On Thursday, we drew our first crowd. Since two open try-outs in March and April, Vancouver's Lingerie Football League has practised weekly at an East Side field. Yes, I'm playing.
Last week we scrimmaged for the first time, and passers-by stopped to watch. We played touch although this will be a full-contact, tackle football league. We did not wear shoulder pads or helmets and dressed in shorts, T-shirts, ubiquitous lululemon and other typical gym gear. I'm finally in a tank top and shorts, though I often still wear a long-sleeved shirt. A player I respect described me as "wholesome." The flattery was kind although the description is far from accurate. But more on that another time.
I played corner on defence and linebacker twice. I threw myself at the opposing quarterback for a sack but hit her inside, not outside, hip and she darted past with the ball. I stopped a running back for a loss of yards. A receiver beat me for a touchdown. Gotta learn to turn my head when she does and look for the ball only then.
My teammates were brilliant: talented and clever and tough. (Each of us is still trying out so we're not actually teammates but technically competitors.) There's nothing like lining up against your would-be teammate; you see how she can intimidate and imagine how she and each of us together will destroy the competition.
On offence, I played inside or outside receiver and lined up twice beside the centre. I hutted the ball once for the first time ever. Laces where? Awkward.
I can be aggressive and foulmouthed, no doubt. This trait is great for trash talking at the line of scrimmage. But I didn't expect to completely abandon myself to the competitive impulse of getting where I needed to be. I kept my mouth shut. This way it was easier to keep focused. I stared blankly at the shoulders, then the hips of the defender across from me and listened to the quarterback call her play. Then I launched, throwing my opponent behind me and in one case dropping her to the ground.
With a foot stomp and his arms flying skyward like an exploding bomb, B.C. Angels coach Kevin Snell likes to put it this way: "I blew her up." At least it felt that way. Now, to not drop that pass.