Alliance of American Football Sends Message to Military with Team Names


The NFL has alienated many fans with how it has handled players’ protests during the national anthem, which some view as disrespectful to those who have served in the U.S. military.

That’s not lost on the fledgling Alliance of American Football, which is paying tribute to servicemen and women in the names of some of its teams.

The AAF announced the names for its four Western teams Tuesday, and two of them, the San Diego Fleet and the San Antonio Commanders, are inspired by military personnel in those cities.

“In Military City USA, duty, honor, sacrifice — these are not just words, they are a way of life. For 300 unbroken years, men and women have defended a cause greater than themselves. From the Alamo to today, San Antonio has always been home to the Commanders,” the AAF says in a promotional video for the Texas team.

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The Fleet gets its name from the strong Navy presence in San Diego. The city is home to Naval Base San Diego, the principal home port of the Pacific Fleet, and more than 100,000 active-duty military personnel live in the area.

“Firepower, teamwork, ingenuity. Two hundred ships, 2,000 aircraft, 250,000 sailors, the greatest fighting force the world has ever known. The Pacific is their domain, San Diego is their home, and football is back,” the AAF says in its video for the Fleet.

Another of the Western teams is named for those who serve in a different capacity. The Arizona Hotshots’ moniker honors the elite firefighters in that state, such as the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who were killed while battling a blaze near Yarnell, Arizona.

“Heat. Searing, scorching heat. Fourteen hundred degrees of seemingly unstoppable power. Those who run into it we call heroes. Arizona is home to many types of hero. Mavericks. Warriors. And Hotshots,” the AAF promotion video says.

The fourth team, the Salt Lake Stallions, is named after the freedom and untamed spirit of the West.

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“How do we measure power? How was the West won? When the land was so vast and the challenge so great, what could carry us to the silver tops of the Wasatch Mountains and along the shores of the Great Salt Lake? Wild and untamed like the land, the Stallions of Salt Lake City,” the AAF video says.

The names for the Eastern teams were announced last week, including the Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express and Orlando Apollos.

Are you interested in the AAF?

The AAF has some big-name coaches, including Mike Martz (San Diego), Mike Singletary (Memphis), Steve Spurrier (Orlando) and Dennis Erickson (Salt Lake).

There are also some former NFL players on league rosters, including Trent Richardson (Birmingham), Zach Mettenberger (Memphis), Bishop Sankey (San Diego) and Khiry Robinson (San Antonio).

The AAF kicks off its inaugural season on Feb. 9, 2019.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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