Tuesday, the Premier Lacrosse League rolled out the latest in a series of big announcements. And it was a doozy: The names of the fledgling league’s six teams.
Here’s what they came up with:
The PLL’s tour-based model, where teams aren’t tied to cities, ruled out team names with regional and/or historical connotations (i.e. Packers, Nuggets, Trail Blazers, Twins). Considering only about 2/3 of existing pro sports teams have good names, coming up with a strong six became an even taller order.
According to Sports Illustrated’s sit-down with Paul Rabil, the exhaustive process ended in names that give each team an identity and style that will fit its players.
…a “light bulb” should go off when you see that a certain player ended up on one team over another, Rabil says. A player’s style should fit with that of their teammates and the culture entrenched in the club’s moniker–a player named to the Archers will have a style stepped in the same precision that defines his namesake’s craft. It will all make sense.
So we’re doing Hogwarts houses here? Are we going to throw an old bucket on the players’ heads and call it the sorting helmet? Seems like some overthinking could have happened here, but we’ll let you guys be the judge of that.
Here’s how these new team names rank, in our eyes:
#6 – Chaos
If we could rank this any lower than last place, we would. Woof. Plug your noses folks, because this one stinks. It honestly just sounds generic and not like a name that made it through the “multiple rounds of votes” that Rabil eludes to. Not to mention, the team logo is a scorpion. Is that creature the embodiment of pure chaos? Maybe if you find one in your bed in the middle of the night, but other than that it’s a stretch.
#5 – Chrome
Another swing and a miss, if we’re being honest. We’re a little more torn on this one though, because the logo is pretty sweet; it just doesn’t make all that much sense. Imagine if the team logo was just a Notre Dame helmet? I don’t know of a single lacrosse fan that hears “chrome” and doesn’t immediately picture the golden domes of the Fighting Irish. Anyways, the name is cool in the lacrosse world, but the logo doesn’t really match up all that well. Just kind of confusing.
#4 – Atlas
Not a terrible name, but not great either. Just kind of…eh. It’s interesting, too, because this was one that Paul Rabil spoke very highly of. According to him, he pushed hard for this name to be one of the six and obviously got his wish. The only issue we have is that it’s pretty mundane. Kind of takes you back to sixth grade Social Studies class, no? The logo, though, is pretty cool. Can’t really go wrong with a good ole’ longhorn steer.
#3 – Redwoods
Now we’re getting somewhere! The only question with this is that isn’t the PLL trying to stay away from geographic ties? Redwoods is a sweet name, but doesn’t it scream “California?” Plus, you have the Portland Timbers of the MLS, and the Stanford Cardinal of the NCAA, whose mascot is, you guessed it, a tree. Not that Redwoods isn’t original, it just has a strong west coast connotation. BUT, that logo is heat. Probably the best of the six, so big time points for that.
#2 – Archers
This team has a leg up in that it already has a built-in celly. You know the one we mean. So, that’s cool in it’s own right. On the other side, if what Rabil said about specific players ending up on teams that embody their style of play is true, then this team is about to have some absolute snipers. No corner of the net is safe when these guys come through. Have to imagine the Archers’ starting attack unit will be something along the lines of Rambo, Molloy, and Brown (aka three guys that don’t know what it feels like to be stoned by Hector the Rejector).
#1 – Whipsnakes
Bingo. Such a cool name. Not quite sure what a Whipsnake is, but after a quick Google search it appears to be a snake that, if you can believe it, looks like a whip. Go figure. Based on name alone, the PLL already has its very first dynasty on its hands. Plus, the logo is pretty creative, too. This team is up against some big time snake-competition in other leagues (Diamondbacks, Rattlers, etc.), but the Whipsnakes fit right in. Bravo to those that created this gem. Next stop: PLL Championship.
It’s worth noting that the Rabils have nailed everything else up to this point: inking a huge TV deal, recruiting the game’s best players and coaches, and an exciting list of possible host cities. We’re still waiting on the announcement of the remaining cities, as well as things like uniform/helmet manufacturers, gameplay rules (2-point shot?), and of course, rosters.
John Paul, tell the people how much longer we have to wait!