For many years, football fans have bought the Lingerie Bowl pay-per-views.
In 2009, the people behind the yearly event decided to have an entire league to decide who will play.
On the surface, the idea of this as a professional league seemed strange.
Many wondered if it would be worth watching.
Not so much for the clothing (or the limited amount there is) but for the quality of play.
Would they be too soft struggling to tackle? Would it be mostly fumbles and interceptions? Some even wondered (myself included) if it was all just “sports entertainment” (like WWE or TNA).
Considering many in the league have worked as models—Jackie Danico is a model and actress who once appeared in Maxim —others look to have worked night clubs with clear heels and poles.
Well, even with all this, I had to see myself.
I decided to attend a Philadelphia Passion home game (in the newly re-named Sun Center in Trenton, N.J.).
Since the first home game was in conflict with the last nights of the Spectrum, I failed to make it. So I had to wait for the second home game for 2009 on Dec. 11.
The Passion hosted the Tampa Breeze, one of two Florida LFL teams.
Considering most teams are heavy on local beauty/talent, the Florida teams have an edge on bikini-worthy talent. Philadelphia has a local girl who is also not just the cover girl for the Passion but also the LFL in QB Jackie Danico.
Kick off was not until 9 p.m., while turnout for the fans was poor, the media was there in droves. Several local cable reporters came to cover this thing.
The arena holds around 10,000 fans. I give the Passion a VERY GENEROUS estimate of 2,800 in attendance. At best, all the fans in the place could fill the first five, maybe six rows of seats.
The low numbers of fans were still very, very loud and rowdy (including three Naval Academy Midshipmen, who the LFL players went out of their way to greet).
The game had a strip club feel, they have a Game DJ. I shit you not, a DJ spinning records playing music like a club. I even heard a fan yell out a 'Married with Children ' reference: “Where the beer gives you gas… and the Bundy’s kick ass!!!”
That would be about the “Nudie Bar” for those prudes and children reading.
I have to give kudos to the LFL on one thing.
The fans cheered and went out of their way to high-five the visiting team, as well as the home team. NEVER have I been to a home game for any team with “Philadelphia” in their name, to hear the visiting teams not get booed.
Oh, the power of attractive women in little clothing! Perhaps the LFL will bring about world peace—OK, maybe that is pushing it.
I swear, 20 minutes before kickoff, the arena turned down the temperature, why cook turkey after Thanksgiving?
The mood got very rowdy when the lights went out for Passion introductions, the crowd—mostly men—hooting and whistling like a junior high class before an assembly.
The few in attendance were ready to go.
Little in the way of league rules was available to me pre-game.
So I had to learn the game as it went on.
First, they do not play four quarters but two halves (like college hoops.)
The halves are 17 minutes each. Teams have three timeouts, and both halves have a two-minute warning.
There is no punting (like the Arena Football League), but only kickoffs in opening of each half.
There are no field goals in the LFL, so on touchdowns (which are six points) teams can choose to go for one point from the two-yard line. Or go for a two-point conversion from the five yard line.
Teams always have to go for the first down or touchdown with no kicking.
This also means you always have four plays on offense (pending possible turnovers); you MUST have at least one pass play per four plays.
Due to the size of linewomen in the LFL, the running game can be VERY effective, unlike the defunct AFL which was almost exclusive to passing.
The lingerie version of the indoor game is seven-on-seven.
All players including the center are eligible receivers.
The one thing I was very impressed with is how fast the game moves.
Kickoff was about 9:10 and ended just shy of 10:30.
The action was very impressive, while not at all NFL-quality football, or even the defunct AFL. The LFL is far more entertaining to watch than the XFL, or any knock-off Arena Football-type league.
Not only did the game provide eye candy and male sexual delight, but also they got to see women playing bad ass football.
Little padding in an arena field, after the game I got to see first hand how banged up their exposed bodies got.
Philadelphia’s defense delivered plenty of hard hits.
Yeah, I’m not trying to be witty, they hit hard.
Even several plays, with defenders leaping hard into opponents with little fear of injury.
Teams seemed to move the ball with ease until the red zone.
It seemed teams could get to five or 10 yards away from the end zone and fail to score or get a first down.
By the end of the first half, the score was tied six apiece.
With that came the most memorable halftime show I have ever viewed.
They have a contest for a fan to tackle a member of the Passion.
First they choose three men from three sections. Then those three men have a dance-off. The winner of the dance-off by fans' cheering votes will then get to try and make a tackle.
It was as if Andy Kauffman Intergender Champion met the Bada Bing club.
Basically, the winner gets a concussion and the chance to cop a feel in front of a few hundred of his closest buddies.
Needless to say the winner named “Lewis” made the tackle to the delight of fans, but to the dismay of Shelly Lashley, LB for the Passion, who played the part of a WR vs. Lewis.
The second half was much like the first with the game.
However, there was a Tampa player who started to lose her panties while getting tackled, but they were along the sideboard.
So, we just saw a plumber's crack for the play.
I do suspect they use industrial-strength double-sided tapes for the bras; none came close to coming off. They need Janet Jackson’s people to work on this! (Not enough nipples; screw Tito!)
The girls did have to constantly pull up those Foxers panties during the game.
I must admit, I really loved how Tampa’s No. 14 Tanya Arendes looked in her panties. What can I say, I’m like Sir Mix-a-Lot, and I cannot lie!
With less than 10 minutes left in the game, Jackie Danico and RB Tyrah Lusby would lead a drive down field to take the lead 12-6.
Tampa would have two more chances offensively to only end up denied, including on the goal line with seconds left in the game on 4th down.
The frustration started to come to a simmer with Tampa WR No. 9 Brandyce Lee.
For some reason, she was so frustrated she wanted to rumble with the whole Passion defense.
I was sitting next to the LFL TV crew for the game. Next to me was the “big ear” audio man, who said to me how disappointed he was they didn’t have an all-out catfight brawl. (There was one between NY and Miami earlier in the year at the end of the game.)
The game MVP would be Philadelphia’s Tyrah Lusby, who won the title for the second time this season.
Following the victory the Passion posed before a LFL backdrop for photographers.
Then they were brought to the concourse behind the media for a meet-and-greet with fans, mixed with a press conference of sorts.
The place was packed with rowdy men, screaming.
Overall, I was very pleased with the game.
I will love to see more if the LFL can survive the poor turnouts in 2009.
Maybe the Passion could draw a far bigger crowd if they played in an arena that is tailgating-friendly. The Sun Center in Trenton does not allow tailgating.
I think grilling and beer pre-game would give a major boost in male attendance—just ask the Eagles.
So how do I rate the night overall?
(On a scale of 1-10 with 10 the highest)
Hotness of players—9.5
Toughness of players—9
Value of admission—6.5
Price of refreshments—3(That is not the LFL or Passion, but Sun Center's prices)
Souvenirs—6 (Few items available)
Strip club feel—7.5
Model refs outfits—10
Oh, and any media outlet looking for a LFL beat writer, I'm available and ready!