Hey, remember the XFL? Well for some reason, we did today!
For those of you who don’t, or need your mind refreshed, the XFL was meant to be an alternative to the NFL, almost a development league if you will. But it only last one year, starting out as a semi-legit football league, then as ratings and attendance sagged, turned more and more like pro wrestling each week.
Oh yeah, it was created by Vince McMahon of WWE, along with Dick Ebersol of NBC.
The players reportedly loved it, because it was close to NFL-caliber talent, and it paid really well for a minor league.
But again, it lasted only one year.
But we’re not here to talk about the league, the play, or guys who went from the league to the NFL. We’re here just to rank the helmets that the respective teams wore.
Now before we start, I would like to clarify that almost none of the helmets on this list are what I would call “good” or “classic” designs, but there were still a few that stood out.
To decide our rankings we had five members of the HOTSPROTSTAKES crew rank the helmets from 1 to 8. One being the best, eight being the worst, so if you scored a total score of 5, that means everyone gave the helmet a 1 as the best helmet, and vice versa.
Without further ado, here is our list:
8. NY./NJ Hitmen (Average rank: 6.6)
Highest rank: 5. Lowest rank: 8 (twice).
To be honest, this is probably the most tame of all the helmets, which drops it to last in our picks. A standard black lid, black cage, and an uninspiring ‘H’ logo with pretty bland colors. I’m a little surprised this came in last, I don’t think it’s anywhere near the best, but apparently the blandness of this helmet did not resonate with our staff. Weirdly, this logo is still used to this day by many high schools.
7. Orlando Rage (Average rank: 6.2)
Highest rank: 4. Lowest rank: 8 (twice)
When you name a team something like Rage, it is almost impossible to come up with a good logo for it. The Orlando XFL team did not come up with a good logo, which really sinks the whole look, because the white helmet with red cage is nice, and the lightning bolt center stripe is unique. But it all comes back to that logo, and this one is so bad that it sinks the whole design.
6. Chicago Enforcers (Average rank: 6)
Highest rank: 5 (twice). Lowest rank: 7 (twice).
Honestly, there is almost no difference between this and the NY/NJ helmet. Bland colors, really generic logo. With all of the votes for this helmet falling between 5 and 7, there isn’t really much to say. Nobody thought it was super great, and nobody thought it was better than middle of the pack. Meh.
5. LA Xtreme (Average rank: 5.8)
Highest rank: 4. Lowest rank: 7
Remember how I mentioned in the start of this post that this was the era where teams and brands tried to come off as EXTREME!? Well, here is that team in the XFL. Literally. Silver helmet and dark cage is nice, but it’s a bland logo, not that there could possibly be a good one for a team named Xtreme, but all-in-all, it’s just OK. That reflected in our rankings, where it garnered three votes for 6th and one for 4th. Really, a generic helmet that looks like something from a football movie with no NFL rights.
4. San Francisco Demons (Average rank: 4.8)
Highest rank: 2. Lowest rank: 8.
The most divisive of the helmets, this was really the only one that we saw major disagreement over. The Demons grabbed 2nd and 3rd place votes, but also had a 7th and an 8th. Black, red, and white is always a good color scheme, and really it comes down to your thoughts on the logo. This is also the logo that has the most detail in it, by far, but could probably go without the Demons font at the top.
3. Las Vegas Outlaws (Average rank: 2.8)
Highest rank: 1. Lowest rank: 4 (twice).
When the final rankings were revealed, there were three teams that were head and shoulders above the other five, which all finished within 2 points of each other in the average rating. Vegas checks in at 3rd, it scores points for having the only gold helmet in the league, and honestly, one of the better, simpler logos in the league. This is the only helmet that, I think, could have been used in the NFL. Black, gold, red, is always a good color combo. Just ask the new Vegas hockey team.
2. Birmingham Bolts (Average rank: 2)
Highest rank: 1 (twice). Lowest rank: 3 (twice).
By far the most daring of the helmet designs in the league, and that scored well with our panel of voters. It’s not just two lightning bolts like the San Diego Chargers use, it’s a big spoke with seven bolts coming off of it. Really, they could have done without the stylized ‘B’ but it’s still a very fun helmet. When you have a minor league like the XFL was, more teams should take chances with their helmets like this, rather than the bland designs that the first five teams on our list used.
1. Memphis Maniax (Average rank: 1.8)
Highest rank: 1 (twice). Lowest rank: 3.
What swung the vote in favor of Memphis (and it was close, Memphis took the top-spot by one overall point, 9-10 over Birmingham) is that color. Everyone else, aside from Vegas, used white, black, or silver, the three most used colors in football helmets. Memphis went a different route with that really nice shade of blue/teal. Contrast it with the red and this helmet really pops. Even the AX on the helmet, which is a terrible abbreviation of the team nickname, looks nice in these colors.
Just because we’re nice guys, here’s how our voters ranked the teams, from best to worst:
@Rovitz: Memphis, Vegas, Birmingham, LA, NY/NJ, Chicago, San Fran, Orlando
@CallMeBednard: Birmingham, Memphis, San Fran, Vegas, Orlando, LA, Chicago, NY/NJ
@TheRyanWalsh: Memphis, Birmingham, Vegas, Orlando, NY/NJ, LA, Chicago, San Fran
@AVKingJames: Birmingham, San Fran, Memphis, Vegas, Chicago, Orlando, LA, NY/NJ
@ChaseRuttig: Vegas, Memphis, Birmingham, San Fran, Chicago, LA, NY/NJ
So that’s our list. Agree? Disagree? Don’t care and wondering why on a random day in July we did an XFL post? Thanks for reading.