You may have heard this before, but there’s a new football team and a new league setting up shop in Birmingham. Maybe you are jaded about such an event. Maybe you remember all the failed attempts at establishing a competitor to the NFL in a meaningful way. Did you go to Stallions games like I did? Birmingham Fire (the CFL)? The infamous Birmingham Blast (changed to Bolts)? Steeldawgs? Americans? AAFL team that never actually played a game?
I was down with all of them, except Americans because I wasn’t alive. I’m all for football in my city. I don’t care. You want to go in motion before the snap? Great. A league run by Vince McMahon? I guess. Some weird abomination in the BJCC with nets? Uh. Kinda hate it, but I will allow it.
I remember, quite clearly sitting next to my father seeing Joe Cribbs run for the Stallions when I was very young. I love football. I would like more of it.
Today, I see some people mentioning the new team on Twitter.
The Birmingham Freedom.
According to the NAFL website, this name was chosen to reflect Birmingham’s rich history in the civil rights movement. That’s an unassailable stance (which al.com commenters will probably assail and bum me out).
But what bothers me is the language. “First Down, Freedom!” “Freedom’s backfield is deep this year”. “Freedom comes out ahead of the Sentinels, 21-7.”
I hate things that are vague concepts as team mascots, like the Jazz or Heat. It’s just unwieldy and very, very unSouthern. We have Tigers, Blazers and uhh Crimson Tide. Hm, maybe this is because I’m an Auburn fan. Anyways, it’s a terrible name. A well done logo, for sure. All of the NAFL graphics are pretty good, for what it is. Some of the logos have some janky text on them, but it’s clear they actually hired a graphic designer.
So the name makes me cringe a little. I was ready to be mad about it, but then I saw this.
That’s a bird wearing a hat.
I repeat, that’s a bird wearing a hat.
I can’t stop looking at it. It’s mesmerizing. I joked, sort of, that I wanted a hat with a bird wearing a hat on it. But I kind of do. I want to go to these games. I want to celebrate the fact that we are the most American of all teams, and that everyone else we play, whether it be the Memphis Kings or the North Carolina Red Wolves, hates Freedom. Dirty Communists, how dare you even lift one finger to stop Freedom.
If they have any sense, they’ll have Auburn bring up an eagle for the pregame festivities. Everyone loves it when the eagle flies. But with one addition. Can you guess what it would be?
THAT EAGLE WILL DON A HAT BEFORE IT FLIES.
To satiate Alabama fans, I am perfectly OK with an elephant wearing a Ben Franklin costume.
To those wondering what I would choose for a mascot, it would be a Yellow Hammer. The Alabama Yellow Hammers. It would not be a bird. It would be a yellow hammer. Everyone in attendance would have hammers and every night is dollar beer night.
If that’s not freedom, I don’t know what is.
In lieu of that, I’ll take some Freedom please. I declare our rival to be Memphis, and we will destroy them.