In the United States, the Indoor Football League, formed in 2009, unites more than 65 million fans. It should be exported to Europe.
By Antoine Grenabin
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The media is already calling it “the most emotional league in the world”. A way to reconcile sports fans with American football is considered slow and invisible on our side of the Atlantic. Codename: LFL, Understand the Undertaker Football League. Or how about staging athletic women who undress but record others with the same rage? Touch downEquivalent to rugby effort.
The idea was born in 2009, after a show that inspired the envy of millions of American viewers. At halftime of the Super Bowl, the final game of the American Football Championship (NFL), the strongest sports audience of the year across the Atlantic, an exhibition match between women was hailed by many spectators.
The success of the moment pushes American impresario Mitch Mortaza to create a league specifically dedicated to the sport. Ten teams are competing for the title for the first season in 2009, with twelve teams for the new season starting in early September. Teams with the most catchy names: from the defending champions, the Los Angeles Temptations, to the Baltimore Charm, via the Philadelphia Passion. Other American cities have made no secret of their interest in forming a team and joining the LFL.
“The Fastest Growing Sport in America”
As the success is undeniable, the viewership continues to grow, fueled by video clips and photos of players revealing their bodies. Official clips talk about the “fastest growing sport in America,” with 65 million fans already interested in the Undertaker Football League. Beautiful, athletic, the players guarantee a real show in the rooms where the matches are played, with a level of aggression close to that offered by their male counterparts. Also, for the integrity of the league – divided into two conferences (East and West) like all American championships – teams are often coached by former NFL Men’s American Football League.
However, since its creation, the championship has not been immune to criticism, and some athletes and journalists have been quick to condemn the decline in women’s appearances. Some players have expressed a desire to play “fully clothed” as men wear. But for LFL boss Mitch Mortaza, the financial fallout provided by meetings in such a garb is encouraging him not to change the rules.
The success of this championship, often described as “sensual” or “healthy” by its enthusiasts, continues to be followed even abroad. Exhibition matches have already been held in Mexico and last June in Australia. Also, the six-team championship has been underway since last week in Canada. In 2014, the LFL surge should land in Europe with teams in Barcelona, Dublin, Manchester and even Frankfurt, the mecca of American football in Europe. A way, no doubt, to reconcile the Europeans with American football, in a slightly skewed – in bad taste? – and especially lightly dressed.