“Ye Gods!—this has to be a hoax,” I thought, when I first read about the Lingerie Football League. I proceeded to shit my pants after learning that Trenton would host two games. Then I wrote an email. With that email, and a bit of armchair photoshop, Sweet Merciful Crap scored an invite to the LFL’s pre-game press conference last Thursday. There is little one can do to prepare for a circus like the LFL, so unprepared, cameras in hand SMC rolled into Trenton for some hardcore girl-on-girl [football] action.
At Thursday’s press conference we joined our peers, not quite sure what to expect. A man was setting up a podium with what appeared to be a garter around a football. He had on fancy jeans, a sports coat and a tan that looked as if he’d spend the week in a chicken rotisserie. It was Mitch Mortaza, the brains behind the LFL, or as I like to think of it: League Pimp. For the next half hour he tried to sell us on the the league’s legitimacy.
At least I think he did. Truth be told, I wasn’t listening. Instead, I was trying to steal a glimpse of the five women in underpants and shoulder pads (the football kind, not the 80s kind) who he had hidden behind a screen. I thought I heard him preach about how the fans included grandmothers, youngsters and families. It felt like watching Michael Steele giving a speech about minorities and gays being part of the Republican party. Eventually he stopped the charade and catered to his frat-boy fan base, whose support will either make or break his league, and called out his girls.
Like some brothel madam, he made sure the girls were smiling, holding poses and keeping the reporters’ interested. To be completely honest the whole thing reeked of milking a sure fire half-time stunt into a D-list main event. A women playing football in lingerie is not unlike a bear playing ice hockey—one does not marvel that it is done well, but that it is done at all.
The main event was Friday. The man handing out credentials before Friday’s games must have grown tired of seeing the shit-eating grins on the media folks who had drawn such a rough assignment. It was quite the spectacle with the lights, smoke and thumping music as the players took the field. Fourteen women in panties lined up and the hitting began. Simultaneously a thousand drooling men took their seats and prayed to whichever God is responsible for hair-pulling and wardrobe malfunctions.
Mercifully the action bore no resemblance to the WNBA. The running backs must have been track stars (as well as models) with their speed and agility. More shocking still, “throws like a girl” seemed to be a foreign concept to Caliente QB Morgan McGrath and Passion QB Jackie Danico, as both threw off passes that covered at least 20 yards in the air (though not necessarily to the right team always). The action was fast paced, inspired and almost watchable as sport, but it definitely qualified as entertainment. And the hits—man—the hits were completely unexpected coming from defensive lines that combined, weigh less than Gilbert Brown.
So entertaining was the action that nobody left early. The post game photo-op had as much to do with keeping folks aorund as the crucial 4th down play with less than a minute left. In spite of their bodies being covered sweat and turf-burns fans mobbed the tables for close-ups with their favorite players. Frat-boys were everywhere and the booth selling team calendars, which sold like, well, calendars full of scantily clad models, probably took as much of the frat crowd’s money as the tickets. Shrewd marketing Mr. Mortaza!
The Passion play their second and final home game next month, and we’ll see if folks come out again now that they already have the calendar. Mike Ditka seems to think so, but we’re taking bets on how long this thing can last. Let’s hope long enough for one more media day.
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