Kent's Seattle Mist open Lingerie Football League season Sept. 30 at Green Bay Chill | Slide Show
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
September 28, 2011 · Updated 12:10 PM
Live television coverage, betting lines, fantasy teams and even a team in Green Bay are part of the changes this season for the women's Lingerie Football League that includes the Kent-based Seattle Mist.
The Mist open the 2011-12 season on Friday night, Sept. 30 against the Green Bay Chill at the Resch Center. The game will be televised at 10 p.m. on MTV2. The network showed game highlights last year on a regular Friday night show. This year MTV2 televises the entire game, including live coverage on the East Coast.
"We should go out there and just demolish them," said Mist receiver/safety Jessica Hopkins prior to a recent practice at Sacajawea Middle School in Federal Way. "There's no excuse. We've had eight or nine months out here preparing."
Seattle finished 0-3 last year and had a 3-1 record in 2009. The Mist expect to do much better this season and maybe even contend for one of two playoff berths in the six-team Western Conference.
"Last year we only had about two weeks with pads and didn't have much time with the very first game in the league," said Hopkins, in her second year with the team. "This year we're in week six so we've had plenty of time to prepare. We're going to go out there and hopefully run up the score pretty high."
Oddsmakers at MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas have made the Mist a 6.5 point favorite over the Chill in the first year betting lines have been released for the games. Green Bay lost its opener 28-25 to the Minnesota Valkyrie.
Fans also can pick players for their own fantasy league teams.
"It encourages fans to get to know the players and follow the teams," said Hopkins, a personal trainer in Bellevue. "I should probably send out an email (to my friends) and say 'hey, get me on your team.'"
Seattle plays home games Nov. 4 against the Las Vegas Sin and Jan. 6 against the Minnesota Valkyrie. The Mist games are at the ShoWare Center, now in its third year as home of the Lingerie Football League team.
The 12-team league features scantily clad women playing seven-on-seven tackle football on a 50-yard field. They play 17-minute halves. Each offense features a quarterback, center, two running backs and three receivers. There is no punting or field goals. Teams must throw at least two passes every four downs.
The players wear helmets with clear face shields, shoulder pads, sports bras, tight shorts, elbow and knee pads.
Seattle's starting quarterback is expected to be rookie Angela Rypien. She is the daughter of Mark Rypien, the former NFL and Washington State University quarterback who led the Redskins to the Super Bowl title in 1992. Mark Rypien will attend the game in Green Bay, his daughter said.
"I am more than excited," Angela Rypien said about playing in her first game. "This is something I've been practicing for about a year now. We're excited to win a game to start it off and win another after that and another one after that."
Rypien, who works as a hairstylist in Seattle, looks forward to being on MTV2.
"I'm blasting it on Twitter and Facebook and telling everybody about it," she said. "It'll be pretty interesting. It'll be my first game so there's definitely a lot of pressure, but I do well under pressure."
Seattle coach Chris Michaelson said Rypien and Laurel Creel, who started last year after an injury to quarterback Natasha Lindsey, were each competing for the starting quarterback spot. But all the hype on the Lingerie Football League website lists Rypien, Hopkins and running back Kam Warner as players to watch.
Creel said she and Rypien are each ready to lead the team. Creel added the Mist certainly has a different look than last year.
"We're kind of smaller but a lot more athletic and have a lot more speed," Creel said. "We have a lot of rookies this year compared to last year so getting the first hits out of the way will be a lot of fun for them."
Lashaunda Fowler, a former track and field and basketball star in the 1990s at Foster High School in Tukwila, is one of the many rookies. Fowler, who moved to SeaTac from California four months ago, will play on the offensive and defensive line.
"There's no compensation but it's another opportunity to be competitive and get out here with some great athletes," said Fowler, who still holds Class 1A state meet records in the 100, 200 and 400 meters that she set in 1996. "It's just a lot of fun."
Players are not paid, but the league covers all of the traveling costs.
"They pay for travel and board and staying there," Rypien said about the Green Bay trip. "It'll be nice to see where it goes (with pay) in the future. As of right now, we all do it for fun, to meet other people, get back in shape and be part of something. I love it."
Fowler added they are ready to tackle the Green Bay Chill.
"We're ready to get out there and beat up some different girls," Fowler said. "We're tired of beating up on each other."Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.