You say you don't believe that the quality of football is any good and the Lingerie Football League is just selling sex? The you've just pissed of the Baltimore harm's emotional leader, Tiana Michaels, in a big, big way. Tiana has a message for the doubters:
"STOP WITH THE BS!!!" People who are quick to judge the LFL and say it is selling sex, obviously have never seen a game. Last year, I asked someone this question,"If they were to take the word "Lingerie" out of the name, and replace it with "Ladies", BUT they still wore the same uniform, would you still think they were selling sex?" They said, "No." Really?? So, because of one word people pass judgement.. so to those people I say, "Come out and watch a game, watch all the hard work the girls do 4-5 times a week, and then tell me this league is selling sex. If you still think they are selling sex, put a helmet on and line up against me. Guarantee I will change your mind...."
Michaels saw a story on TV and was disappointed because the tryouts had already begun. But then she saw a notice for a second tryout and was determined to make the team. She played volleyball and ran track in high school and surprisingly wasn't nervous when she first stepped out onto the arena field in her first game until she realized the person on the other side of the line of scrimmage was "ready to cause me some SERIOUS bodily harm" and thus, "the switch in my head was turned "ON" and has stayed on from that point forward."
Just like in the NFL, the LFL players seem to wake up the day after the game bruised and sore, noting that some of the girls feel "like they have been hit by a truck."Regarding the hitting and the equipment the players wear, she responded:
"The hitting is HARD!!! You have girls running at each other, full speed and throwing all their body weight into one another. The equipment protects what it needs to, however, if it is not secured properly, it could lead to injuries...serious ones. You can't help some of the inevitable injuries that happen in football though. No matter how much equipment you have on, it's a full contact sport. Last year, I played primarily on defense, so I did most of the hitting."
Charm head coach Rick Reeder sees Michaels as the veteran leader on the team. When asked about his expectations of her helping take the team from a first year expansion team in 2010 to a playoff contender in 2011, he said:
"She is straight to the point and tough - she is asked to be that way with everyone this season and set everyone straight - her game day presence is what I want out of everyone on the team - she is the type of player I want running this team inside the locker room - if I could get everyone on the same page as her then we will be unstoppable!"
That type of praise is what motivates Tiana to succeed and it was not an accident that she came by her leadership abilities:
"I learned a lot about leadership from my mother. She was in the Army. I watched her and how she handled her soldiers. I learned at young age, in order to be a good leader, you must know how to follow. When I say follow, I mean "learn" from others. I have a degree in management, and have to incorporate being a leader on a daily basis when it comes to managing people, equipment, and money in order to get the job done."
Tiana works out hard on a daily basis and is careful, but not obsessed with what she eats in her diet. She grew up as an "Army brat" and has lived all over the world. While she has no other siblings, her time is consumed by her two dogs and he day job, which is being a Security Analyst, discovering computer network vulnerabilities. In her own words:
"I love playing video games, and shopping. I'm a modest, simple girl who has a laid back, but fun personality."
In closing, Tiana Michaels has high expectations, not only for herself, but for her teammates and the Charm in 2011:
"I want to continue to grow and expand my knowledge of football this year. I want to hit harder, run faster, and be 10 times stronger than I was last year. I am going to push myself hard this year and not accept anything other than winning this year. I expect the Charm to move and win as a cohesive unit this year. We have to remember the fundamentals of football and how to keep a level head when we are playing. The Charm has a year under their belt, and knows what to expect. As long as we stay focused, and remain confident in our abilities we will do well. EYE ON THE PRIZE!!"
Good luck Tiana in the 2011 LFL season and,...GO BALTIMORE CHARM!!!