Blood, sweat and leers: a night at Lingerie Football
The LFL touched down in Brisbane - and Chris dragged himself to the game to convey the spectacle to Roarers
Origin? Seen it. Wallabies international? Pass. Socceroos qualifying? Yawn. Lingerie Football Match? Don’t mind if I do.
The most controversial sport since cheese rolling strutted in to Brisbane on Saturday night, and I was excited.
Not as excited as my teenage brother who promised to mow my lawn for the next millenium if I took him, but excited nonetheless.
Ever since the criminally underrated Starship Troopers I’d enjoyed ‘Arena’ football, and would watch it if they had teams of trained porpoises playing, let alone scantily clad glamazons.
But the time had come to see it in the, err, flesh. There were many questions that needed answering. Is Lingerie Football a sport? Is it entertainment? And what the hell do the cheerleaders wear?
All would be revealed at Brisbane’s soggy 80s arena.
Pre-match was slightly surreal, and overflowing with babes, booze and beats, it was only a Cadillac Escalade short of a rap video. It was also the only time I’ve ever seen a team’s hamstring stretches get a standing ovation from onlookers.
The crowd swelled as the Western and Eastern Conference All-Star sides went through their passing patterns, and it was announced that the West would be representing Queensland and the East NSW.
If there was any doubt that the blokes in front of me weighing a combined metric tonne were going to enjoy themselves, this intra-state spice was the killer blow, and the call of “Queeeeeenslander!” sampled over the top of Snoop Dogg still rings in my ears.
Finally MTV gave way to a couple of national anthems and introductions of well-built players. The crowd perched on the edge of its seat. We had been promised an exciting, high-intensity match with buckets of sass. Could it match the hype?
Well the sass part was answered pretty soon when the first East player onto the ground began gyrating against the synthetic grass. I was definitely not at a Firebirds match.
Ten minutes of booty shaking, flexing and breakdancing later, East decides to run into the air-conditioning in the first quarter and we’re underway!
As promised the game is fast with no huddle offence, and the hits are very real. Honestly, there haven’t been this many stiff arms to the face and one-on-one brawls in a football match since the ’73 NSWRL grand final.
Hometown hard-ass Chloe Butler’s West takes a commanding lead with a series of brutal drives and acrobatic touchdowns, which means I am routinely faced with the enormous glutes of their outside linebacker on the re-start. I know everything is bigger in the states, but Dave Taylor could do squats for 30 years and not have a rump like that.
The West pile on the points in the second quarter, and with four minutes to go the crowd gets its first wardrobe malfunction with a Grade Two Pantsing offense (thankfully not Ms Taylor). West head into the break leading 31-6.
Half-time entertainment is an overweight middle aged bloke making a goose of himself trying to tackle Ms Butler in true naff half-time style, but I’m mildly concerned. Not because ‘NSW’ is under the hammer, I’m used to that, but because while the first half has been immensely enjoyable, a blow-out is on the cards.
Fortunately my concerns are unfounded, as in true un-NSW style the East begin a stirring fight back with some excellent sleight-of-hand plays.
As for the crowd, seeing players monster each other in gang tackles, skol beer after touchdowns, and lead the YMCA keeps them all in high spirits, with the only ejection being some bloke who strips to his undies dancing on top of a railing. The irony is delicious.
Actually no, it’s pasty and beer-gutted.
Despite their best efforts the East fall 45-36, just nine points short of a Washington Generals boilover.
Butler’s Babes give a 21 fist-pump salute, and the crowd storms the field so pissed blokes can crash tackle patrons and ‘Tebow’ on the surprisingly painful astro-turf.
Leaving the arena ears ringing and shoulder aching, I was not quite sure what I’d witnessed. I felt like I’d gone to a nightclub and a football match had broken out.
But, looking past the LFL’s swagger and the behemoths in front of me, there were quality skills on show, and a fun form of American football tailor-made for casual international observers. I’d had a blast.
So, sport or entertainment? Just an entertaining sport really.
Follow Chris on Twitter: @Vic_Arious
Chris Chard is a sports humour writer commenting on the often absurd nature of professional sport. A rugby league fan boy with a good blend of youth and experience taking things one week at a time, Chris has written for The Roar, Rugby League Player Magazine, US Sports Downunder, the QRL and People. Tweet him @Vic_Arious
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- Lingerie Football League