In a rare bit of good and exciting news, the MLR has announced a new expansion team for the 2021 season, the Dallas Jackals. The new Jackals roster will mark the third professional men’s rugby club in the state of Texas. This now brings the total team count for Major League Rugby to 13. The Jackals will play their home matches at the former home of the XFL Renegades, as the XFL regrettably closed down football operations following COVID 19. Texas has thus far proved to be fertile ground for both experimental football and professional rugby leagues, as Texans no doubt want to live in a world with year round contact sports. Ownership of the Dallas Jackals will be headed up by an investment group lead by former Texas Rangers’ COO Neil Leibman and GM and president of basketball operations,Donnie Nelson. These two fine gentlemen are titans in the Dallas-area sports management world so the Jackals are already off to a great start with such capable hands at the helm. Check the official MLR statment for more details surrounding the organization of the new club.
Additionally, at the end of May 2020, the MLR announced another expansion team, the LA Giltinis. If your first reaction to that team was “wtf is a Giltini?”, you’re not alone. A Giltini, of course, is a natural counterpart to the other very-oddly named team in the MLR, the Austin Gilgronis. Both club names are plays on words for martinis and negronis, which is fine and all but why anyone would name a team after a cocktail is beyond what my feeble brain can muster. I can offer you, however, a theory on where the “Gil-” part of the name comes from. Down in Australia, there is a bloke by the name of Adam Gilchrist, who shares a name with a famous cricket player but did not in fact play the game at a high level. Gilchrist, however, did team up with a former equities trader named Rob Deutsch and started a little gym now known as F45. If you’ve been living under a rock, F45 gyms are the hottest thing in exercise since the Bowflex. These two Australian mates formed an investment fund known as Loyals Rugby which seeks to “innovate, revolutionize, and enhance the global rugby economy”. This is undoubtedly a very noble cause and in striving to grow the game, Loyals Rugby has invested in not one but two MLR clubs, the Austin Gilgronis and now the Los Angeles Giltinis. I also make the assumption that Adam Gilchrist has some sort of huge ego and insists on naming teams after himself and Australians love to drink so they also add a little alcohol-fueled flair with the names as well. In either case, here’s the MLR’s official statement on the LA Giltinis.
The world waits with bated breath for the formation of the Chicago Gil-lört Shot.