Update: The 2011 Lingerie Bowl takes place February 6th. Read more here…
From a Super Bowl half-time spectacle, to an even bigger spectacle, lingerie football has grown to the kind of proportions every young man in America would approve of. Well, okay, older men too and even some women. Any sport that women play in their underwear, even if said underwear isn’t any more revealing than the uniforms of beach volleyball players, is going to draw controversy. Controversy draws attention. Attention means ticket sales. Good ticket sales means expansion, and that is exactly what is happening with the Lingerie Football League.
The current teams:
Planned expansion teams as reported by Robin Leach in the Las Vegas Weekly:
The expansion teams most likely won’t be playing until 2011 and ownership groups are still being sought for at least one team.
The 2010 – 2011 season schedule is already set, with the opening game between the Los Angeles Temptation and the Seattle Mist taking place August 27th at the Showare Center Arena in Kent, Washington. Games will take place every Friday night and will be broadcast on MTV2 starting September 3rd. The culminating Lingerie Bowl takes place February 6, 2011 in Las Vegas.
For critics of lingerie football it’s important to remember it’s as much of a spectacle as it is a sport. While the women who play are undeniably athletic — and every coach in the league will tell you they are and that good football really is being played — athletic skills are second on the list at tryout time.
Keith Hac, the coach of the Chicago Bliss, admitted in an interview on nwi.com that, “The first criteria to play here is looks. And then we find out if they’re athletic. They have to be phenomenally beautiful and can play football.”
So athletic women who can’t also do double duty as models need not try out. Therein lies the controversy. And if you put these women in regular football uniforms the growing attendance levels at games would surely suffer. Sexy sells. Again, though, this isn’t pure sport. If you want a comparison, look to World Wrestling Entertainment. The WWE is the most successful merger of spectacle and sport in history, with a major emphasis on spectacle. Whether the LFL can attain that level of success remains to be seen, but fans certainly hope so.
Curious about the differences between lingerie football and regular football? Check out LFL101 for details on how games are played.
Update 1/27/11: Don’t miss the Conference Playoffs on January 29th.