Sports fans, don’t despair — the lingerie football is heading to town

The sports scene in Seattle is terrible.

The Mariners became the first Major League baseball team to lose 100 games with a payroll over $100 million, the Seahawks are 1-3 and lost by 36 points to the New York Giants last weekend, and the Washington Huskies failed to make the NCAA Tournament in basketball and have the longest losing streak in college football.

And don’t even get me started about the former NBA franchise that called KeyArena home.

The horrid Seattle teams are even getting noticed outside of the Puget Sound area. The Sporting News recently ranked the city 32nd on its annual list of the 400 best sports cities in the nation.

That might not sound so bad, except that last year Seattle was 28th and in 2006, the city was 15th.

Places like San Jose, Morgantown, W.V., Cincinnati, Knoxville, Tenn., and Austin, Tex., are higher on this year’s list.

And this year’s slip in the Sporting News’ rankings by the city of Seattle is not all Clay Bennett’s fault. It didn’t even reflect the Sonics’ leaving town. Next year’s ranking will be even lower.

The Sporting News’ list features 400 cities and towns in the United States and Canada, ranked based on a variety of factors, including each city’s number of teams and their regular-season win-loss records, playoff berths, bowl appearances and tournament bids, championships, fan fervor and marquee appeal of athletes.

“Seattle has a vibrant sports scene, even if the teams have struggled at times over the past 12 months. The Seahawks will always have their fans, as will the Mariners,” said Sporting News Chief of Correspondents Bob Hille. “Add in the University of Washington, and you’ve got a little something for every sports fan. We aren’t even going to talk about the Sonics.”

The Sporting News has been putting out its annual city rankings since 1993.

But there is hope for a spike in next year’s rankings, thanks to the Seattle Mist. Never heard of them? Me neither, until a little thing called the Internet.

The Seattle Mist will start playing as an expansion team in the Lingerie Football League next fall. The Mist will join teams like the New England Euphoria, Atlanta Steam, Chicago Bliss, San Diego Seduction, Miami Caliente, Dallas Desire, Tampa Breeze, Los Angeles Temptation and Phoenix Scorch.

What could be better than women playing tackle football in their underwear? My answer would be watching the Seattle SuperSonics play basketball inside KeyArena. But that is another story.

“What we’re looking for, the obvious is you have to be attractive,” said Kyle Bolin, a spokesman for the Lingerie Football League. “But they’ll be tested for athleticism.”

The idea for the Lingerie Football League was born in 2004 when the inaugural Lingerie Bowl was played as a pay-per-view event at halftime of the Super Bowl. That just happened to be the same year that Janet Jackson had her “wardrobe malfunction.”

Since 2004, the Lingerie Bowl has been a halftime fixture at the Super Bowl and has been viewed by millions. It’s even been sponsored by companies like Dodge, Miller Brewing and Universal Pictures.

The new Lingerie Football League is slated for kickoff in September 2009 with women playing full-contact, tackle football. The players will obviously wear lingerie underneath their shoulder pads, helmets and knee pads.

The Seattle Mist is currently looking for players, along with owners, a place to play, coaches and just about everything else associated with a football franchise.

Oh, in case you were wondering, there will also be cheerleaders, according to league organizers. But with the players wearing lingerie, there’s no telling what the cheerleaders will be wearing.

So forget about the Seahawks, Huskies, Sonics and Mariners, disgruntled Seattle sports fan. You can now root for the hometown Seattle Mist.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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