Under the Friday night lights of the Lingerie Football League, Nikki Johnson was exposed.
No, the quarterback of the Las Vegas Sin did not have her bikini ripped off while scrambling to avoid a rushing defensive line-woman. Johnson was just revealed to be a much better player than expected.
A 2009 graduate of Silverado High School, Johnson passed for three touchdowns in the Sin’s season-opening 32-20 win over the Chicago Bliss. One of the corny MTV2 analysts called it a “shocker in Chicago,” but Jay Rood was surprised, too.
Rood, the MGM Resorts sports book director, posted Las Vegas as a 7½-point underdog. He also put 30-1 odds on the Sin, an expansion team, to win the Lingerie Bowl. Chicago was posted at 4-1.
Making betting lines on LFL games is no easy task. The league gets little media exposure. But Rood follows what he can, gathers information from so-called experts and hangs numbers.
“I’ve watched a little game film on some of these teams,” Rood said. “I think a lot of people’s perceptions would be it’s some floozies running around tossing a Nerf football. But when you watch it, they pound each other, and it’s entertaining. They do hit hard.
“It’s something a little different. It’s actually fun, and it’s an interesting product. It’s bigger than the WNBA right now.”
Rood said MGM’s books took about $3,500 on the Sin-Bliss game, including a losing $770 wager on Chicago.
Las Vegas never will get an NFL franchise, but its LFL team is a winner, and it’s a good bet Johnson is tougher than Jay Cutler.
■ FOOT IN MOUTH — It should come as no surprise that Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is as outspoken as his twin, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.
The Cowboys open the season against the Jets on Sunday night, so, of course, Rob was asked about his brother’s alleged foot fetish, and he all but confirmed it.
“Believe me, everybody has whatever screwed-up thing going on. Everybody has a life off the field,” Rob Ryan told the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram. “He is a little freaky, I guess. I like everything about my wife. She’s got great feet, too.”
It sounds like the Ryan brothers are begging for someone to put a foot in their mouths.
■ WHAT’S THE POINT? — After calling for two failed 2-point conversion attempts Saturday in Southern California’s 19-17 victory over Minnesota, Trojans coach Lane Kiffin heard boos from the home crowd and was criticized by Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke.
“I mean, seriously, why not just kick the extra point? The fans were furious, I was curious,” Plaschke wrote after questioning the coach.
“I know,” Kiffin said. “I agree.”
The Trojans are 6-for-13 on 2-point conversions in Kiffin’s two seasons, meaning the calls essentially have cost them one point.
So it seems this supposed 2-point conversion controversy is comparable to Kiffin himself: Much ado about nothing.
COMPILED BY MATT YOUMANS
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL