Washington’s XFL team already had a coach/general manager (Pep Hamilton) and a stadium (Audi Field). Now it has a name: The D.C. Defenders, who will begin play with seven other teams in the reborn alternative to the NFL in February.
The Defenders’ logo features a shield with three white stars and crossed lightning bolts.
“Marching ever forward, a force united. One quest. One purpose. One resolve. Seeking glory through grit,” the voice-over intoned during the team’s introductory video Wednesday.
Team president Erik Moses has a message for the fans:
The other nicknames:
— St. Louis BattleHawks
— Tampa Bay Vipers
— New York Guardians
— Seattle Dragons
— Los Angeles Wildcats
— Houston Roughnecks
— Dallas Renegades
A number of observers noted some similarities between the new XFL logos and the logos of other football teams.
The original iteration of the XFL crashed and burned in 2001, the victim of a rushed gestation process, silly gimmicks, crass marketing, substandard play and plunging television ratings. The new version also is promising to differentiate itself from the NFL with more action, less downtime, quicker games, safer play and more opportunities to score.
This time, however, the XFL is putting much more thought into the process of getting a new league off the ground, with Commissioner Oliver Luck — a well-respected former NCAA administrator, pro sports executive and father of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck — tapping the minds of not only football experts but also those from Silicon Valley and the medical community.
Among the new concepts the XFL plans on introducing for its second inaugural season:
— A shootout-style overtime: Each team will line up 10 yards from the end zone and attempt a scoring play. Both get five opportunities, and the team that converts the most scores wins the game.
— No kicked extra points. One point will be given after a touchdown for scoring from the 2-yard line, two points for scoring from the 5 and three points for scoring from the 15.
— Offenses will get unlimited forward passes from behind the line of scrimmage.
“We don’t want to do gimmicks,” Oliver Luck told The Washington Post’s Rick Maese earlier this year. “Gimmicks in XFL 1 didn’t work very well. These are legitimate improvements to the game.”
The XFL hopes to avoid both its quick demise of 2001 and the downfall earlier this year of the AAF, which didn’t even make it through an entire season before folding amid significant financial woes.
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