Posted: April 01, 2009

Sports biz: Skin game

Denver Dream is one of 10 franchises enlisted for the Lingerie Football League

Stewart Schley

Attention, stupid people: You’re invited to a football game Sept. 18 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

You’ll love it. The players are all women, and they’re nearly naked.

Seriously. Can you dig it? Women, panties and full-contact football. Hut, hut, hut.

So high-five your buddy and fire up the Camaro and get on out here. It’s $15 a ticket, and the guy who invented it expects the debut game to sell out. (Which would produce about $270,000 in gross revenue before food and beverage. Hubba hubba.)

Oh, and the team is called the Denver Dream. Get it? Like, wow, I had a dream there was a football game, but instead of the players being supremely skilled athletes who have religiously perfected blocking techniques since they were 9 years old, they’re women wearing bras and tight little panties and it’s OK if they occasionally drop a gimme screen pass because, umm, they’re wearing bras and panties. And there was beer, too, in the dream! And video games outside! And gosh!

The Denver Dream is one of 10 franchises enlisted for the nascent (I swear I am not making this up) Lingerie Football League, an offshoot of a cable TV pay-per-view stunt televised as an entertainment alternative coinciding with halftime of the NFL’s Super Bowl. Inexplicably, somebody at Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which built Dicks Sporting Goods Park and ringed its exterior grounds with dozens of youth soccer fields, decided a decent revenue guarantee and the chance to ring up some beer commissions was worth the minor discomfort of knowing that a thinly veiled peep show would be the main attraction in KSE’s lovely stadium for a couple of nights this fall. 

But there’s a bright side. Rarely have we had a chance, as a metropolitan-area populace, to demonstrate our stupidity on a large scale at a single moment in time. I don’t think we should blow it. Forget morality. Organizing a group of near-naked amateurs to run through a short list of plays on a football field is not a bad idea just because it objectifies women. As a society, we’ve already established a solid and profitable record there. Young girls have been taking off their clothes and getting paid for it for a long time.

I’m thinking much more practically here. I’m looking out for your best interests as you carefully consider how to spend your entertainment dollar. And the truth is, if you want to watch women strip down to it, there are plenty of venues around town that will satisfy. At least you’ll be watching practiced professionals who know their way around a vertical pole. The football part? You’ll see far better game demonstrated by youth teams in Jeffco.

That’s what makes you a sap if you go. If it’s skin you’re after, your $15 would be better applied in the form of $1 bills quickly engulfed by garter straps. You’ll have closer seats, it never rains, and you won’t have to endure a potentially buzz-killing moment should a nubile running back writhe in pain on a snowy field because she just tore up her ACL. (And poof! went the fantasy.) On the other hand, if you’re there for the football (yeah, right), you’re going to be disappointed after a couple of plays and a punt.

The LFL, smartly, has tucked its brand persona into a tranche populated by wiseacre sports commentators and testosterone. It’s all babes, smooth-talkers and celebrities, and the hope is you’ll be willing to suspend neural activity long enough to buy into the wink-wink silliness of it all. Lingerie!  Girls! Linebacker blitzes!

Ah, but one man’s idea of fun is another man’s path to easy money. The LFL isn’t saying how much it will pay its players, but I’m pretty sure there’s no forceful labor union organized behind the scenes to represent the “talent.” (Although that’s not a bad idea, girls.) If the LFL succeeds, it might just be the most profitable sports league in the country: Low labor costs, relatively high ticket prices, good beer money. And plenty of fans stupid enough to pay for it. 

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Stewart Schley writes about sports, media and technology from Denver. Read this and Schley’s past columns on the Web at cobizmag.com and email him at stewart@stewartschley.com

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