The XFL announced the names and locations of their founding teams, but many are wondering whether one team was named after Dungeons & Dragons. Yesterday, the XFL revealed the names of their eight inaugural teams, all of which have rather generic sounding names and logos that sound like they were pulled out of the Madden 2019 "Create-a-Team" generator. In 2020, XFL fans will get to root for the LA Wildcats, the New York Guardians, and the Dallas Renegades. While most of the team names are instantly forgettable, the Seattle Dragons stands apart...mostly because people are wondering whether the name is a deliberate homage to Dungeons & Dragons.
The popular tabletop roleplaying game was created in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but its main office is now located in Seattle, Washington along with the rest of the Wizards of the Coast corporate offices. Dungeons & Dragons enjoys a strong presence in the Seattle area, so it isn't too much of a stretch to connect the game with the Seattle Dragons.
While it might seem like a stretch that a fledgling football league run by Vince McMahon (the owner of the WWE) would name their team after one of the nerdiest pastimes on the planet, McMahon has allowed plenty of crossover between the WWE and "nerd culture" in the past. In addition to the countless superhero homages that various WWE wrestlers have incorporated into their ring gear, two of the WWE's biggest stars (Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Batista) are tied to different superhero franchises and the WWE even has a web series dedicated to Dungeons & Dragons. Plus, there's the official XFL description of the Seattle Dragons, which sounds like something ripped straight out of a D&D sourcebook.
"Rising from the turbulent sea," the description for the Seattle Dragons reads. "Beneath the sky of their weather-hardened home. Relentless, ruthless, ravenous. Not of mythology, but of muscle and might. Not of folklore, but of football. This is your darkest fantasy. In cleats. The Seattle Dragons. Breathing fire."
If a D&D fan didn't write the description for the Seattle Dragons (and other XFL teams), someone should send them a Player's Handbook because they're clearly into the same sort of fantasy and drama that has captivated Dungeons & Dragons players for decades. The official D&D Twitter account even poked fun at the seeming reference:
The XFL will have their inaugural season in 2020. Here's to hoping that the Seattle Dragons incorporates a D20 into their branding somehow.