Sideline Report: Double-Header Madness!,, Lisa Ligon, Lisa Ligon

WOW! What a crazy, busy, and exciting weekend! This was my first double-header with the Bliss vs Sin game Friday night and the Chill vs Valkyrie game on Saturday night. The weekend was a complete blur of flights, fights, and football!

Flying to Chicago was a breeze. The Friday game started with the usual press photo shoots and interviews, warmups and suit ups, make up and tape ups, and then onto the fierce battle on the field. You could feel in the air that this was the “do or die” game for the home team, considering they already had one loss on their record. I could sense, from talking to quarterback Heather Furr, that Chicago’s mind set was one of a gladiator fighting for his life. Furr said, “This is a must win for the Bliss. LA lost last week, so this is HUGE. Vegas is going down.”

Considering this was the first game of the season for the Sin, I was really looking forward to meeting these Las Vegas girls. I wanted to find out exactly who they are and how they play the game. I had the chance to sit down with Nikki Johnson, quarterback for the Sin, and she said, “It’s the first game of the season for us, so we have a little different mentality than Chicago, but we’re both gonna’ ball out. The anticipation of this game is insane.”

The Bliss took the win in convincing fashion with a score of 34 to 12. The meet and greet, a weekly opportunity for LFL fans to meet up close and personal with the home team and snag pictures and autographs, just finished. Tt’s 11:00 pm. On a usual weekend it’s time to pack up and head to the hotel for some zzzzs before catching the flight home the next morning, but not on a double-header weekend. This time the LFL road crew needed to pack up the cameras, banners, merchandise, and even the football field and head to Green Bay via the “rush-bus” as I called it. We wrapped game day production at the Sears Centre Arena in Chicago and then drove to Milwaukee as quickly as possible in order to get a few hours sleep before having to unpack everything and start game #2 of the weekend.

We arrived at the hotel in Milwaukee at 3:30am, and 4 hours later we were headed to the Resch Center in Green Bay. No matter. Once the coffee and teams arrived, the energy and excitement was back! A new city and another new team for me to meet: the Minnesota Valkyrie.

Instead of jumping right into the interviews, I decided to sneak inside their locker room to study my notes as well as the players. I figured this would be the best way to observe their personalities and hear their thoughts about the game. The girls were so pumped up that I don’t think they even noticed there was a spy amongst them. I could tell they were excited that game day was finally here, and they were ready to get out on the field and see their rookies in action. Quarterback of the Valkyrie Kari Janes was much more quiet than the other players. She had an extremely focused and concentrated way about her all day long.

My next stop was to sneak over to the Chill’s locker room, but they immediately recognized me and started talking. They made it very clear that this game belonged to them. Anne Erler was very specific about “getting the win on their home turf.” A few hours late, Erler and the Chill got the win they wanted with a dominating score of 40 to 8 over the Valkyrie. Green Bay head coach Gilbert Brown, otherwise known as “The Grave Digger,” was proud.

After the game, the LFL road crew were zonked and even a bit delirious, but we powered through, got the job done, and managed to enjoy every minute of it with a special thanks to Starbucks, Red Bull, and great football action!

Now, back in California, I can sum up the double-header weekend in a nutshell: 5 hours sleep, 4 teams, 3 states, 2 amazing games, and 1 tired sideline reporter. Thank you and good night ;)