Meet the unpaid, underappreciated, and underprotected stars of underwear football
“For me, the hardest thing was when I put the uniform on,” says Angela Rypien, quarterback for the Baltimore Charm. “It feels like you’re in something you’d wear to the beach. But when you’re at the beach and wearing a swimsuit, you’re not wearing shoes.”
Angela Rypien, 21 years old, 6 feet tall, 150 pounds, wears number 11, just like her father, former Redskins quarterback and Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien—except Rypien Sr. never had to play football in a bra and panties. But that’s the lay of the land for players on the Baltimore Charm, one of 16 North American franchises of the Legends (formerly Lingerie) Football League. The Charm start their 2013 season this Saturday, May 25, against the Jacksonville Breeze. Their home debut, at 1st Mariner Arena, comes two weeks later, against the Philadelphia Passion.
Spectators who come to see Charm games will see football—a 50-yard field, four eight-minute quarters, seven women per side—played by fierce, capable women wearing a bizarre combination of tacky and fearsome: cleavage-baring bras and boy-short panties in “performance material,” topped by football shoulder pads covered by a strange, elastic-hemmed piece of cloth that doesn’t hide the bra, giving the player a constant pulling-up-her-shirt look. It’s equal parts titillating and bizarre, a jarring mashup of the hypermasculine, he-man drag of football attire and “I dreamed I was playing tackle football in my Maidenform bra.”
Continue reading “Charm Offensive” at Baltimore City Paper.
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