Image via WikipediaIn sports, there’s a level of inverse proportionality that usually comes into play - the more hype there is surrounding an event, the more lackluster it usually becomes. The big fight is a bust, the must-see national title game turns into a blowout…sporting events rarely meet your expectations, much less exceed them. But on Friday night, I not only had my expectations exceeded but exploded like Neil Sedaka guesting on SCTV’s “Farm Film Report”: it blowed up good - real good! And I have the Lingerie Football League to thank for it.
Yes, that Lingerie Football League - the one that’s an off-shoot of the games played during halftime of the Super Bowl. I went to a game at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Friday night expecting tits and ass. But what I got was a lot more - tits and ass, PLUS more hard hits than I saw when USC was playing at the Coliseum all last season. It was a revelatory experience, kind of like when The Whizzer gets struck out by Roy Hobbes in the beginning of “The Natural” - except with more boobs (and thankfully, 100 percent less Joe Don Baker).
The league has ten teams, with only one game a week being played on Friday nights. (Imagine if the NFL was Monday Night Football and nothing else - except with more ass crack.) Last Friday night was the regular season finale, with the hometown Los Angeles Temptation needing to beat the San Diego Seduction in order to make it to the conference finals later this week and a chance at the LFL Finals -played during halftime of the Super Bowl at a Hooters in Florida. I think. (Frankly, it was all pretty confusing.)
The league plays seven-on-seven and the rules are like a tackle version of the intramural flag football league you played in during college. The neutral zone appears to be about three yards wide and players can’t line up within a certain width of the ball. (For a more complete description, consult your nearest LFL Rules Book.) As you can tell, I wasn’t that discriminating of a fan coming into it - I had heard through a friend about the game several months ago, then was reminded of it a couple of hours before the 9 p.m. kickoff. A couple of phone calls to find someone else willing to go with me (because going to a Lingerie Football League game alone is basically like hanging out at the strip club by yourself) and a very understanding wife later, and I was waiting in line at the Coliseum for tickets.
In retrospect, it was probably pretty wishful thinking for the Lingerie Football League organizers to book at 90,000-seat stadium for the game. Although the fact that the cheap seats ($21) started at Row 11 (versus twice that much for the first ten rows) tells you that they had a pretty good idea that it wouldn’t be a sell-out. In fact, there were maybe a dozen people who had foolishly bought the more expensive seats only to see the unwashed hordes (like myself) swarm down when they decided to open up the seating so it looked better on video.
I actually watched some of the opening night of play from earlier in the season, and it appeared that most of the “players” performed as expected: like lingerie models who were more interested in not breaking a nail or having a boob fall out of their top than actually playing football. So I had two things I was interested in seeing when kick-off started:
So what shocked me was how absolutely vicious the game was. The “equipment” is basically an extremely skimpy two-piece bikini, along with lighter shoulder pads and a roller hockey helmet. So I was expecting a lot of rolling around and alligator armed tackles since no one wanted to get hurt before their modeling session next week.
This - emphatically - did not happen. Specifically, the Los Angeles team seemed to decide that they actually cared about making the playoffs and were going pound the San Diego side into the ground. I saw at least a dozen hits that you could legitimately count as “decleaters” where some girl from Los Angeles squared her shoulders and dropped a San Diego player right on her back.
It was like watching Texas take on Louisiana-Monroe in the first game of a college football season. Los Angeles kept scoring and wouldn’t stop (insert your own double entendre here). The final score was 53-0, and ending with the two teams having to be pulled apart after a scrum on the last play of the game. And it wasn’t the roller derby level of fake anger but really we’re going to hang out at the bars together after the game - there was jawing back and forth, pushing, even someone giving the other team the Steve Austin-approved double middle finger salute.
Of course, it was also totally ridiculous. 90 percent of the crowd was totally bombed before the game, which hardly added to the level of intelligent discourse but certain seemed to get everyone fired up. Given the circumstances, even sober I couldn’t resist, especially when the vacuous LA radio personality who was providing play-by-play on the game would say things like “ooh, she got stuffed in the backfield by the LA defense.” Honestly, you guys know me - how am I not expected to shout “oh yeah, I bet she did!” back at this?
Was it worth my $21? Every penny and then some. Would I watch a game on TV? God no. Much like hockey, it’s the type of sport that really only works live. Except with more boobs.