennessee, that there’s a connection to Houston and oil. This connection wasn’t really previously discussed as we expected Houston to be associated with space or something involving the universe. The logo that appeared to us to represent the city of Houston the most was in the third picture at the top. The red and orange can represent heat and fire, respectively, while the black border can represent that of oil. With the pictures zoomed, the orange bar could be the top of an H representing Houston. We know the XFL can’t, and wouldn’t, use the “oilers” name, so they would have to use another name closely associated to it.
Our Prediction: Houston Roughnecks with an H logo in the design of an oil tower to some degree
Dallas – CLUES: city road at night, landscape at night
Admittedly, this was the hardest one of pinpoint. These clues didn’t seem to match much when it came to the logos, and attaching the city of Dallas seemed a bit odd at first. After we finished our predictions and discussions on the seven other cities, we felt Dallas was best connected to these two images. In the first image, we get an aerial view of a city street. The first couple things I noticed was it was night, there were a lot of cars, but also, that there was a palm tree in the picture. Initially, we thought Florida, but two images later made us change our mind. We had to do some research and there are, in fact, palm trees in Texas. We did not know this before today. We do now, though. The second image is another dark shot, at first glance we thought it could have been field of sorts. But slowing the video down and pausing it, you can make a faint landscape in the background and the light source feels like it comes from a flashlight. It looks like a little hill followed by the landscape of a city in the background. The bottom left logo appears to be a mask of sort with blue, black and red. The Dallas area isn’t really known for their team names to be named after an animal, and if we’re correct about the logo, our prediction of the team name makes perfect sense because they usually work at night.
Our Prediction: Dallas Bandits with the mask being the focal point of the logo
New York – CLUES: an airplane engine; viewpoint from a fighter jet wing
These two images sort gave us a little trouble as well. Similar to Dallas, this one was a little tougher for us to draw a conclusion for. Once we felt comfortable with the other six teams, this seemed more like the logical choice for us. But what could the name be? The “jets” are already a team in the NFL, and located in New York. So, something along those lines doesn’t seem likely. The bottom left photo in the corner features three really clean looking colors in blue, silver and white. When you dive into professional teams in New York, a majority of them have a shade of blue associated with them, save the Jets. Along with the color scheme of that logo, it appears that logo is represented with some kind of wings. If the planes or jets in these two teaser clips are to be taken into effect, New York seems like the best choice for these images.
Our Prediction: New York Stealth with a stealth bomber type jet as a logo
Washington D.C. – CLUES: war statue and military service members
These were one of the easiest images to decipher, in our opinions. The military is associated with the D.C area pretty commonly. As the nation’s capital, military, politics and, obviously, the White House are all associated with the area. The red, white, and blue of our nation’s flag is a common theme, as well. The logo in the upper left hand corner is the only logo featuring all three of our’s flag colors on it. It appears to be in the shape of a bell, or some kind of object similar to a bell. The flag represent freedom and independence. We doubt that the XFL would cop out and go with a team name that’s as basic as “freedom” or “independence” so we had to really dig for this one. We toyed with the “generals” and “warriors” but we quickly wrote those off having professional teams with those names already in one professional league or another.
Our Prediction: Washington DC Heroes with an image of something that represent our country’s storied history
Tampa Bay – CLUES: a swamp
After the image of the street with the palm tree passed, these two images of a swamp appeared towards the end of the video. Common knowledge would link a swamp, the Florida Gators nickname for their stadium is literally, “The Swamp”, to Florida making Tampa Bay the likely candidate for these two images. When you take that into account and look at the teaser photos released over the weekend, the image in the upper right corner resembles a serpent or reptile in some capacity. As we started discussing possible team names, we quickly ruled “alligators” or “crocodiles” mainly because they’re two basic and too close to the University of Florida. Another popular choice on the interwebs was “Vipers” pertaining to the snake connection in Florida. The image in the upper right corner carries two different shades of green and a yellow eye. If history tells us anything, Tampa Bay is known for their outside the box color schemes and uniforms: this might not be any different.
Our Prediction: Tampa Bay Venom with an obvious snake as the logo
Los Angeles – CLUES: a tattoo of wings, a biker
This one came to us rather quickly, the images at the end of the video were pretty easy to connect. The City of Angels is known widely for motorcycle clubs. Needless to say, if you see angel wings in the tattoo, “Angeles” translates to “angels” in English. The Los Angeles area already has a team called the angels, so we quickly ruled out any name involving the angels. Then we started discussing several other names linked to angels, such as: “avenging angels” or “guardian angel.” The Los Angeles Avengers was an arena league team that is now defunct; Avengers, would certainly make a kick ass name. We wrote the Avengers off mainly because Marvel and the success of the Avengers franchise in Hollywood. The next thing we did was look at the logo we associated with LA: the black and silver logo second in on the top. The second logo with only two colors represented in it just so happens to be the same two colors of a former professional football team in LA: the Raiders. Because of the darker color scheme, we thought of a “fallen angel” angle with the team, but we couldn’t agree that the Los Angeles Fallen was a good team name. We also had to look at the biker image involved in this video as well. Motorcycle clubs can sometimes be consider protectors of their neighborhood and surrounding communities, which led us to……
Our Prediction: Los Angeles Guardians with angel wings and LA probably at the center of it
That’s what we came up with! What did you? Either way, tomorrow, Wednesday at 12:30pm Eastern time, these names will be revealed! We don’t expect to go 100% but we definitely like our choices! We want to hear from you! Let us know what eight names you’ve concluded from the hints and clues that have been dropped thus far.
Michael Washington-Weeks with help from Mark Angst