Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Legends of Football

    OK, let me step away from the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and address another favorite subject of mine:  Football.  You are probably thinking, "Yeah, he is going to write about Harbaugh and Michigan, return to glory, blah, blah, blah."  No, I am not going to write about Michigan Football and their energetic, enigmatic, and very well compensated head coach.  I am  writing about something different and something new.  Well, it is new to me.
     I am a bit of a TV junkie.  Being part of the first generation that grew up with TV, it has always been fascinating and captivating.  There is the warm glow of the screen that is a window to the world.  It is also a window to a world where everything is reconciled in either thirty, sixty, or ninety to one hundred and twenty minutes i.e. sitcoms, TV crime shows, and movies.  When football is not front and center, I am surfing the channels and channel guides for a movie I may not yet have seen or perhaps one that I have seen countless times.
     I was surfing the other night... very late night.  The channel guide offered something called Legends of Football.  I thought "Hmmm, this could be educational."  Rather than hit INFO to see what I was in for, I hit OK/Select.  I expected to see a documentary on Y. A, Title, Archie Griffin, Jim Brown, or Joe Namath.  Maybe it would be about legendary rivalries like the Packers and Bears, Harvard and Yale, or perhaps Bo vs Woody.
     I could not have been more wrong.
     It was not Legends of Football as I had misread but rather Legends Football. Legends Football is an Arena Football League.  I have watched a little Arena Football which is football that is basically played on a hockey rink sized field covered with astroturf.  I have never watched more than a few minutes because it is... not my cup of tea.  It is not footbally enough to hold my "let me see what else is on TV" attention span.
     Legends Football, however, is not your grandfather's Arena Football League.  No Siree.  The players are all girls.  The Legends Football League is the Arena Football equivalent of beach volleyball.  We are talking athletically fit women in bikinis.  Football in bikinis?  I kid you not.  Their uniforms are bikinis with
shoulder pads and what appeared to be hockey helmets.  It was 2 am in the morning, I was not sure if the game I was watching that pitted the Chicago Bliss against the Atlanta Steam was real or a parody.  
     It is a real league.
     The Legends Football League was founded in 2009 by Michael Mortaza who continues to run the enterprise.  It was, not surprisingly, first called the Lingerie Football League.  The idea was born out of a Super Bowl halftime event called the Lingerie Bowl on some pay-per-view channels.  When it was founded, the players actually wore bikini lingerie.  In 2013, the league decided to rebrand itself to be taken and respected more.  The decided to don the more modest uniforms shown in the photos here.  If the new uniforms are more modest, you can see why I might think this is all a parody. I found articles claiming that the wages were horrible and players were suing the league because the league thwarted their efforts to unionize.  I tried to find out how the league and teams were doing financially.  That web search yielded nothing.  
     I did go to the Chicago Bliss website to find out how much tickets were going for.  I got a "website unavailable" screen.  Ticketmaster wanted to sell me two tickets to the next game against the Atlanta Steam for $76.30 each.  Wow... this is more expensive than I had expected.  One articledid say that the Atlanta team was drawing 2500 - 3000 people per game and that was enough to breakeven.
      OK... we are talking small potatoes in terms of attendance and finances.  This explains the fact that I ran across a game at 2 am.  I only watched it for like five minutes max.  I was totally in awe in how such an inane concept became an actual business.  I then changed the channel to see whatever else was on TV.  Cheesecake aside, I would have probably found an infomercial for a revolutionary weed whacker more interesting.  As I surfed away from the Ladies of the Gridiron two thoughts crossed my mind:
  1. Political correctness is applied haphazardly.
  2. Where have all the feminists gone?
  3. There is only 127 days to the start of Michigan football.


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