Monday, 29 August 2016

There's A Terracotta Army, But...

As we all anxiously await the announcement of the Las Vegas NHL franchise's team name, it appears that they will called some sort of knight. I've been waiting for DC Comics to jump into the fray and suggest "Dark Knights", but that hasn't happened yet. Instead, it appears that the Las Vegas franchise has been registering every "(insert word) knight" name that they can think of, but the newest name that they have registered for a trademark really has me scratching my head. I've always been under the impression that NHL team names are either a real thing that reflects the city and/or region in which the team is found. Las Vegas' potential new name? Maybe one of the words, but not the key word.

As seen with the image above, the concrete chess piece is known as a knight. Concrete is generally made up of cement and some sort of aggregate, and that aggregate can be sand. Therefore, the above image can be loosely described as a "sand knight". See what I'm getting at here? Yes, that's the name that was trademarked by the Las Vegas NHL franchise - "Sand Knights".

Look, I get that the NHL doesn't want any sort of gambling name being used for the Las Vegas franchise. Names like "Aces", "Jokers", "Gamblers", or any spin on gambling has been forbidden by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. It makes almost as much sense as the NHL banning any sort of reference to Mardi Gras or jazz music if they were to found a franchise in New Orleans. The city was built on gambling, is known for gambling, and endorses the gambling in all its ads, but the only thing the Las Vegas NHL franchise in the desert is built is, apparently, sand.

What is a "sand knight" and how does it relate to Las Vegas? Does this make any sense?

According to a trusty Google Search, there are examples of sand knights out in the real world, but none of them exist in real life. For example, AdventureQuest - an online multiplayer RPG - has a character role known as a "Celestial Sandknight" which are "those who devote themselves to the desert and all the life supports. They maintain order in the lawless desert." AdventureQuest has been around since 2002, so there might be a possible trademark challenge at some point from Artix Entertainment.

Adventure Time Card Wars, "a 2-player duel to the death in the land of Ooo – recreating the Card Wars game that Jake played with Finn in the fourth season, episode 14 of Adventure Time," also features Sand Knights. According to the game, Sand Knights given the player "+2 ATK if you control a Blue Plains Landscape". I'm not sure the Las Vegas franchise nor the NHL control anything close to a Blue Plains Landscape at this point. There may be a trademark challenge from Cryptozoic Entertainment.

Regardless of who holds trademarks on that name, should we be in favor of a major professional team owning a team name not based in reality nor drawing its team name from something regional? If teams are representative the civic area in which they are found, why is Bill Foley so hung up on a "Knights" name when Vegas has zero history with anything other than "sleepless nights"?

Let it go, Mr. Foley. Find something you can build on that resonates with the local fans. If you're feeling up to it, I'm pretty sure that the "Posse" name of the CFL's failed American expansion phase could be obtained very easily, and you'd own almost all the imagery of the old west. It makes way more sense as you could set up a saloon inside the arena, screen print some faux bars on the glass for the penalty boxes like an old jail, and have the players skate out under a water tower. The imagery would be amazing, and the Posse would be a hit on the ice with the vast number of ideas that could be used for promotional nights!

While I get that you're trying to keep your alma mater's name as part of your identity, almost anything "Knights" makes no sense in the desert. Find something that represents your team and your civic region because that's the legacy you're leaving for all hockey fans and future hockey stars in Sin City.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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