Lingerie Football Is No Joke

The Baltimore Charm of the Lingerie Football League

If you try to tell Brittany Tegeler that the Lingerie Football League is just sex appeal and fluff, but not real football, expect this young lady to get very angry with you and trust me, you don't want to upset Brittany. Tegeler plays for the Baltimore Charm, the city's entry in the Lingerie Football League. The Charm played it's first season in the league and while they didn't have a winning season, the girls got valuable experience and plan to contend in 2011.

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Tegeler, 23, is a 5'6" wide receiver, defensive back and kicker on the team and has the bumps and bruises to prove the contact is serious and real.

"We as players would like them to know how seriously we take this game. Don’t let the lingerie uniform fool you. The uniform is simply a marketing tool to bring fans in to our games, other than that we train just like any other professional athlete. We train rigorously and we have no weekends; we train for at least 4 hours on both Saturday and Sunday during the season. Our strength and conditioning training is brutal. We spend hours in the classroom going over plays. Some girls drive 3 hours just to get to practice. We have no off-season; we are already training for the 2011-2012 season although we will not have our first game until at least August. We try to mimic the NFL to the best of our ability. We want to give the fans a good, intense football game; that’s why we play!"

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Brittany comes from a long background of athletic success and competition. She was an All-American soccer player in high school and started for four years at the University of Connecticut, earning All-Big East and All-New England team honors. After trying coaching soccer, how did she end up playing women's football?

"I was really missing the everyday routine and competitiveness of actually PLAYING a professional sport. I thought maybe the LFL would be something that could fill that void in my life, so I decided to tryout. In addition to that, I really liked the concept of the LFL. It gives females a chance to show they can be strong and beautiful at the same time. It is a platform that combines strength and femininity, which is really unheard of in women’s sports."

Just like in the pros, injuries are part of the game, as Tegeler has suffered a concussion and seriously sprained the AC joints in both of her shoulders. The hitting is real as Brittany found out the very first time she touched the ball.

"There is little to no protection there. We do wear helmets and shoulder pads, but the shoulder pads are basically just foam, which is why my shoulders are completely damaged from playing. The hitting is absolutely no joke. We tackle as hard as we possibly can. You are hitting with all your strength at full-force day in and day out. There are a lot of injuries in the league and it is all because all of the women play so hard. It takes a special kind of female athlete to play in the LFL. She has to be willing to hit and get hit every day on bare skin; it is not an easy thing to take and is especially hard on the body. I got a concussion in the first game I ever played in the LFL. We ran a mis-direction play and I got the handoff from our QB; there was some miscommunication on the play so we did not get the proper blocking. The defensive line on Philly read the play from the start and I got hammered. My head hit the ground really hard and my face smacked against the shield in my helmet, which is how I got the concussion."

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Due to those sexy uniforms, wardrobe "malfunctions" are part of the game.

"There are definitely wardrobe malfunctions in the heat of the game. It is hard to prevent something like that. However, there is a fine for any player that intentionally tries to cause a wardrobe malfunction. All of us LFL players, whether we are teammates or not, hate to see uniforms get ripped off. None of us want that so we do our best to make sure that is prevented."

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Brittany wants the fans of the Charm to know that while the team had a rough first season, they are already planning on doing better in 2011.

"Games start in August. Our schedule comes out mid-march and you can find it on www.lflus.com. The Charm is going to be a championship quality team. We have some of the best players and definitely one of the top coaching/training staffs in the league. We are probably the only team that has started training already. Last year we won one of four games and although that does not sound great, we were an expansion team in the league. For any expansion team to win a game in the LFL is a huge feat. The LFL is all about experience because as females we are not able to get football experience any other way, so basically we get that experience as the season goes on. There is no way to completely prepare for the games until you get a couple under your belt. Now that we have the experience from last year, we are going to be very hard to beat."

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