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The Inside Track | T.J. Simers

He Won't Give Gimmick Game a Dressing Down

June 26, 2003|T.J. Simers

It was one of those dreaded football assignments, you know, make nice with the running back dressed in a hot pink teddy with black lace, the opposing quarterback in baby blue and act like I'm really interested while one by one they tell me their life story: "You know I was a dental hygienist in Brea before I appeared on the July cover of Playboy and I can't wait to have Joe Namath teach me how to throw a football." Blah-blah-blah.

Listen, if you've been in one football locker room with 22 well-conditioned athletes in game-day lingerie with color-coordinated garter belts and knee pads, you've probably spent some time with the Chargers. Just kidding, but the way they play sometimes ...

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HERE'S THE scoop: A very creative entrepreneur had a news conference Wednesday in West Hollywood to unveil plans for "Lingerie Bowl 2004," which will feature 22 pajama-clad young ladies playing full-contact, seven-on-seven tackle football in an Arena Football-like setting Feb. 1 -- the same day as the Super Bowl.

The $19.95 pay-per-view football game is being billed as alternative entertainment for those bored with the Super Bowl's traditional lip-synching halftime show and a chance for women to see a lingerie show. (They tell me that's how you're supposed to explain it to the wife.)

I'm only familiar with pajamas with feet, but it's our job here, of course, in the sports department to cover football stories like these whenever they happen in our town so we can remain sharp for the day the NFL returns. That's why I spent so much time with the Lingerie Bowl 2004 football players.

I began with the quarterbacks, then moved on to No. 6, who, based on my long experience as an NFL beat reporter, looked like a clear-cut No. 1 draft choice.

"Hi, I'm Roban from Kansas City," No. 6 said. "I'm a running back." We talked about some of her moves, but then it struck me the organizers had never introduced any offensive linewomen. I know the wife has some friends ...

"Trust me," said Bonnie-Jill, a former Dallas Cowboy cheerleader. "This is going to be real football." If you can't trust a former Dallas Cheerleader, who can you trust? She flashed a Cowboys' championship ring, said she will be playing receiver and said, if you added an "8" next to the "8" already on her chest, you'd have the next Michael Irvin.

I took a closer look, and I've got to be honest, Michael Irvin never crossed my mind. "A '0' here," she said, "and the next Jerry Rice." I took another look, but still wasn't convinced.

Pretty soon, of course, I was seeing double -- Cassie and Maile, the Moore twins, who have been put on opposing teams. "I'm doing this because it's good exposure," said Maile, and I nodded, because I could also see that.

In fact, I sought out Kylie Bax, who will be working the game as sideline reporter, and asked if she had forgotten her shorts when called on stage by announcer Michael Buffer. "It's a thong," she said, while giving me a dirty look, as if I should have known she was already preparing herself to one day be a broadcaster just like Lisa Guerrero.

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THE PAY-per-view football game will be played live during halftime of the Super Bowl -- my, how far we've come from Bud Bowl I & II. A deal is still in the works to play the game in Las Vegas. They will have a sand-base field covered in foam padding to allow for all-out tackling. They say there will be no nudity.

"That's what they say, but I'm going to be ripping off tops," said model and actress Angie Everhart, and that's what you would expect to hear from the former girlfriend of Rambo. And I think we know who the crowd favorite is going to be.

"We will have guys with towels on the sideline," said Mitch Mortaza, the creator of the event, "and if one of the girls loses her top or bottom in the heat of battle, these guys will be ready to pounce on them and cover them up."

I'm not sure which side of the field I'll be working yet.

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IF MY calculations are correct, at the rate the Angels are losing games and owner Arte Moreno is dropping prices, by the time the Angels are eliminated, the final 30 games probably won't cost fans a dime to attend.

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DA BEARS are going to be known as "Bears football presented by Bank One." The way the Dodgers have been behaving -- Kevin Brown wrecking clubhouses, Eric Gagne being billed $500 by the Giants for beating up a telephone, and Odalis Perez getting tossed from two games in the last 11 days -- it makes you wonder if a deal is in place to have the "Dodgers presented by WWE."

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EVERYONE KEEPS talking about the Dodgers trading for a "bat." It's my understanding that Corky, a.k.a. Sammy Sosa, broke that bat.

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SHAWN GREEN will join Emmitt Smith and skateboarder Tony Hawk -- I guess they ran out of sports figures to honor -- at the 18th annual Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular on Sunday at the Century Plaza Hotel for an awards dinner that will draw more than 1,800. A new E55 AMG, donated by Mercedes-Benz, will be autographed by Green, Smith and the guy nobody knows, and auctioned off that evening. (It would make a wonderful wedding present for a couple I know.)

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TODAY'S LAST word come in e-mail from Mike Fleming, Glenbard East, Class of 1965:

"The Wheaton yearbook was used in 'Body Heat' because the Glenbard East yearbook got soaked in the bathtub scene when Kathleen Turner got excited seeing the picture of me scoring a hoop against Wheaton."

I'm surprised she didn't drown from the shock of seeing such a thing.

T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com.

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