Jon Rahm’s new LIV team was named and formalised yesterday and he has revealed Legion XIII stems from childhood memories of his favourite comic books and cartoons growing up in the Basque region in Spain.
Asterix & Obelix were lead characters in the French comic book series. Asterix is a fearless Gaul warrior; his best friend Obelix is a stocky, loyal sidekick gifted with incredible strength and a good heart.
“They lived in this village in France that the Romans could not invade because they had a wizard and had a magic potion that would give the villagers extra strength,” Rahm recalled. “I remember the legion or the army that tried to conquer them over and over again.
“It was Legion 13. That’s why it was so familiar to me.
“I wanted to go down the warrior spirit mythology side,” Rahm continued. “I was thinking Gladiator. We were thinking when the Spanish Armada in that aspect of history. Even though it sunk and failed miserably, the name is cool, right?
“At one point, the front runner was Atlas. Then Titan, Hercules – all those names came up. And then somebody mentioned the name Legion. There were a few of us on that call – or in person at this point, I forget when it was – that kind of stopped for a second and said, ‘Man, that sounds good.’ Me and my wife included.”
Like the comic books, Rahm hopes Legion XI will be ready for battle when they tee it up in the opening event of LIV’s 2024 season in Mayakoba on Friday.
“I like that history a lot,” he said. “So, when I started reading about Legion 13 Gemina and how they supported Julius Caesar on his way back to Rome – to, for lack of a better word, basically take over and become the emperor – I think there was a bit of a story there. Here’s somebody who’s faithful to what they believe in and are going to fight to the end to try and see that through.”
The comic book is all about strength and loyalty to Caesar and that resonated with the Spaniard when selecting his team name.
“The term loyalty was very important for me,” he said. “I think that also shows a lot of that warrior spirit, that decisiveness and the ready-for-battle aspects kind of things.”
A staunch Athletic Bilbao fan, the Legion XIII mascot is a lion.
“That was something I was passionate about,” he said. “The soccer team I grew up following (Athletic Bilbao) is called the Lions. It’s just a fierce animal that everybody respects and kind of fears a little bit.
“So that’s where it all tied in. I was very insistent on the lion. I don’t know if the design team was happy with me at first.”