Leader Blues

Friday, July 03, 2009

SPORTS >> Let us be your one-stop source for Lingerie Football League action

Leader sports editor

Ask any sports editor at a community newspaper what the biggest time of year is, and he won’t hesitate. (If he tells you summer, because that’s the only practical time to take a vacation in this business, you should start looking for a new sports editor immediately.)

What every sports editor will answer is high school football season. Friday nights from early September to early November and beyond are dedicated to one thing almost exclusively: the boys on the gridiron.

Which is why it pains me so to realize that I won’t be covering high school football this fall. Why? Well, I just visited the Lingerie Football League Web site and I’m back to tell you – some five and a half hours later – that the LFL has scheduled its games for Friday nights, beginning Sept. 4.

It was not an easy decision for me because nothing stirs me like the panoply of prep football – the crisp nights festooned with a dewy sliver of moon, the drum line of the band, the players stampeding through the “Beat the Buffs” banner to the thunderous ovation of the fans, the cheerleaders’ desperate rush to the sidelines ahead of the players that puts one in mind of the running of the bulls in the streets of Pamplona, the game itself, the late nights at the office trying to find the perfect lede to capture the action.

Alas, I will miss all of that this fall. Fear not. Intrepid sportswriter and high school football maven Jason King (whose midweek predictions last fall proved correct a stunning 18 percent of the time) drew the short straw and will continue to provide our readers with prep coverage in each of our Saturday editions throughout the fall.

Meanwhile, our promise to you: Simply the most comprehensive coverage of lingerie football in Arkansas.

When the Dallas Desire and the Denver Dream hook up in October, we’ll be there. When the Bliss (Chicago) battle the Temptation (Los Angeles) or the Seduction (San Diego) visit the Euphoria (New England), we’ll provide the insight and analysis.

Our coverage will consist primarily of photos, though the accompanying story will provide such critical details as who started the hair pulling brawl, whether those green garters the Miami Caliente sport beneath their teal shorts is gauche and, space permitting, the final score.

Mostly it will be pictures, though.

Please don’t think this is prurient in the least. Our interest is twofold: We love football and we abhor chauvinism.

You thought we wouldn’t cover an athletic event simply because, instead of middle-aged men in long pants and jerseys, it is young women in shorts and halter-tops?

You don’t know us very well.

I have learned this much from my visit this morning (and early afternoon) to the LFL Web site: The game will consist of seven girls in halters and shorts competing against seven other girls in halters and shorts on a 50-yard field.

Scoring is the same as in men’s football, though there is no kicking, and extra points must be converted via a run or pass.

Interestingly, the Web site goes out of its way to identify the end zones as being eight yards deep. I’m not sure how that tidbit adds to my understanding of the game, or even how deep an NFL end zone is, but so be it.

Anyway, it will be full-contact, and the girls will wear padded protection but not to the point that it distracts those viewers tuning in just to see skimpily attired young women. And as much as we’d like to think otherwise, there are bound to be such people.

But not us. We’re there for the love of the game.

I just see one potential problem with the new league. Given man’s basically piggish behavior, will we be able to distinguish the teams to the point that all-important rivalries are allowed to form, or will we view them all as an amorphous mass of young pretty women in shorts and halter tops?

To that end, I propose, as one of the top LFL journalists in the field today, that the league form two distinct conferences — one devoted to scantily clad purveyors of prurience and the other to properly attired purveyors of purity.

The Prude Conference would be made up of teams whose uniforms consisted of long, preferably flannel dresses with high collars and ruffled sleeves. I’m thinking of the Pittsburgh Puritans, for instance, or the Chicago Chaste. Or perhaps the Scranton Scolders.

Anyway, those are just some ideas for a later date. Let’s see how the first season plays out and we can tweak it from there.

Tune in to these sports pages this fall for all the action.