Tryouts are skimpy for Lingerie Football League

Julie Shook, 33, of Tampa sprints at Lingerie Football League tryouts Tuesday at the Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Julie Shook, 33, of Tampa sprints at Lingerie Football League tryouts Tuesday at the Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel.

Officially, getting a spot on Tampa's lingerie football team takes athleticism, confidence and good looks.

Unofficially, you've also got to be able to run, catch and tackle in bare-the-backside shorts and a bikini top.

That's the challenge of those auditioning for a spot on Tampa's new Lingerie Football League team, which starts playing this fall.

About 65 women attended tryouts Tuesday for about 16 positions remaining on the Tampa Breeze roster. League founder and chairman Mitchell Mortaza weeded out a third of the candidates during 15-second interviews at the St. Pete Times Forum and invited the rest to agility training later in the day at Pasco County's Saddlebrook Resort.

Not everyone was happy with the selection process, but at least no one cried in public.

Samantha Haylock, 28, of Lutz wasted a half of a day and several gallons of gas only to be told she would not get a chance to audition for real, with a ball. Organizers had scheduled the minicamp at a site in Largo but, at the last minute, moved it to outside the Forum. Once there, they told tryouts the actual camp would take place later, a 40-minute drive away. Mortaza blamed the mixup on poor scouting, saying the Largo site was too small.

"I'm very disappointed. They aren't very organized,'' said Haylock. "They didn't ask any questions. It's all about looks.''

And, more specifically, chest size. She deduced that the girls who could fill out the bikini top best made the first cut. The girls who couldn't, well, they got benched.

The league opens its inaugural season in September with 10 teams nationwide, from the San Diego Seduction to the Atlanta Steam. The Tampa Breeze hosts two home games at the Forum — Chicago Bliss on Dec. 4 and the New York Majesty on Jan. 15.

Each team will play four games, all on Friday nights with tailgate parties for fans. The Eastern and Western conference champs will head off in next year's Lingerie Bowl, the annual halftime Super Bowl event aired on pay-per-view TV. Players get paid based on attendance and their team's record.

Tryouts are skimpy for Lingerie Football League 05/12/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 15, 2009 10:47pm]

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