Come this Thursday every level of Testosterone will go through the roof, and every beer guzzling, wing eating , chest bumping sports nut will be glued to the TV as a new NFL season kicks off. It seems quite normal to have it go off without a hint of competition, and nothing to make us think other wise. Oh, then perhaps you haven’t heard the news?
The buzz about a new 10 team Lingerie Football League, filled with competitive action, great athletes, and all the contact of regular football with one very large exception, its played by beautiful women in very little uniforms, with team names such as Philadelphia Passion, Chicago Bliss, Miami Caliente, New York Majesty, Tampa Breeze that play in the east conference, and the Dallas Desire, Denver Dream, L.A. Temptation, San Diego Seduction and the Seattle Mist playing out west.
Well the rules are a bit different. It is played 7 on 7 with the offense having a QB, 2 RBs,1 Center, and 3 WRs, while the defense has 2 linewomen, 2 linebackers, 2 CBs, and 1 safety. The field is 50 yards long and 30 yards wide. The game is 2 15 minute periods and a 12 minute halftime long. I am going to tell you flat out that I have seen this game played and I was impressed! It’s not just pretty faces, its not just skin.
These women train hard, they play hard, and want to win just like any man you will ever watch. They speak of this game as they are true professionals. This is no gimmick, and not lined up as a flash in the pan. Currently you can only view games online at the league website, www.lflus.com ,live at certain arenas or some very small local tv affiliates, but talk is already in the works with the league games being picked up by the Spike network to help promote its Friday Night Football campaign.
I had the great fortune to get a short Q & A session with two of the lovely LFL ladies to find out what they think of the league, some aspirations, and how being a female football star has changed their lives. So enjoy a good read as I speak with the New York Majestys’ Marie Nicole and the Philadelphia Passions Heather Perez.
Me: Id like to first of all thank you two for taking the time to answer some questions for us, and making us more familiar with the game, and let us know a little something about yourselves.
Marie: It’s a pleasure to do it. I am Marie Nicole and I play for the New York Majesty in the Lingerie Football League. I’m #3 and wide receiver.
Heather: I’m Heather Perez or you can call me HP, I play for the Philadelphia Passion, and my positions are safety and receiver.
1. So the obvious question, Why Football? What made you decide one day to wake up and try out for a football team?
Marie: “I have always loved football from the time I was a little girl. My grandfather played in college. He had all daughters and then all grand-daughters, but I was always the tom-boy so he taught me to play when I was a kid. When I found out there was going to be a league for women I was ecstatic and knew I had to try out!”
Heather: “Football is my favorite sport and i love being physical, guess you can say i’m a tomboy”
2. What did your friends and family say when you told them about this idea?
Marie: “Friends and family have been hugely supportive of me and the league and I’m really grateful for that.”
Heather: “They loved it, nothing I do ever suprises anyone anymore!”
3. Ok nice! Do you have any fear at all about the hard hitting that you will face on the field?
Marie: “There are some risks, as with any professional sport, but I’ve been training hard and getting my body in the best shape possible to hopefully avoid any injuries on the field.”
Heather: “Not at all, I played football in high school with the boys and got hit by one of our heaviest offensive lineman, after 5 min of catching my breath I was right back in.”
Me: seems like we have a ringer!
4. So during the season are you strictly a football player now,or do you have other things you do,like work or school?
Marie: “Football training definitely takes up most of my time, but when I’m not on the field I’m either instructing or taking kickboxing classes at CKO kickboxing.”
Heather: “Outside of football I’m also a waitress and I’m in the Air Force, Military Police.”
5. Who do you think this will be a bigger draw for: Men who like football and pretty women or Women who’d like to see other women being serious about the game?
Marie: “That’s a great question! No doubt the stands will be filled with men looking to see the two things they love most, football and beautiful women, but my hope is that men and women both will see how serious the league is and how hard the athletes in the LFL train. I think as women it’s harder to be taken seriously because we’re looked at as sex symbols first and athletes second. But I assure you, if you come out to see a game you’ll see for yourself that this league is no joke and the girls of the LFL deserve the title of professional atheletes.”
Heather: “As much as i would like to see more woman out there to support females doing “male sports” I think it’s going to be prodominantly men.”
6. We have seen how NFL players unwind,some of it not so good.How does a female football player unwind after practice or a game?
Marie: “I personally have a 3.5 hour commute to practice and we usually don’t finish up until around 10:30pm so its straight home and to bed for me! We get together for dinners or just to hang out occasionally when we have time off but nothing crazy.”
Heather: “For the most part everyone on the team gets along so we usually go to a diner to grab a bite to eat and talk about what went on at practice. It’s our venting place so we don’t bring it with us to practice the next time.”
7. How does a guy respond when he flirts with you and you tell him you’re a pro football player?
Marie: “His first response is usually, “But its not real football right? Its flag?” Then he usually ask a bunch of different questions trying to figure out how it must in some way not be legitimate football because we’re girls. Once they realize it’s the real deal they think it’s awesome and want to know where they can get tickets.”
Heather: “Ummm (laughing) I get pretty much the same response every time, football? flag right? or just touch? then I have to correct them and tell them noo it’s full contact, then their reaction is wow! that’s awesome, i need to see this!”
Me: Hmmm i’d be a bit intimidated
8. What advice can you give to other women out there who may be closed minded to this or feel they dont have what it takes?
Marie: “For years women have been stepping up and doing things that men and society have been telling us we can’t do. Football used to be a man’s sport.. not anymore. If you love the game and you have the dedication to train, you can be just as successful in any sport as men are.”
Heather: “For those women who are close minded you need to realize this is 2009. There isn’t a “proper” way women should be as long as they are representing themselves respectfully. Women who play volley ball wear less clothing. So i don’t see the big fuss in wearing “lingerie”. The reason I say “lingerie” is because it’s really just boy shorts and a sports bra with lace on it to look a little sexier. For those woman who don’t think they have what it takes I say just come check it out, once you start practicing it just comes easy. If it doesn’t the coaches are really good for working with you extra if they see that being on the team is something you really want.”
9. Give us one very honest reason to watch the LFL?
Heather: “You can’t get any better than sexy women getting physical in “lingerie”. Plus from seeing the first game in Chicago it gets really intense, any true football fan can appreciate it.”
10. If you had to compare yourself to one NFL player,who would it be and why?
Marie: Wes Welker. He’s 100% football, you never hear of him doing anything stupid off the field or pulling stunts to get media attention. For this reason, not a whole lot of people are too familiar with his name. When the All-Fantasy Rankings came out, my name wasn’t even mentioned and I like that because come game time people are going to be asking who is this girl and where did she come from? Welker practices hard and ranks as one of the best receivers in the NFL without all the crazy media attention like fellow teammate Randy Moss. That’s me. I’m quiet, hard-working and consistent.
Heather: Hmmm(quick thinking) I would have to say Troy Polamalu from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Like Troy I have an eye for finding the football.
Me: Some great choices, see they know there stuff!
11. What will you do the first time you get into the end zone? HONESTLY?
Marie: Funny you should ask. I just asked our coach at practice a few nights ago if there were any rules against TD celebrations. If there’s not, I’ll flip,literally. I used to be a gymnast.
Heather: Can’t say! You’ll have to come check it out.
12.So how do we find these games, where do we watch and when?
Marie: Tickets for all the games can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or www.LFLUS.com and all games will stream live on Friday Nights on the LFL website.
Heather: Our two home games are Nov 6th and Dec 11th at Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton NJ then we have two away games Oct 30th @ Nassau Coliseum in NY and Dec 18th @ Sears Center in Chcago.
Me: Oh so you two will meet on the field, awesome!
13. So what makes the female game different from the male game as far as some rules that we are not familiar with?
Heather: Well it’s pretty much the same rules as arena ball. It’s 7 on 7, we play on a 50 yrd long 30 yrd wide field. The roster consists of 20 players, 14 active 6 inactive. The only big difference is the time played. It’s only two 15 min halves and a 15 min half time. Each touchdown is worth 6 pts and you have two options to converting the score. Run/pass the ball from the 2yrd line for the extra point or Run/pass the ball from the 5yrd line for the 2 extra points.
14. Are either one of you going to pull a Brett Favre on us and retire every year just to come back later?
Marie: Definitly not! As long as my body can take it I’ll keep on playing. I love the game and I love my teammates! ( huge smile )
Heather: ( laughing ) hahaha no, I plan on staying in til I cant physically play anymore.
Maire was kind enough to add these links to follow her:
I then thanked the women for their time and ended the Q & A. I have to say I walked away very impressed and an immediate fan of these girls and the game that they play. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor, man or woman and tune in. Its fun and exciting and you get a whole new appreciation for the game.
I know it takes a long time for new sports to grow, and some like the Arena League, The XFL, and even the USFL couldn’t hack it. But this is something totally different. Also its not the slow paced change like the WNBA is to the NBA. Its fast and fierce, it is very combative and its well coached. Im looking forward to the next game already!
If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected]
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Get the Lingerie Bowl 2004: Halftime Has Never Been This Sexy DVD by clicking here.
Order the Madden NFL 10: Official Strategy Game Guide by clicking here.