Hooray! The greatest sport ever returns this week!
(Liz Gorman photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)There’s nothing better than football season...unless it’s Legends Football season. These women—nay, these CHAMPIONS—play fierce football without the benefit of full-length pants. (Seriously, pants are a huge advantage in any close-quarters combat situation.) The Lingerie Football League changed its name to Legends Football League back in January, weary of being seen as a sexy gimmick league. And they were right to do so. Because these women play HARD. The LFL contains all of football’s strategy and brutality, plus gorgeous women tackling each other with some of the dirtiest trash-talk you ever heard. Gosh, douse that affair in tequila and it’s like someone squeezed this entire site into travel-size form. So let’s make some predictions for standout performance this year. Read on to see our picks to watch on the gridiron.
Los Angeles Temptation: Amber Reed (RB/DE)
But then came the twist…Okay, right out of the gate, we had to split this one: our original pick was Iron woman Amber Reed. She was one of the two MVPs in last year’s bowl game, and it’s impossible to argue with her numbers. She will drop you like a hot box of rocks if you get in her turf, and defenders find her impossible to contain. UPDATED: Reed tells us she's not playing this year, which is a shame.
Los Angeles Temptation: Liz Gorman (WR/S) …This year sees the arrival of Liz Gorman, who was going to be our pick for the Tampa Breeze (now Jackson Breeze). Gorman was one of that team’s leading scorers and a monster on D. In five games she managed 28 solo and 10 assisted tackles. The last time Florida produced such an aggressive tackler was The Waterboy.
Seattle Mist: Laurel Creel (QB) Despite a winning record last year, the Mist are vulnerable, having lost two players who defined their 2011-12 season. With Kam Warner retired, and emigrated talent that includes QB Angela Rypien, this team may have to switch up its game from running to passing. That puts the onus on quarterback Laurel Creel, an effective arm on a team that has a lot of goose eggs in its roster stats.
Minnesota Valkyrie: Cydney Froelich (TE/LB) You have to love no matter what for their Valkyrie for their “Minna-sooooo-ta” accents. Offensive powerhouse Lisa Bastien literally carries the team’s forward momentum, but Cydney Froelich fuels the engine with her skillset as receiver and linebacker.
Green Bay Chill: Anne Erler (QB/DB) Wisconsin is America’s dairy, and milk has done the Chill's bodies good. Polly McDonald will destroy you if you even catch a ball within eyesight of her, but Erler is our pick for backing up a very respectable defensive record of her own with all the yardage you can handle. And who can resist a QB whose teammates post her trick shots on YouTube? Maybe the "Chill" refers to the cold shower we need to go take now.
Chicago Bliss: Heather Furr (QB/S) Chicago’s a diverse team, drawing from a much broader talent pool than the others, who are largely composed of local players. But Furr’s a hometown hero, a bartender and former teacher, because HEATHER FURR IS ALL THE DESIRABLE THINGS! No question, this lady can do everything except catch her own passes, and that’s only because The Infurrno has too much team spirit to hog the ball. *Sigh* The perfect woman, really.
Las Vegas Sin: How to choose?
...it's TRACEE THOMAS!Like this team was ever going to be called anything else. They also have a nifty old Strip-style logo. It’s almost impossible to pick a standout here, since they’ve got players like surgical tools for any scenario. So we’ll resolve this the Vegas way: Gambling! Heads it’s running back/cornerback Tracee Thomas, tails it’s wide receiver/linebacker Carrie Walters.
Las Vegas Sin: How to choose? But here’s Carrie Walters anyway, because we're not in Vegas and shouldn't have to choose.
Orlando Fantasy: Suspended for conduct
Here, have another picture of Ms. Gorman to make up for it.Mysteriously suspended for conduct? Ooh, scandalous! Hey, make a note: the D.C. Scandal would be a great expansion team name.
Cleveland Crush: Theresa Petruziello (WR/S) Ah, poor Cleveland: so many teams, so few championships. It was a rough year for this rookie franchise, so they’re not favored for 2013. You can bet any hope rests with Theresa Petruziello, whose six touchdowns are...well, most of the team’s touchdowns. Let’s hope this talent doesn’t LeBron the team with an 11th hour switcheroo, because Cleveland can’t take much more heartbreak. Fun fact: their mascot looks like a villain from a 1980s syndicated cartoon, but only some half-remembered show like SilverHawks.
Jacksonville Breeze: KK Matheny (QB) The Breeze are definitely going to feel Gorman’s absence, but KK Matheny’s able leadership has been a great showing by a QB, with 9 touchdowns last season, and victories in 3 out of 4 of its regular season games. Turnover is the watchword, as the Breeze moved to Jacksonville from Tampa, and attempted to fill out its roster with an open tryout in November. With a green team on fresh ground, expect Matheny to work double-time to pull her crew into a solid unit.
Philadelphia Passion: Marirose Roach (RB/S)
How about some focus here? The same focus seen in Marirose Roach, who racked 441 yards in just five games, plus throwing her bricks in the wall of defense? Do we consider more the players who excel in an area, like linebacker Jenny Butler? Or those who bring a diverse skillset to the team? Fortunately, Roach’s 18 touchdowns make this an easier call than usual to make.Their logo has a heart for an O, but the heart is two footballs. Whoa! Slow down there, graphic! You expect us to hold three layered concepts in place while we’re watching a football game going on?
Baltimore Charm: Kyle DeHaven (WR/LB) DeHaven pretty much was the Charm in their 2011/12 season, so...yeah. She’s the one to watch, coming and going. Little-known fact: The refrain “Omar comin’ ” from The Wire was actually inspired by DeHaven’s defensive/offensive two-fisted fury, except not really because that would be silly. She’s a perfect example of why the LFL is great: driven, ambitious athletes who aren’t afraid to get rowdy. Also, keep an eye on QB Angela Rypien, who joins the team from the Seattle Mist.
Omaha Heart They’re a brand new expansion team, so we haven’t even seen their roster yet. The eponymous heart is speared on a sword, in case you thought they were getting soft on us. So this is not the tender heart, nor the sportsman’s heart Vince Lombardi once described to us in a dream, but the kind of heart that Vlad Tepes used to spike on walls as a warning to his foes. Omaha is the Transylvania of the midwest.
Atlanta Steam: Ericka Smith (WR/DB)
Expect former Mist (Misty? Mistress?) Ericka Smith to step up as the team’s big offense. She’s a juggernaut on the field, scoring three touchdowns in a single game last January for a brutal 32-14 win against the Minnesota Valkyrie.Another expansion team delivered from limbo. Formerly the St. Louis Saints, formerly the Atlanta Steam again, they bring a lot of veteran talent from other teams. One thing’s for sure: they might be saints, but they’re no angels (that name and quality being taken already by a Canadian LFL team). Hey, is it too late for Man Cave to start our own franchise? We could call it the New York Sass, and compose it entirely of Attention Grabbers. LFL, let’s talk. Send your representatives, in uniform (pads not required, except for our safety) and we’ll enter into some intense negotiations.
Can't wait for the new season?
(Maddie McCoy photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)See more of the LFL athletes in The LFL Takes Off Its Lingerie.