Note: I wrote this piece in Tampa, February 2009, before broadcasting Super Bowl XL for the BBC. It surprised me that I couldn’t sell it–but maybe I was trying the wrong places–but I posted it on the other blog I’d created, called ...And Over Here which I’d intended to contain sports blogging. I soon came to realise that blogging was an extreme violation of Dr. Johnson’s warning that the man who writes for anything but money is a fool, so I compromised with the Doc and cut my output down to this blog, whose frequency is inversely proportional to the amount of paying work I have. 

I’m posting it here now because the Lingerie Football League was back in the news briefly, and peripherally, in relation to the NFL’s refereeing crisis. Turns out the resume of one of the scab refs included the LFL, where calls are easier and the distractions are easier to cope with. So here it is, again: the sad story of the under-exposure of Lingerie Bowl VI. A couple of twitter followers asked to see it again, so any excuse….

The funniest, I mean saddest, news of Super Bowl week in Tampa was the shocker that Lingerie Bowl VI had to be cancelled, due to a dispute with the game’s site, a Florida, uh, nudist colony.
If I were Peter King I would definitely write ‘only in America!’, except I’m not sure the XL SI pundit has ever used the phrase ironically.

The game was supposed to take place at the Caliente nudiest resort in Land O Lakes, Florida…no relation to the sticks of Land O Lakes butter we grew up with, and which Marlon Brando could probably have thought of at least some uses for. But even Marlon might have been perplexed by the ‘controversy’ which caused the cancellation. Who would’ve thought lingerie would pose nudists a problem?

I say ‘nudist resort’, but being this is America, where stewardesses are flight attendants and the blind are sight impared, Caliente is actually billed as a ‘Luxury Clothing-Optional Resort’. And for them, gridiron gladiators in their underwear posed no problem. According to Caliente (which, after all, is Spanish for ‘hot’) spokes-nudist and former nude model Angye (yes, with a ‘y’) Fox (pictured left, and known to her friends as,of course, ‘Foxy’) ‘we ran into conflicts with the Lingerie Football League wanting more areas of our resort restricted to clothing- required than we could accommodate.’

RESTRICTED TO CLOTHING-REQUIRED? What is this, the NFL? Yes folks, only in America could an event which parades women in little clothing (apart from football pads) playing a violent game for the benefit of ogling viewers of all sexes, be offended by a little nudity. Here’s Lingerie Football League spokesman Stephon McMillen ‘The league will not place our fans, players, staff nor partners in a less-than-comfortable environment that would ultimately jeopardize the mainstream perception and reputation of the brand that so many have worked diligently over these past five years to build.’

Let me stop laughing. Does anyone in the mainstream actually perceive of the LFL (pronounced ‘laffle’) as anything but a soft-core sleazy exploitation device? And its reputation? McMillen sounds suspiciously like a maiden aunt, or a Catholic schoolgirl on a first date. What will the boys at high school think?

Somehow, the Super Bowl managed to survive without LB VI. Since in America any publicity is good publicity, hopefully, people are already flocking to Caliente Luxury Clothing-Optional resort. Few of them would be the loyal followers of the LFF. When the Super Bowl reaches halftime, they will simply switch over to Bud Bowl, watch beer bottles battle, and sent out for another pizza. Angye will be disppointed.