The first thing one notices about the Lingerie Bowl are the uniforms. Tiny halter bra, tiny hot pants, hockey helmet, athletic shoes. OK, so you don't notice the hockey helmets and athletic shoes.
It doesn't take the red-blooded American male and the odd Toronto Argonauts supporter long to notice the cleavage. Not as impressive as that of Green Bay Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji, mind you, but impressive in a Lace, American Gladiators kind of way.
When the game starts, the first thing the red-blooded American male football fan notices is these saucy little tykes, or whatever emcee Robin Leach called them at the news conference, are pretty good football players.
If you were in the crowd of around 3,000 that watched the Los Angeles Temptation edge the Philadelphia Passion 26-25 in Lingerie Bowl VIII and were expecting a table dance to break out, or maybe multiple wardrobe malfunctions, you probably left the Thomas & Mack Center disappointed.
But you might have enjoyed the football that coincided with halftime of Super Bowl XLV.
The Temptation's Zipphora Chase enjoyed the football.
The former California State Dominguez Hills basketball player -- most lingerie football players aspire to be professional athletes, not strippers -- stands 5 feet 11 inches, weighs 170 pounds and doesn't possess an ounce of body fat, near as I can tell. She's a guard/wide receiver, a combination perhaps not seen since Refrigerator Perry caught a touchdown pass for the Super Bowl Bears in 1985. Only she jiggles a lot less when she goes in motion.
Chase wasn't named the game's Most Valuable Player -- the honor went to Ashley Salerno, the Los Angeles quarterback -- proving the "official" Lingerie Bowl media might have been watching for a wardrobe malfunction when it should have been watching the game.
She's 27, and because Lingerie players cannot exist on a percentage of the gate receipts, she, like most of her teammates, has a real job -- she's an interior decorator at Blinds 2000 and ABC Interior Design "in Los Angeles, Compton and y'all have one here in Vegas, also." Commercials abound at the Lingerie Bowl, too.
The blocking was crisp; the tackling fierce. There was a flea-flicker and two double reverses. Salerno threw a tight spiral from one end of the T&M to the other that a saucy little tyke named Melissa Marguiles hauled in over her shoulder in full stride for a touchdown.
A guy dressed in a chicken suit displaying "D-fence" placards and Sean Salisbury, the former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst, gave the Lingerie Bowl an air of authenticity. Salisbury started his broadcast career on the Comedy Central show "Battlebots." So, as his Wikipedia entry states, becoming a lingerie football play-by-play announcer "is considered a step forward in his career."
But to the players, this is serious stuff.
After Zipphora Chase pulled on a black T-shirt proclaiming the Los Angeles Temptation your 2011 Lingerie Bowl champions (thereby eliminating the last flicker of hope for a wardrobe malfunction), Christy Bell, the Philadelphia quarterback -- the losing quarterback -- had wandered over near the forklifts in the bowels of the arena.
She sat down, put her head in her hands and began to cry.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0352.