Ex-Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien cheers daughter’s efforts to quarterback Kent’s Lingerie Football League team

Count Mark Rypien, the former NFL and Washington State University quarterback, as a big fan of the women's Lingerie Football League and the Seattle Mist.

Seattle Mist quarterback Angela Rypien prepares to take a snap from center Chelsie Jorgensen at a Lingerie Football League minicamp Tuesday at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

Seattle Mist quarterback Angela Rypien prepares to take a snap from center Chelsie Jorgensen at a Lingerie Football League minicamp Tuesday at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

Count Mark Rypien, the former NFL and Washington State University quarterback, as a big fan of the women’s Lingerie Football League and the Seattle Mist.

Rypien showed up at the ShoWare Center in Kent earlier this week from his Spokane home to watch his daughter, Angela Rypien, quarterback the Mist during a four-day spring minicamp.

People have asked Rypien if he thinks the lingerie league degrades women.

“Hell no,” he said during an interview Tuesday as his daughter tossed passes at the ShoWare Center. “If a girl wants to play football and loves football it’s degrading? No, I’m actually proud and very excited and eager to see where this goes if it goes anywhere, who knows.

“She might not ever play a game or she might play five years, have a great time and meet a lot of great people and get a lot of great networking that comes from this.”

Angela, 20, is a top contender to quarterback the Mist during the 2011-12 season that opens Sept. 30 at the Green Bay Chill. Seattle plays home games Nov. 4 against the Las Vegas Sun and Jan. 6 against the Minnesota Valkyrie.

Angela plans to wear No. 11 just like her father. Rypien, 48, was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XXVI in 1992 when he led the Washington Redskins over the Buffalo Bills 37-24.

“I’m very excited about that,” said Mark, a sixth-round draft pick in 1986 of the Redskins who wears rings from Super Bowl XXVI and XXII. “She can take this and her own legacy can be from here on. She was proud of what I did, but she was so young she couldn’t quite understand until she talks to people and she watches some of the old videos.”

Just 2 when her father was the Super Bowl MVP, Angela still knows the legacy of the Rypien name, especially in Washington, D.C.

“With the background of my dad, I have the whole D.C. area backing me,” Angela said during a practice break. “All the Redskins’ fans are backing me. I’ve been getting a lot of fans reaching out over Facebook or Twitter. They are so supportive of carrying my dad’s name on and being part of the extended family. It makes you feel better.”

Angela wants to make the Rypien name well-known in the Lingerie Football League.

“I get the comment that you have some big shoes to fill so I’m going to try to live up to that as much as possible,” Angela said. “I was younger when he played so I didn’t get to see a whole lot, but as much as I did see it’s been a huge positive thing in my family and for a lot of other people so for me to carry that out and try my hardest will be fun. A lot of people have said it’s going to be a lot of fun to see another Rypien play.”

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.

The players wear helmets with clear face shields, shoulder pads, sports bras, panties, elbow and knee pads.

“I’ve watched games on TV,” Mark said. “I think once people get past the beauty of it and come here and have a beer and see a bunch of pretty gals in lingerie, almost basically with pads on, once you get past that, you see the X’s and O’s and players making things happen and think ‘they’re organized and actually practice once or twice.’ Little do they know the players do minicamps and all sorts of things.”

Angela discovered the sport watching television at home with her dad last fall in Spokane.

I kind of looked at my dad and he looked at me and we thought this is perfect,” Angela said.

With lingerie in the name of the league, Angela has heard a few criticisms.

“It’s hard having that name because people second guess it, but when they do check it out, it completely changes their mind because we are out here playing real football,” Angela said.

After graduating in 2008 from Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Angela went to cosmetology school in Los Angeles. She will begin work soon as a hairstylist in Bellevue. She recently moved with Malayah, her 2-year-old daughter, from Spokane to Seattle to live with Angela’s sister.

“I was brought up in football so I’ve always loved the game,” the nearly 6-foot Angela said. “This gives me an opportunity to play.”

It’s not quite the same as throwing the football around in the field with her father or friends.

“She always threw a good ball,” Mark said. “There was no doubt she could throw. As far as reading defenses and the whole gamut, she was like ‘What you have to do that?'”

Mark tried to break the game down for his daughter by sharing what Redskins coach Joe Gibbs told him.

“Joe Gibbs had the greatest comment ever, ‘Just throw it to the guys in our color of uniforms and you’ll be fine,'” Mark said. “I tell her the same thing.”

After watching a few practices, Mark has a pretty good scouting report on his daughter.

“She throws a better spiral than I do, that’s kind of alarming,” Mark said. “But I told her it’s not about how pretty the ball looks but getting it to your player.”

Angela hopes she can complete a few of the deep passes that helped bring success to her father.

“Because of my dad, my deep ball is pretty good, pretty on point,” Angela said.

If it indeed turns out to be like father, like daughter, Mark plans to be in Kent to see it.

“Absolutely,” Mark said. “We’ll go to both games here.”


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