Loco in Las Vegas

The Las Vegas UFL team finally has a name that draws on the city’ history. Check out the press release:

At a press conference today, United Football League Commissioner Michael Huyghue announced the Las Vegas franchise will be named the Locomotives and unveiled innovative team uniforms showcasing the Locomotives’ “Premiere” season colors of silver, blue and white. The name “Locomotives” was selected after reviewing more than thirty thousand fan entries and receiving interpretation from industry experts and an in-house creative team on what attributes the fans were seeking with their submissions. Las Vegas Locomotives Head Coach Jim Fassel was also in attendance at the press event.

“It was critical for us to select team names that we felt best reflected the local community while simultaneously defining the personality of the team,” said Commissioner Huyghue. “Las Vegas was originally established in 1905 with the opening of the Salt Lake, San Pedro and Los Angeles Railroads. We wanted to honor the vast history of the city and the intrinsic benefits that this innovation provided to the community.”

Previously, the UFL announced Miami-based GameWear Team Sports as the League’s official uniform supplier. GameWear Team Sports is one of the leading athletic uniform outfitters in the country and has worked extensively in growing the sport of football on the grassroots level. Award-winning designer Ron Caruso of Purepartner created all the teams’ uniforms using derivatives of the official League logo for all the designs while making each one distinctive.

“The inspiration for the ‘Premiere’ season uniform design comes directly from the UFL shield and its foundation colors which represent ‘green grass’, ‘blue sky’ and silver for innovation,” said Caruso. “Throughout the uniforms, we used the dimensional ‘arc’ of the shield on the chest and supporting ‘arcs’ on the sleeves and pants. The unique font of the numbers reinforces the shield’s classic bold typeface with angles and dimensional treatments conveying depth and motion. The four uniform designs work together in a unified branded system, providing manufacturing efficiencies while allowing each team to retain its own unique and differentiated character.”

United Football League Introduces Las Vegas Locomotives as Team Name & Unveils Uniforms

Hmmm. It does reflect the history of Las Vegas, but would have been more appropriate in an age when the city really was a railroad town–let’s say before the UPRR moved the repair shops out of town in 1922. Most people probably don’t say “trains” when you ask them to say the first thing that comes to mind when you say “Las Vegas.” Considering we don’t even have passenger train service here anymore, I’m not sure this was such a good idea in 2009.

The nickname, “Locos,” is a little too close to “Lobos” for me. I’m seeing University of New Mexico basketball, not pro football. “Locomotives” sounds much more like a college team nickname than a professional team’s one. It really would be perfect for an engineering school, even if they don’t graduate the engineers who run trains.

And good God, does that description of the “premiere” season uniforms sound pretentious or what? It’s like they’re talking about a Cirque show or something. It’s a sport that involves men hitting each other, very hard, while people drink beer and bet on the outcome. I’ve never watched a football game–nor have I known anyone else to watch a football game–and comment on the “dimensional arc” of the uniforms.

Here’s a few names I came up with that aren’t already used by any other pro sports team that I know of and, I think, work better:

Las Vegas Land Sharks (or Loan Sharks–there could be some synergy with the Mob Museum)
Las Vegas Pit Bosses
Las Vegas Godfathers (hey, if we’re going to do the Mob thing, we might as well go all in)
Las Vegas Dons (it plays on the Spanish heritage and is a more subtle way of saying “Godfathers”
Las Vegas Vagabonds
Las Vegas Bandits (the players would have two arms, but they could have a slot machine in the logo)
Las Vegas Hangovers (Most football team names represent something brutal and intimidating, and a hangover is both. Many people leave Vegas with hangovers, as well.)

I welcome further suggestions in the comments. I say, we should remember who we are and how we are perceived in 2009. Let’s have some fun with this.

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