NFL Files For ‘Duluth Eskimos’ Trademark
So, file this under "interesting". The NFL filed just a few days ago for a trademark on the name "Duluth Eskimos". The filing, which happened on April 25, was filed by NFL Properties LLC.
At first blush, my thought was that the NFL was just moving in to protect an old NFL brand. The Eskimos were an NFL team in the 1920s, named the Duluth Kelleys from 1923 to 1925, before changing their name to the Eskimos in 1926. The team would play two seasons under that name, before folding in 1927. There's another theory, however.
Trademark lawyer Josh Gerben noticed the filing, and created a video exploring it on Twitter. Gerben points out an interesting detail that suggests we might actually see a team wearing "Duluth Eskimos" jerseys on the field sometime soon.
While it would be awesome to see some exploration into reviving a Duluth Eskimos team, that isn't very likely (despite the hopes of some local government officials). As Gerben points out in his video, it is more likely the Minnesota Vikings might sport Duluth Eskimos uniforms at least once this season as part of the NFL's 100-year birthday celebration. His hunch seems to suggest it will go beyond just selling merchandise, and it might actually lead to an on-the-field display.
Being the Vikings came into existence in 1961, it would make some sense to give a nod to a now defunct team in Vikings territory that existed in the very early days of the NFL (pre NFL-AFL merger in the 1960s/1970).
I, for one, am excited about this prospect. I'd totally rock some Duluth Eskimos gear. Plus, seeing CJ Ham in a jersey that bears his hometown's name would certainly be something I'm sure he (and a lot of other Twin Ports area locals) would be super excited to see.
It's anyone's guess right now. I just hope the NFL didn't decide to swoop in and lock down an old brand name just so it is under their control. I'd love to see them do something with the brand.