Lorton: NFL names for London
Isaac Lorton | Tuesday, November 4, 2014
In 2007, the NFL began testing whether or not American football would be feasible in England. More specifically, London. If these trial runs went well, the NFL’s plan was to have a team permanently in London by 2022.
Halfway through this plan, there have been 10 NFL games played at Wembley Stadium in London, with the 11th coming this Sunday.
There were hesitations about these games: how the NFL would be received in a football (read soccer) nation, how teams would play during and after long flights and changing time zones and if games were even logistically possible overseas during the regular season.
The NFL found these overseas games were possible and garnered a lot of attention. According to sportsbusinessdaily.com, in 2013 and 2014 only 3 percent of the people surveyed who attended games in London had ties to the U.S. Twenty-two percent were from London, and 60 percent were from elsewhere in the U.K.
If it is only a matter of time before we see an NFL team in London, it will need a name. We don’t want to end up with something ridiculous like the New Orleans Pelicans, especially when it could have been the Voodoo.
So here are some names to consider for an NFL team in London:
The London Monarchs
The most obvious name would probably be the Kings. But with an NBA team and an NHL team already holding that, it doesn’t seem likely.
The same goes for the Royals. Kansas City’s MLB team probably wouldn’t be too keen about that. Let’s also not forget that two of England’s greatest rulers were Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, so the Kings won’t do.
The Monarchs, however, is a great team name honoring Great Britain’s long history of kings and queens, and it was the name of the team in London in the former NFL Europe. So it has history. Then again, the former Monarchs didn’t last long.
The London Guards
If you visit London, you likely will see at least one of London’s famous guards. There is a whole hierarchy of guardians in England, and all of them have unique red outfits, which would make for a great mascot and uniforms. Whether it be the footguards with the giant beaver-fur caps or the famous Beefeaters at the Tower of London, the London Guards would be a viable name. Beefeaters would be a good team name by itself, but it probably would be misconstrued too often.
The London Towers
Speaking of famous landmarks in London, the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge are instantly recognizable monuments. Historically speaking as well, both landmarks have prominent places in English lore. The idea of towering over other teams might also be appealing. Naming a team after an inanimate object could be weird, but the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Fire have managed to pull it off. However, the Fire might not be the best name for a Chicago team. Or London for that matter.
The London Lords
I have always been a sucker for alliteration, and the London Lords appeals directly to that. It would honor the House of Lords, the upper house of Great Britain’s Parliament. It would also give a nod to England’s former feudal system based on nobility. It might be too stuffy as a name though. And everyone knows Great Britain is not at all stuffy.
The London Jacks
One of the most iconic things about England is its flag, the Union Jack. Just off the bat, the uniforms would easily be the best in the league. With Scotland sticking around in Great Britain, the Union Jack will remain the same. The Jacks would be an excellent name for American fans to identify a London team by because the London Redcoats, Teapots and Colonizers probably won’t do.
The London Wizards
England is probably most known for J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter, so obviously the best name is the London Wizards. Or the London 9 and 3/4’s or anything that references the world of Hogwarts. It doesn’t even matter if the Washington Wizards have the name already.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.