Somebody should use it. The Cleveland Gladiators were the pro name of the most recent other-pro football team in the Cleveland-area, the Cleveland Gladiators of the now-defunct Arena Football League. The Gladiators moved to the area in 2008 after spending time in Las Vegas, and New Jersey; so clearly an upgrade in living conditions.
The team nearly won it all in 2014 after a season to remember. The club went 17-1 in their 18 regular-season games behind stellar play from Shane Austin, a University of Hawaii product. He threw for over 4,000 yards, 62 TD’s, and completed 65% of his passes for the team. They hosted the Arena Bowl at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (formerly The Quicken Loans Arena) in front of a soldout crowd. Like in true Cleveland fashion it seems, the odds-on favorite Gladiators got drubbed on their home field, losing 72-32.
The team name evokes a championship mentality, being able to battle back from just about anything. Save for a 40-point deficit. Since the Arena League folded in 2019, the name no longer has anyone using it. With a brand name that has ties to the region and some really wonderful memories associated with the brand, changing the name to the Gladiators would be a simple and easy move.
Plus it’s logo was pretty awesome.
Runner Up: Cleveland Lumberjacks. I mean, it’s not like it’s being used either. Also, could you imagine Progressive Field being nicknamed the “The Five Hole”? You could even just start calling home runs “five holers” and the opposing fans “two-holes” when you wanna berate them for sucking. The goallie puns are endless here.