|Closing comments||A very interesting read, brought to light many things I did not know about. Women in sport is always a relevant, much talked about topic. You have put all the information together well and whilst full of information, you managed to maintain a high readability. A top effort. -- NHHowell, 9;55, 03 November 2011|
Lingerie football is the newest form of gridiron as well as one of the fasted growing political controversies among women sports. The game was created in 2009 in America and since being aired on TV has reached millions of viewer’s world wide, airing in 85 countries and still growing.
This full contact sport has brought in a lot of publicity and revenue however the revealing uniforms consisting of shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, garters, bras, panties and a helmet have caused many issues into the portrayal of football and the way these women are depicting themselves. Critics have said that it is degrading for female athletes through pernicious objectification as well as using sex to promote the league.
We, Australia, have already accepted multiple American sports into our culture, such as ice hockey, gridiron and curling. What is to stop this sport from coming across our borders and what would the Australian public have to say about it? Would it be welcomed with open arms or shunned? Plans have already been discussed to launch these leagues in Canada in 2012 and Australia in 2013.
Would sponsorship be a requirement to maintain the game? American sponsors have shown that with enough backing there is opportunity for growth. NBC sports commentator, Rick Chandler, has named the LFL as the fasted growing pro sports league in the nation.
This essay will cover all the material above as well as more insight into this sport on and off the field.
"THE LINGERIE FOOTBALL LEAGUE HAS BECOME THE ULTIMATE FAN-DRIVEN LIVE SPORTS PHENOMENON - BLENDING ACTION, IMPACT AND BEAUTY."
Out in the sweltering heat, drops of sweat dripping off their long legs, lean bodies and ponytails as they huddle together in anticipation for the next play. Standing in tight shorts and sports bras as their freshly painted nail polish catches the sun rays. They aren't here to just to look pretty. They are here to play!
The lingerie football league is growing fast as it reaches out to world and brings a new perspective to gridiron. That women can play too and they can play well. This league of football is built up from empowering women eager to make their own name for the game and break the barrier between men and women sports. This football league faces many controversial opinions as to the depiction of women and the sport of gridiron as well as obtaining business and sponsorship to become as competitive as other sports.
I have chosen to discuss tis sport because it is relevant to Australia now. This sport has already reached our border and I am interested in seeing it grow and see the league of women's sport grow.
The lingerie football league is a young sport for this decade however it is growing fast. It has hidden below the surface for over five years and made its debute in the 2009 completing its first full season in the USA.
The game was an offshoot from the half time performance during the Super Bowl XXXVIII where the show involved cheerleaders playing a game they named lingierie bowl. This performance was used to draw back viewers as the half time show was being claimed as boring and unentertaining.
This half time show returned in 2005 and 2006 however was cancelled in 2007 when a permit could not be obtained in Arizona where the Super bowl was to be held and again in 2008.
The half time show had received enough populatiry that it prompted organizers to expand from a single event to an entire league.
In 2009 the league took its own stand and brought the girls out of the half time show and into field for a real game. On January 31 2009 The Miami Caliente played the Tampa Breeze in the Lingerie Bowl at Caliente Luxury Resort in Land O'Lakes Florida.
Just like any other sport, sponsorship plays an important role in promoting and supporting a sports team or individual financially or to help get them exposure. However, for this type of sport sponsorship was not a necessity as there are other ways to gain exposure to help the growth of the game. Teams throughout the USA have their own sponsorships however they rely heavily on their fans and the league to self promote.
Speaking with the Australian representatives for the Lingerie Football League, Tala Schultz and Katie Haeusler, the league is relatively new sponsorship is still a concern as to whether it will be required to help lift the sport. Although the Australian league has already started to take of on its own having already obtained a Queensland team from Ipswich and are currently forming a team of coaches in NSW as mentioned by lingerie football player, Tala Schultz.
Introduction into Canada
Canadian football fans have been exposed to the gridiron goddess' of the Lingerie Football League. The game was first introduced on July 30th 2011 where the city of Hamilton of Onatrio hosted the first game of the competition.
“Understanding our long-term goals in Canada, we could not be more thrilled to have awarded the 2011 All-Fantasy Game to Canada. We expect there will be a highly-charged up crowd at Copps Coliseum on July 30″, said, Mitchell S. Mortaza, Founder & Chairman, Lingerie Football League, LLC.
Since the previewing of the first game up north more provinces expanded their reach and pull to help the game grow. It has been released that the Canadian league will premier in September 2012 with six inagural season clubs, including the newly named Toronto Triumph as well as other cities such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Quebec City and Montreal
Vancouver journalist, Stephen Hui, has said watch out Britich Columbia Lion there is a new league in town.
Toronto are a step ahead of all other Canadian cities having the opportunity to participate in the new American season and show the Amerocan supporters that they are at the same level in the league and not to be underestimated.
“As much success as the league has seen through its first two seasons in the U.S., we expect greater success in Canada due to its fanaticism around sports,” said Mitchell S. Mortaza.
Introduction to Australia
The football crave has already hit Australian borders. Ipswich in Queensland has kicked off the phenomena down under and are gaining momentum and support.
"It [lingerie] adds femininity to the game and just highlights that even hot athletic chicks can hit as hard and run as fast as some of the guys," said league organiser and player Tala Schultz, who takes on the football moniker of "X Girl".
Tala said that they are a 'group of interested ladies keen to keep fit, have fun and play and exciting sport. We come from a variety of sports; rugby, league, AFL, softball, wrestling, touch football, netball & athletics. We will be playing against other LFL teams being set up across Qld & Australia.'
With the formation of coaches in NSW already under way it shouldn't be long until Sydney along side melbourne and Adelaide will have teams ready to play.
Current rugby player, Lisa Fiaola, said her team mates and herself would love to get involved with this type of football. The ladies said the experience would be amazing to be apart of a new league promoting women's sports. They are interested in bringing what they have to offer to the Australian football scheme and are more than happy to suit the uniform required.
The LFL in NSW are currently taking enquiries and seeing where every ones interests lie so they can build up player portfolios and find helpers in all areas.
Portral Female Athletes
Many people have the same political opinion that female athletes shouldn't want to associate with league. They believe the choice of uniform and the exploitation of skin is a way to sell sex appeal to attract fans, however if there is such a controversy for uniform for this league why not dispute the uniform for beach volley ball or kayaking? They wear just as little if not less clothing and the public view them as athletes and not ridicule them for their choices.
An article published in the Edmonton Sun newspaper said Dr. Michelle Meagher, an assistant professor with the woman’s studies program at the University of Alberta’s faculty of arts quoted that the football league is part of “a larger cultural practice that takes female athletes less seriously." Website Article
Dave Jamieson, from the Edmonton Eskimo's Canadian football league believes the LFL will no make pace to compete with male sports.
“We might pull fans in with the sex appeal or the fact that media and fans are curious about what this product is, but it wouldn’t have grown at the pace it has if the product on the field wasn’t credible or very compelling.” said Jamieson.
Bringing this political dispute to Australia will show how we accept American sport and how we handle the judgements. Yes there will be controversial opinions over the portrayal of women and how this sport places women in revealing outfits however our Australian culture allows us to be open minded and we will accept a variety of sports into our society.
Changing the game of gridiron
There has been many issues with the thought of the lingerie football league deterring from the true game of gridiron. Online bloggers claims the grunt has been taken front he game we have come to know as American football. An article written by Maressa Brown called 'Lingerie football league cat fight is an insult' seems to fit this demean as showing girls as catty and using the fight to reel in the 'American male's most twisted fantasy'.
Brown said in her article "the whole thing is marketed and packaged should really disturb real, strong female athletes."
Having watched the games and viewed online trainings as well as talking to people or participate in they type of activity it is clear there is more to take place then what we see.
These women run hard, hit hard and play hard!
LFL and Children
The LFL has reached out to a broader range by approaching children to participate in the growth of the league. 13 year old Paris Jackson was approached by the football representatives and asked to be a spokesperson of a youth league sponsored by the LFL. Commissioner of the LFL Mitchell Mortaza has left this brief statement: “Obviously the improvement of our game is directly tied into the development of the future LFL athlete. What excites us at the league is seeing the caliber of athletes improve so vastly each season, now imagine in five years when we start fielding athletes that have trained their entire life for the opportunity to play LFL Football.” Website: Article
In my opinion, I openly welcome the new league into Australia. I believe it will bring diversity and excitement to women sport as wells promoting the athletes we posses on an international level.
There are many sports which have revealing outfits so I don't believe another will be an issue. These women are powerful and exciting and want to embrace another physical activity that makes them feel good.
There is plenty of opportunity for the football league to grow over here, we are a very sporting based country willing to give new sports a go and I would like to see the LFL take off.
Politics are politics and will occur in any sports it will come down to how we deal with this and support the teams formed in our areas. As discussed the biggest issues the LFL will face is the problem with the portrayal of women and the way in which the game of gridiron will change and 'sass' down. These are issues that have been dealt with in the states and we intend to deal with them here in the same way.
Through working on the business side of the competition through gaining sponsors if it becomes a requirement and gaining momentum for the growth of the comp, and addressing the bad and good publicity as it comes.
There are already many members behind the LFL pushing its success, it would be a disappointment to see it fail.
Balitmore Charm, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/baltimorecharm/index.php
Chicago Bliss, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/chicagobliss/
Cleveland Crush, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/clevelandcrush/
Edmonton Eskimos media information, viewed 29/10/11, http://www.esks.com/page/media_information
Edmonton gets lingerie football team, viewed 29/10/11, http://www.edmontonsun.com/2011/09/28/city-may-get-lingerie-foot-ball-team
Green Bay Chill, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/greenbaychill/
Katie Haeusler, emailed 24/10/11, 23/10/11, firstname.lastname@example.org
Las Vegas Sin, http://www.lflus.com/lasvegassin/
Lingerie Football League, viewed 2/10/11, http://www.lflus.com/
Lingerie Football League Australia- Courier Mail, viewed 12/10/11, http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/ipswich/lingerie-football-leagues-australia-organiser-tala-schultz-says-127-women-set-to-play-in-competition/story-fn8oe3ey-1226166734821
Lingerie football league catfight is an insult to female athletes, viewed 29/10/11, http://thestir.cafemom.com/sports/128058/lingerie_football_league_catfight_is
Lingerie Football League 101, viewed 2/10/11, http://www.lflus.com/lfl101/
Lingerie Football League 360, viewed 2/10/11, http://www.lfl360.com/
Lingerie Football League 360 Articles, viewed 2/10/11, http://www.lfl360.com/articles/
Lingerie Football League 360 Video, viewed 2/10/11, http://www.lfl360.com/video/
Lingerie League coming down under/Fuel TV/Fox Sports, viewed 10/10/11, http://www.foxsports.com.au/fueltv/local-version-of-lingerie-gridiron-to-debut-in-australia-with-ladies-football-league/story-fn6u5607-1226137310916
Los Angeles Temptation, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/latemptation/
Minnesota Valkyrie, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/minnesotavalkyrie/
Orlando Fantasy, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/orlandofantasy/
Philadelphia Passion, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/phillypassion/
Seattle Mist, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/seattlemist/
Tala Shultz, spoken to 20/10/11
Tala Schultz jumps for the ball, viewed 30/10/11, http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/ipswich/gallery-fn8zbo0e-1226136657713?page=2
Tampa Breeze, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/tampabreeze/
The lingerie football league is coming to a children's playground near you, viewed 10/10/11, http://guyism.com/sports/the-lingerie-football-league-is-coming-to-a-childrens-playground-near-you.html
Toronto Triumph, viewed 2/11/11, http://www.lflus.com/torontotriumph/