Players focus on the sport, not their gear

Members of the BC Angels kick off the inaugural Canadian season of the Lingerie Football League on Saturday, Aug. 25 in Abbotsford

The Abbotsford-based B.C. Angels play their first game of the Lingerie Football League's inaugural Canadian season on Saturday

The Abbotsford-based B.C. Angels play their first game of the Lingerie Football League's inaugural Canadian season on Saturday

The Lingerie Football League kicks off its inaugural Canadian league season on Saturday when the BC Angels take to the field at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

They’ll host the Regina Rage at 8 p.m.

In its first season, LFL Canada will feature four teams – the Angels, Saskatoon Sirens, Regina Rage and Toronto Triumph.

Each team will play four games (two home and two away) and there will be a one-game championship final.

The Angels’ second home game is Sept. 29 against Toronto.

With only two days to go before kickoff, the players are getting a little anxious.

“Oh no, we’re not excited at all,” joked a pumped-up Jeanette Jackson.

A Port Moody resident, Jackson plays the tight end position, and is also on the defensive line for the Angels.

“It’s going to be a great ride. We are up to the challenge.”

An avid flag football player for the past three years, Jackson knew she had to try out for the fledgling league. She said it was an opportunity to play something more “competitive and aggressive.”

While wearing skimpy uniforms on the field has created some controversy, Jackson said for the players and coaches, it’s all about the game.

She said practices consist of conditioning, footwork, basic football skills, running patterns – the same exercises any football squad would do.

“It’s a fast game and everybody has to be focused.”

She said the the sport is hard-hitting, and the uniforms do provide some level of protection.

“I think it’s adequate to the minimum degree, but I think the philosophy on our team is, ‘If you can catch us, then you can tackle us.’ ”

She said the helmets and pads are “pretty good” and players do wear knee and elbow protection.

Jackson is thankful for the support she has received from friends and family since they found out about her venture into the LFL. And the support, she said, is needed because players make a major commitment of time, take days off work, and don’t get paid.

Jackson is an entrepreneur, running a business that supplies fashionable gear for travel.

She plays for more than just the love of the game.

“There is an opportunity to travel and play around the world in LFL bowls, similar to the Rose Bowl.”

She said the ultimate goal is to grow the league to a point where the franchises are sold to private investors, who could then pay and trade players.

“In the States, I think that’s where it’s starting to go.”

As for game night, she said the anticipation is building in the locker room.

Neither team in the opening game has played before, so no scouting reports are available.

She’s expecting a large crowd Saturday and feels it will be a mix of fans, some coming to see the girls, others to watch football.

“Once they see us start playing then I think we will be able to change everyone’s mind.”

As for the swimsuit-style uniforms, Jackson said anyone who watched the beach volleyball competition during the 2012 Olympics saw plenty of scantily clad women.

“It’s really frustrating for us because we actually have more on than they do.”

She said the lingerie aspect helps the league build the brand and fill the stadium.

For more information on the league, visit LFLCanada.com or view the team site at MyBCAngels.com.

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