Almost two years ago we got the opportunity to be the official blog of the Minnesota Valkyrie LFL team. We jumped at the opportunity and we really enjoyed our time covering the team and interacting with the league. It's a league very much in it's infancy and with that there were some bumps in the road that made life...interesting...in the end though, the overall experience was very beneficial. Ken and I have talked about it, and with some life changes that are coming up for the both of us that coincide with the beginning of the second season of Valkyrie football, we had to be honest with ourselves and admit our ability to cover the team at the level it deserves would not be possible.
Today we let the league editor know that we wouldn't be continuing our coverage of the team, at least as the LFL Minnesota Valkyrie writers. We will still attempt to stay in touch with the team, but at a less involved level.
We as a blog heard it from people. "Oh boy, bet you guys like covering that huh...with the lingerie and all?" "Do they even play football or do they just pose and stuff?" Obviously the jokes got a lot more vulgar then that, but I don't feel it necessary to go there. The point is this league is fighting an uphill battle for legitimacy, and much of it some would say is self inflicted just by the name of the league.
Lingerie does allow for your mind to instantly label the league as a joke, but you have to ask yourself the question: Could a women's football league in year one be playing in the Target Center without lingerie in the name? If you answered no, then is it the league's fault for reacting to the buying public? Or is it the buying public's wants that maybe need adjusting? That is if you feel there needs to be an adjustment made at all by anyone. It's like blaming Phillip Morris for making so many cigarettes. it isn't their fault, there is a demand for them so they produce them.
There is a demand for women in skimpy clothing playing football, there is a much lesser demand currently for women just playing football. This league at least gives them the opportunity to prove that skimpy outfits or not, they can play an entertaining brand of football. An opportunity that wasn't there before, at least on this size of stage. They proved it to us and we think they can prove it to you as well if given the chance.
The league definitely gets negative press. If you've followed the league at all, you already know this and even if you don't follow the league you've likely heard some of the negativity and may hold some of that negativity against the league yourself. I ask of you, the negative Nelly out there, to give the league a shot. Not just by watching it on TV, but by going to a game and then after the game going to the meet and greet with the players. You'll first see the game to be entertaining and of a quality you likely didn't expect. Then at the meet and greet you'll find the players to be smart and well spoken. I think that experience alone will change your feelings on the league.
Looking back at our time with the LFL I think the thing that will stick with us the most is how impressed we were with the players of the Valkyrie and the coaching staff of Tony Nguyen and Everett Lindsay. Their dedication to the team was very impressive and made us really see that this league that so many joke about, wasn't being taken lightly by this team. Tony and Everett are not only dedicated and skilled coaches, but great people as well, had we covered the Valks this year, it would have been tough to cover the team without those two coaching the squad.
The players on the team were amazing people. That shouldn't have come as a shock to us, but rightly or wrongly we all came in with the same stereotype in our mind of what the ladies might be like as discussed earlier, they blew that stereotype out of the water. These were great people, ladies who had athletics in their backgrounds, college athletics many of them, that just wanted to find an outlet for their competitiveness after other opportunities disappeared. As people, they were all great, very open to speak with us and really eager to get the word out on their team that they were very proud of.
Thank you LFL, the MinnestoaValkyrie, Valk players, coaches and all who helped us along the way in covering the Minnesota Valkyrie. We enjoyed the experience, and if not for responsibilities elsewhere we would have hopefully continued our relationship. We wish the league continued success and we'll be rooting for the Valks to bring home a LFL championship!