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UFL announces first team name to be Las Vegas Locomotives

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By Dan Waters

Today the United Football League announced that the name of the league’s Las Vegas franchise will be the Locomotives. This is the first of four press conferences making public each team’s name and its respective uniform.

The announcement came a few days after the public relations director of the UFL personally e-mailed me to apologize for the mixup regarding when the press conferences to make these announcements were to be held. I feel my foot lodged firmly in my mouth after I talked about the lack of communication from the league office.

Before I say anything else, let’s make one thing clear: I’m pretty sure that every team name seems less-than-brilliant when it’s first publicized. Take, for example, the Saints, the Dolphins and the Packers. Not very intimidating to be facing off against a canonized individual, a Sea World attraction, or someone in the canned-meat industry, is it? At least a Locomotive would hurt and not just look pretty on your bird feeder like a Cardinal. How about the Texans’ unique name? Not exactly a bold moniker, to say the least. And the NFL generally has better names than, say, the MLB. Goldilocks wouldn’t even be afraid of the baby bears known as the Cubs. Also, how many different color Sox does the league need?

Anyway, the Las Vegas Locomotives is clearly better than the now-defunct XFL’s clear bias toward the letter “X,” with team names such as the Memphis Maniax and the Los Angeles Xtreme. At least the UFL doesn’t spell like a tween girl sending a text message.

On that note, I am not disappointed with the introduction of the Locomotives as Las Vegas’ team name, which I think is a compliment. Instead of just drawing letters out of a Scrabble box, the league actually chose the names scientifically, saying in a league press release that “(t)he 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.”

Not surprisingly, commissioner Michael Huyghue was very savvy in his comment regarding the announcement of the team name.

“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,” Huyghe said.  “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.”

Stay tuned all week as the remaining team names are announced.

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