Get ready for Alliance’s Iron, Express, Apollos and Legends
Get ready for the Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orlando Apollos and Atlanta Legends.
Those are four of the eight franchise names for the Alliance of American Football, which begins play the weekend after the Super Bowl with a 10-game spring schedule.
The Alliance, created by Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian and film and TV producer Charlie Ebersol, unveiled the names and logos on Thursday. The other four franchises, in Salt Lake City, San Diego, Phoenix and San Antonio, will announce their names and reveal their colors next week.
Each city, plus its fans, had input into the names. Ebersol says, “We feel strongly that our team names identify with the great cities we call home to our Alliance teams and positively represent the region and our fans.”
The Orlando team will play at Spectrum Stadium and is coached by Steve Spurrier. Atlanta will play in Georgia State Stadium, the old Ted Turner Field and 1996 Olympics stadium, with Brad Childress in charge.
Memphis plays in the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium with Mike Singletary as coach, while Birmingham will call Legion Field home and has Tim Lewis as coach.
The Birmingham Iron pays tribute to steel workers of the region. Team colors of black, steel grey and brushed silver are derived from the three elements needed to make steel: iron ore, coal and flux. The logo is a stylized football.
With Memphis considered a leading center for transportation and logistics, Express seems to fit. The team will wear red, navy blue and white uniforms.
Apollo is the Greek god of sun, thus the Orlando nickname. Their colors of navy blue, dark orange and bright orange are reflective of the Florida sunshine.
Legends became the Atlanta name, the league says, in honor of such Hall of Famers as Hank Aaron and Chipper Jones, as well as leaders of the civil rights movement. They will wear purple, gold and white.