Lingerie Football League: Interview With Dallas Desire WR/CB Amber Ryan
A couple weeks ago, we profiled Amber Ryan as one of our Hot Cowboys Babes. Last year, Amber played wide receiver and cornerback for the Dallas Desire in a league we want to learn A LOT more about–the Lingerie Football League. We spoke with Amber to find out more about her time in the LFL.
Q: What was it like playing in the LFL? Was it as much of a thrill as other sports in which you’ve competed?
A: Playing in the LFL was a great experience. I had seen an advertisement for tryouts on the news and thought, “I have to try out.” I had no idea what to expect going into it thinking, “Okay, its called lingerie football?” I had seen it in the past as the Super Bowl halftime show, but was curious to see how they would develop it into a season.
I grew up with my dad playing sports my entire life. When I was younger, I played football (safety on the boys teams), baseball (pitcher, second baseman and shortstop in the guys league), and basketball. The chance to play a national professional sport that isn’t powder puff seemed like a great opportunity.
Q: How in-depth did your plays get? Did you learn a lot of specific routes/coverages?
A: Our team was very fortunate in having ex-NFL players as the coaches. They looked at us as a reflection of their knowledge so we definitely wanted to make sure we knew what we were doing. We had practices scheduled four times a week for three hours. They definitely were not playing around. We learned a lot of routes (slant, boot, post etc…) and coverages. As far as plays, we had a lot we would learn so we could mix it up, but like most teams we had our favorites.
Q: What was it like getting hit by the bigger girls? Did you ever receive a “knock out” shot?
A: Being a 7-on-7, full-tackle sport with minimal padding, people are bound to get injured. We had ACL tears, teeth knocked out, broken fingers, but that’s also what made learning the game and fundamentals that much more important. Our coaches definitely didn’t want to send us out there not knowing how to hit or fall.
No, no one got a knock out shot on me. Don’t get me wrong though. . .I got knocked around pretty good a few times (laughs). I felt really lucky being on the Desire team because we had a very strong team so having to go against some of the strongest women in the league each day at practice definitely helped come game time.
Q: Did you feel the fans were there to actually see you compete, or just check out the girls? What percentage of fans were guys?
A: Initially I think the sex appeal got them there. Most were just there to check out girls, but I think after watching the game the majority of the response we received was “Wow, you girls can really play.” I would say the majority of our fan base was guys, but there was a good amount of women who would come out and support us or bring their guys.
Q: What was the most physically demanding part of playing in the LFL? The funnest? The worst?
A: The most demanding part of playing in the LFL was the time. I was definitely ready to commit to practices and games, but never imagined four times a week for three hours. It started in April when the first game wasn’t until September.
The funnest part was game day, traveling with the girls to go play, and interacting with the fans. The worst was only getting paid a percentage of ticket sales. When you are asked to invest that much time and only have four games, it isn’t enough.
Q: What things about the LFL do you think should change?
A: I would be happy to hear that the girls are being taken care of better. The league demands time, commitment, and sacrifice. I don’t think the girls’ love of the game should be taken advantage of. Without them out there, there would be no league, no LFL.
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