Saturday, February 5, 2011

5 things the Lingerie Football League needs to change

The Lingerie Football League will never be taken seriously as a sport.
For starters, it only hires pretty women to play. So it’s eliminating many of the best female football players from consideration. I’m talking about the toughest, meanest, biggest, athletic, butch women imaginable who already play contact sports and aren’t model pretty.
As a business decision, that was probably a good idea.
But since the sport is not about showcasing the best athletes, it will remain a curiosity.
Given that, it should focus on exploiting its fringe sports niche.
A year ago, I wrote about “Five things the Lingerie Football League needs to do to establish some credibility.” I don’t know if LFL executives read that article, but they’ve made progress on all of those items.
What follows are five things LFL execs should consider for the coming year – things to mull over as the LFL’s second season ends Sunday with the Lingerie Bowl in Las Vegas.

1. Improve the quality of LFL game broadcasts on cable

Going from pay-per-view only to cable television this season was a wise move. It certainly increased exposure for the league.
But the broadcasts frankly were pretty lame by pro sports standards.
I watched the first two broadcasts of game highlights last fall on MTV2 and lost interest. Last Saturday I watched the two LFL playoff games, which were broadcast live, unlike regular season games, which are tape delayed by a week and edited for cable. (I used my DVR and the fast-forward button for commercials and time outs.)
The main problem with the game broadcasts is they don’t capture the on-field action very well. The cameras never seem to be in the right spot to get a close shot. So, most of the game footage is shot from a distance. And when you’re dealing with players who are also hot women, you want to get as close to the action as possible.
The LFL is going to have to invest in a few more cameras and rethink how they're used.
It also hurts that the games aren’t shown in HD. MTV2 on Cablevision in Connecticut is a grainy, low-res digital channel.

2. Use more slow-motion video

The action happens pretty fast in this version of arena football. So, it would be nice to slow down some of the key running and passing plays on broadcasts with replays in slow-motion video.
Plus, slow motion is a nice way to watch pretty women running in bikini lingerie.

3. Ramp up the theatricality of the sport

The LFL has more in common with WWE than the NFL, so it should play up the theatrically of the sport.
The LFL should take a cue from roller derby and portray the players as characters not just athletes. In roller derby, players have aliases or stage names that play up how tough they are. Examples from the CT Rollergirls: Luiciana Pulverotti, Eleanor Bruisevelt and Bonnie Voyage. That's fun. LFL players should have nicknames.
Give the team captains a microphone to trash-talk and excite the crowd before the game starts.
Some of the most buzzed about occurrences from this season weren’t big plays, but a bench-clearing brawl and post-score celebrations.
Wardrobe malfunctions used to be the most talked-about aspect of the game, but that seems to be less of an issue now with tighter uniforms and players wearing pasties under their bras.
Progress? Some fans would disagree.

4. Identify the stars of the sport and raise their visibility

The LFL took some good steps to identify the stars of the sport and raise their visibility this season.
The highlight was getting players from the league on the cover of the February 2011 issue of Playboy and a pictorial inside.
Doing a nude ad campaign for PETA also was an attention grabber.
The league needs to do more things like that.
I would suggest that MTV2 supplement its 30-minute weekly game recaps with a reality TV show on players from the LFL. Show them training and in their regular jobs. Give fans a chance to learn about who these women are.

5. Change the name of the Lingerie Bowls from Roman numerals to years.

This year’s championship game is called Lingerie Bowl VIII, but it’s only the second to crown a winner of the Lingerie Football League. Previous Lingerie Bowls were one-off exhibition games.
Also, calling it Lingerie Bowl VIII is dishonest since Lingerie Bowls IV, V and VI (2007-09) were canceled because organizers couldn’t get their act together. So this year’s match is really the fifth Lingerie Bowl to be held.
Next year, just call it Lingerie Bowl 2012 and skip the pretentions of Super Bowl-like Roman numerals.

Photos (from top down):
Lingerie Bowl VIII poster;
San Diego Seduction wide receiver Vanessa Neff (No. 9) on Nov. 13, 2010, in Chicago (photo by Flickr user Arrogant);
Marirose Roach of the Philadelphia Passion tries to tackle quarterback Ashley Salerno of the Los Angeles Temptation during the Lingerie Football League's Lingerie Bowl VIII on Feb. 6, 2011, in Las Vegas (See and the Huffington Post);
LFL players on the cover of Playboy magazine;
Fan at LFL playoffs in Jacksonville, Fla., by the Florida Times-Union;
Chicago Bliss players take it off to show their support for PETA


emariano said...

Agree with all you said. The biggest limitation is the fact that the games are condensed to 30 minutes on MTV2 and that it isn't in HD.

Since it's condensed to 30 minutes you only see the actual game play, which as in a regular NFL game is filmed at a distance. The moments one sees players up close in an NFL game is in between plays when they're in the huddle, running to and from the side lines, talking among themselves etc.

Thus with no close in shots of the players, almost all the eye candy disappears. Watching the full length game on Saturday it was striking how much more visually compelling the game was when the moments in between plays are seen.

Also, you must get it in HD. On my cable system all SD looks simply awful. Worse than it looked on a regular tube TV.

Also as you said, slow motion is a must, just as in a regular NFL game.

The final suggestion might be just my personal opinion, but some of the teams outfits seem to be more conservative than others. By that I mean the uniform bottoms of some teams seem to show lots of ass cheek, and some none at all.

Maybe it's just me, but the second the bottoms start providing full ass coverage I have vrtually no interest. My interest level is directly proportional to level of booty exposed. Thus keep the shorts short and riding up, and reverse the trend of some teams outfits becoming more conservative.

Thus, show full length games (thus getting close ups of players), broadcast in HD, use slo-mo regularly, and make sure the outfits are revealing enoug in back to show ample butt cheek.

Do the above aand I think they'll have a ratings bonanza on their hands.

Patrick Seitz said...

Good points. Thanks for the input. Hopefully LFL management will listen to its fans.