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If you think Lingerie Football is only something to tune in as an alternative to the Super Bowl halftime show, think again. The Seattle Mist opened their inaugural season in the ten-team Lingerie Football League Friday night at the Showare Center in Kent. Their opponent was the San Diego Seduction, 14 equally attractive women just itching to play football. The result was not what many of the crowd of almost 2000 might have been expecting and it was certainly not just a T & A show.
The format is an adaptation of arena football, with some slight alterations to augment the scoring. The players wear what can be described as a somewhat revealing swimsuit, lightweight shoulder pads, and a helmet with a clear plastic faceshield. They all don eye black to insure that they are not mistaken for fashion models.
Fan expectations ranged widely. Kirkland's Kent Marx said, "I hope it's competitive, but mostly I came to see half-naked chicks play football." Meanwhile, Linda Berlin of Anacortes, whose daughter Kendra plays safety, commented, "She's been working very hard and there are a few girls as good as she is. It should be a good game." Finally, Amy Tovmassian of Mill Creek stated that she was there because, "there is nothing hotter than watching girls in lingerie knock the crap out of each other."
As the girls entered the arena, accompanied by fog and strobes, it became clear that a big-time show was being produced. San Diego's first drive stalled at their own 30 after a delay of game call forced a 4th & 5 that wasn't converted. The short arena field dictates no punting. But the highlight was when LB Lindsay Blaine, who joined the team a mere 3 weeks ago, laid out the Seduction's running back on 2nd down with a hit worthy of Lofa Tatupu.
Once on offense, the Mist's Katie Ryckman quickly broke one for 22 yards down the sideline, shedding tacklers along the way. On 4th and goal from the one, QB Natasha Lindsay, the offensive star of the game and one tough cookie, snuck around right end for the Mist's first touchdown. The crowd, which ranged from teens to retirees, went wild and the players offered a just less than NFL style post-TD dance.
The Seduction's next possession ended on the first play when tough-as-nails LB Lindsay Blaine intercepted at the SD 28 yard line. Four plays later Natasha Lindsay swept in from the 5 and this time the 2 pt conversion was made to run the score to 14-0. No kicked extra points in this league, more opportunities for girl stomping girl action.
San Diego threatened to score at the end of the first half and had two tries from within the 3 but the clock ran out.
The Seduction got on the board early in the second half with a long run and a few missed tackles by the Mist. They missed the conversion and the score tightened to 14-6. The passing efficiency by both teams was pretty low with balls being overthrown, underthrown, or bobbled by the intended receiver. When the Mist took over they ran the clock down with their effective running game, a combination of quarterback sweeps and Katie Ryckman again up the middle. They scored on a 1 yd. reverse by Ryckman. The Seduction tried vainly to get on the board one more time as time expired. The Mist, who tackled hard and executed an impressive running game, had won thier debut 20-6.
Head Coach Rod Long, a former NFL player, had this assessment of his team's premiere. "The girls played well but I don't feel that we met expectations on offense. The passing game was not as effective as I'd like it. Routes weren't run correctly and balls were underthrown. I was pleased with the defensive effort and Lindsay Blaine made some big plays."
The Mist's next game isn't until Oct. 9 in Denver. It will be streamed live on the net (lflus.com) When asked about the LFL's unusual one game a month format, with just two teams playing each Friday night, league founder Mitch Mortaza said, "We want the games to feel more like special events, with 2 hours of pre-game tailgating activites. Also, the players' (none over 140 lbs.) bodies would not hold up under the stress of more frequent games." After the game, QB Natasha Lindsay, who had no football experience prior to five months ago, agreed that the schedule is not that bad and that it would give the players ample time to to improve in certain areas, such as the passing game.
If you are a true-blue NFL fan, that's fine. But if you like smashmouth football, up close and personal, with a C cup and a cute butt thrown in, then the Seattle Mist could be the next big thing.