After revealing the names for its four Western division teams on Tuesday morning, the Alliance of American Football took one step closer to taking the field in 2019.
The four Western division teams are the Arizona Hotshots, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders and San Diego Fleet. Last week, the four Eastern division teams were announced – Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express and Orlando Apollos.
“It represents fierceness, bravery, toughness,” Arizona team president Scott Brubaker said about the Hotshots name. “It represents all the bad asses who protect us every day.”
Hotshots are defined as elite crews who battle raging wildfires at the frontlines of a blaze. Near Prescott five years ago, 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew died battling the Yarnell Hill fire.
In a separate interview, league CEO Charlie Ebersol said the goal was to recognize “this extraordinary group of men and women who fight fires in the most dangerous places … we wanted to pay homage to them.”
Ebersol also added that the AAF will make a charitable commitment to Hotshot crews based in Arizona, along with firefighters across the nation.
The league CEO provided more insight into the team name, saying it is a “double entendre, not only are they bad boys getting out there and doing that, also our head coach has a bit of a flair for the dramatic and is a bit of a hot shot himself, so we thought it would be a good fit for what’s going down in Arizona.”
Arizona head coach Rick Neuheisel, as a college senior, once told a UCLA coach, according to a Sports Illustrated profile from 1995, that he could “complete 80 percent if you call the plays” in a seven-on-seven drill, “90 percent if I call them.”