Shutdown Corner - NFL

With the league making its television debut 59 days from now, the United Football League figured that it might be about time to release some team names and some uniforms. The first two in the books are the Las Vegas Locomotives and the California Redwoods. Those are the teams you see pictured above, with the Redwoods on the left and the Choo Choo Trains on the right.

It just so happens that these two behemoths will do battle in the UFL's inaugural game on October 10 on Versus.

The uniforms appear to be exactly the same in the design and pattern, with only the fruity colors differing. It doesn't look like the UFL plans on getting all that creative with logos, either.

I'll be honest with you: I'm a little disappointed in Vegas' name. I was hoping for something cheesier and more Vegas-y, like the Las Vegas Gamblers, High Rollers, Pit Bosses, Snake Eyes, or Doublers Down. But no, we get trains. Here's the explanation from the UFL's Roger Goodell, Michael 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."

Well, hooray for railroad history. There's a topic that captivates America's youth.

As for the Redwoods, a name I like a little better (though it would seem to allow for the color red, or the color of trees to exist somewhere in the uniform), here's the explanation on that one:

"The Redwoods, large, strong trees native to California, symbolize many traits that the UFL and the California franchise plan to embody.  The Redwoods and the UFL are reaching for the stars and are eco-friendly."

How important are uniform aesthetics and cool logos and nicknames to the UFL's survival?

The on-field product will certainly be inferior to that of the NFL, so I would guess that things like production value and making sure that nothing looks "minor league" would be important. On the other hand, the XFL and USFL had more distinctive and creative looking squads, and look where they are now. So who knows?

Announcements are still to come on the Florida and New York franchises. All primary colors remain available.

Elsewhere on the Yahoo! Sports Blogs:
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Fight at Fenway! Youkilis charges Porcello in brewing brouhaha

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