SarahJane Thompson, at left, and Lindsay Burnham line up during drills as the Omaha Heart practice at Millard South High School's Buell Stadium on Thursday, April 4, 2013. The women wear youth shoulder pads during practice but have much flimsier shoulder pads in games. "Down the body, we are extremely exposed. We are still 100 percent tackling. We’re taking hits, we’re delivering hits, but we don’t have the luxury of having pads," defensive player Brittany Benson said.
The Lingerie Football League (now the Legends Football League) players say that they are athletes first. The lingerie is, in their minds, an unfortunate necessity. Many admitted that sex appeal was the reason fans attended the game, but talk to any woman who’s played, and you’ll learn that it’s no powder puff or flag football.
The players dedicate exhaustive effort, months of their time and thousands of dollars to a sport with little reward, to a league that takes more than it gives. Many players hope that one day the league won’t be about the sex appeal but instead a showcase for female athleticism.
“People can get the impression it’s just a bunch of bimbos out here,” Omaha Heart quarterback Linsey Noble said. “Everyone has their own story. You can’t really judge people by the cover, by the book or the lingerie.”
Chicago Freelance Photographer | Alyssa Schukar | Photojournalist