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Federal Way pair suits up for Lingerie Football League's Seattle Mist
Nobody is going to mistake Maggie Pearson for Peyton Manning or LaDainian Tomlinson.
Pearson, a 2003 Federal Way High School graduate, goes 5-foot-7, 140 pounds. But just like Manning and Tomlinson, Pearson gets paid to play the game of football. Pearson just wears a lot less clothes than her NFL counterparts.
“This is real football,” Pearson said. “You probably will think this is just girls prancing around in lingerie, until you come out to watch us play. I have brought a bunch of my guy friends to see us and they are amazed. Even my dad was excited about it.”
Pearson is one of two Federal Way School District graduates suiting up for the Seattle Mist. Thomas Jefferson grad Natasha Lindsey is also playing her first year of football and is the team’s starting quarterback.
The Mist play their final regular season game of the year at 9 p.m. Jan. 1 when the Dallas Desire travel to Kent’s ShoWare Center. Seattle has a record of 2-1 with wins over San Diego and Denver. Their only loss came to Los Angeles.
This is the first season of the Lingerie Football League, which is a full-contact league similar to other indoor male football leagues. The main difference is the uniform.
The LFL uniform consists of a helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, garter belts, bras and panties. That’s it.
“We don’t wear much,” Pearson said. “We just played outside in Denver and it was 12 degrees and snowing. We were completely numb. We do have some uniform malfunctions every once in a while.”
The idea for the new league grew out of the popular Lingerie Bowl that has been played the last few years at Super Bowl sites and is shown on pay-per-view television during halftime of the big game.
There are no field goals and no punts in the seven-on-seven LFL, meaning a team must attempt to get a first down on every fourth down. After a touchdown, a team can attempt a one-point conversion from the two yard line, or a two-point conversion from the 5-yard line. The game is played on a 50-yard field.
The standard offensive formation features one quarterback, two running backs, one center and three wide receivers. The standard defensive formation features two defensive linemen, two linebackers, two cornerbacks and one safety.
Pearson admits to not knowing much about the game of football before trying out for the Mist last year.
But Pearson missed the aspect of playing team sports following her days at Federal Way High School, where she lettered in track, gymnastics, soccer and swimming during her tenure. After graduating from Federal Way, she went on to Washington State University.
“I was the social chair in my sorority, but I didn’t do any sports,” she said. “(The Mist) was a good opportunity to get into a team sport again. It was a fun way to get back into it.”
Pearson got started after one of her good friends, who happened to be a promoter for the league, asked her to tryout for the new Seattle franchise.
“I tried out and made the team and have been on it since October,” Pearson said. “He knew I was athletic and lettered in four sports in high school.”
Pearson is the team’s captain and plays on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball for the Mist. She also handles the kicking duties.
“We have two really great coaches,” Pearson said. “They just broke it down from the very beginning. They have taken us from zero to where we are today. I think we have the best talent in the LFL.”
Lindsey was also a star athlete during her days at Thomas Jefferson High School.
Lindsey was an All-South Puget Sound League fastpitch softball pitcher at TJ and went on to play in college at Eastern New Mexico University.
So it makes sense that the 25-year-old is the Mist’s quarterback.
During her two games under center, Lindsey has completed 8 of 25 passes for 60 yards and three touchdowns.
Lindsey also has one rushing touchdown for the Mist.
“We were never friends in high school,” Pearson said. “But this has really brought us together. We are best friends now.”
It’s still up in the air whether or not Pearson and Lindsey will return next season for the Mist. The team has been practicing three times a week for three hours a night since April.
“It takes up a lot of time,” she said. “But if everything works out, I will be back. We’ll see.”
Tickets for the Jan. 1 game against the Dallas Desire are currently on sale at www.shorewarecenter.com or by calling (253) 856-6999.
Tickets prices are $107 for VIP midfield, $67 for lower sideline, $37 for mid-sideline, $24 for upper sideline, $18 for corners and $14 for endzone seats.