By Cpl. Thomas A. Bricker
ONTARIO, Calif.- When "the boys" get together to watch "the game," for Sunday night football, they expect to see large male athletes kicking the field goal as time expires to send the game into overtime.
When the members of the Single Marine Program aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow attended the Lingerie Football League Eastern and Western Conference Championships held at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., Jan. 29, they were introduced to a whole new view of how the popular full-contact sport is played.
The LFL started as a pay-per-view event during halftime of the National Football League’s Super Bowl and has developed into an all-female, indoor, tackle, traveling football league with 12 teams. The seven-on-seven games are played with 17-minute halves.
The professionalism displayed by the players impressed several members of the SMP.
The games caught some Marines off guard when they witnessed the reality of the LFL.
“I had an idea of what to expect but I had no clue it was going to be what I actually saw,” said Lance Cpl. Aaron Thornton, a calibrations technician with Fleet Support Division aboard the base, talking about the intensity of the athletes playing in the games. “It’s like they’re there to look good for the crowd but at the same time want to just play good football,” he added.
Others with the SMP weren’t too surprised with the ladies’ smash-mouth tactics. Cpl. Michael Pressler, an artillery mechanic with FSD is a regular follower of the LFL.
“It’s fun to see these girls play tackle football. Some might think they’re just exploiting the women who play, but I think it’s just a bunch of female athletes who love to compete,” he explained. “All in all, I think it’s a great time to watch these games.”
The games featured the two best teams from each coast in the U.S. For the West Coast, the defending champs, the Los Angeles Temptation beating out the Las Vegas Sin for their conference title while the Philadelphia Passion ousted the Tampa Bay Breeze. This year's Lingerie Bowl is set to be a rematch of last year’s game between the two teams. The league was created because of its vast appeal to both sports fanatics and lingerie aficionados.
“We try to get events for the single Marines that will get their participation with the program,” said A.J. Jacobs, the SMP coordinator on base. “We want to get as many active with the SMP as possible but to have a good time while doing it.”
Jacobs explains that the SMP is set in place to improve the quality of life of the bachelor Marines. The SMP allows several outlets for the Marines to have fun while building camaraderie simultaneously.
Overall, the event garnered positive reactions from the SMP attendees and posed a possible revisit in years to come.
“I was really glad to see them enjoy the games as much as they did,” Jacobs said of the Marines attending the games. “If we get this reaction from them in possible future visits to the league, we may even make them a regular visit,” Jacobs concluded.