How many of you remember...or should I say, follow the Lingerie Football League, now doing business as the Legends Football League (LFL)?
Click over to lflus.com and check out the video, LFL USA FEMALE ATHLETES SEND MESSAGE TO RAY RICE. The clip opens on Carmen Bourseau, running back for the Los Angeles Temptation. She’s wearing petite shoulder pads and a full-on cleavage push-up sports bra. Underneath her bare midriff is what looks like bikini underwear cut at the pubic hairline. There’s a football helmet cocked back on her head, and Delta Force going-to-war eye-black smeared on her cheek bones. Behind her is a blown-up image of an empty football stadium. It’s night, no lights, no fans in the stadium. Big black Harry Potter thunder clouds crowd the sky. Bourseau locks onto the camera and says, “Hey, Ray, we at the LFL hear you punched your fiancée. We have over 1000 athletes globally and I speak for all of them when I say only cowards beat on those weaker than them. The LFL invites you for one down of football to get your ass handed to you by one of our female athletes.” Pause. “You fucking coward.”
I am past overdue writing about the LFL. It’s been three years since I featured the league in a column. Follows is where I left off, circa August, 2011. “Teams play two 16-minute halves on a 50-yard field. Each team fields seven players. It’s sex, of course. Beautiful women in panties and bras playing tackle football. Can’t get around that. But, at least for the games I’ve watched, the football is good, much better than I would have thought.
“One last thing, the LFL announced a new business plan. It’s forward-thinking, pace-setting, the new sports standard. In order to create more jobs the LFL will quit paying its players. Last year, players made something like $500 to $1200 per game. This year, players work for The Love of the Game (and whatever shake they can skim off the table).”
At the time, I thought LFL was another one-trick pony. Sports leagues come and go, particularly women’s football leagues. So, how stands the LFL three years later?
First, they’re still here, which puts them in the upper bracket of startup sports leagues. The league claims it’s been profitable since Day 1 in 2009.
According to Sportsgrid staff writer Rick Chandler, the LFL is the fastest-growing sports league in the USA. There are ten American franchises, and new clubs are planned for Pittsburgh, Denver, and Washington DC.
And they’ve gone international. There is LFL Australia with five teams listed. LFL Canada with four teams. And, next year, LFL Europa. Coming up, an LFL Latin American league.
The good news won’t stop. A couple months back, the LFL announced a new league structure. “...LFL Americas, which will encompass USA, Canada, Central America, and Mexico clubs, LFL Oceania, which will include Australia and New Zealand based clubs, and LFL Europa, which will include all European based clubs.” (Hamburg, Dublin, Manchester, Paris, and Dusseldorf are expected to begin play next year.) “Once every 4 years, (2) two clubs from LFL Americas, (1) one club from LFL Oceania, and (1) one club from LFL Europa will all meet in a single elimination tournament.” The league is working on a TV reality series and is in preproduction on LFL, The Movie.
Good times. World domination is at hand.
Putting aside, for the moment, the colorful background of LFL founder and CEO Mitch Mortaza, it’s comforting to know that in all this upward mobility some things remain the same. Tradition is upheld, a link from one generation to another is maintained. The players still don’t get paid.
In fact, in 2013, Mortaza went one better, abolishing LFL’s insurance coverage. Players must now provide proof of their own insurance. And while we’re here, players must sign over their publicity and promotional rights. Daddy is hungry.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the league and its CEO by Melissa Margulies, former Los Angeles Temptation wide receiver, and Robin Johnson, former quarterback for the Las Vegas Sin. The suit maintains that the LFL failed to pay minimum wage and overtime as required by federal and California law.
Plaintiffs’ law firm (Alexander, Krakow & Glick) issued a statement: “The league pays players an arbitrary amount of its choosing, which, if the players are lucky, may amount to $2000 to $3500 for the entire season. For the 2013 season, Margulies and Johnson received nothing, despite the fact that both played a full season for the league. Many other players were paid nothing for the 2013 season.”
Daddy is very hungry.