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Kerry Warren of the Seattle Mist on all things LFL
Thursday, January 12, 2012

If you’ve been flipping channels on a Friday night this winter you may have come across women in lingerie playing football on MTV2 (if you haven’t, you’re totally doing the whole channel flipping thing wrong). What you saw was the Lingerie Football League and if you’re thinking that just sounds like a bunch of models running around in their underwear you may want to take a second look, because while these ladies look lovely, they can relish in being decidedly unladylike on the field. In other words, they’d break Kate Moss in half and then do a little trash talking.

Originally started in 2009 as an extension of the Lingerie Bowl, which was an alternative to the Super Bowl halftime show and ran from 2004-2006, a TV contract with MTV2 has the LFL soaring in popularity.

Kerry Warren of the Seattle Mist was a part of the league’s inaugural season in ’09, and is on the Mist again this year. A rugby and water polo player in college, Warren was given the nickname “Bash” by LFL Commissioner Mitch Mortaza in her first season when she was one half of what he dubbed the “Slash and Bash” Seattle backfield with Katie Rickman. Recently, Warren was named one of the LFL’s 25 hottest players by Complex.com, and this week I caught up with her to find out how she became involved in the league, what goes on in a typical LFL locker room, and why some games feature more scoring than an episode of Jersey Shore.

Adam Bernard: Why don’t you start this interview off by explaining how you ended up landing in the LFL?
Kerry Warren: It’s kind of ironic, I was having a conversation with my mom one day along the lines of I don’t know what I’m gonna do with myself when I get home (from college). Obviously I’m gonna find work, but I’ve been playing two sports, and sports are such a huge part of my life and such a great and wonderful outlet for me. Do I start looking for a soccer team and go back to my roots from junior high and high school? I asked her to help me start looking for stuff. That day she called me right back and said “oh my goodness I just saw something on TV that’s right up your alley.” I don’t remember what sports channel it was, but there was a channel that was doing an interview on the LFL and the Seattle Mist had just had tryouts that day. She wrote down the website and said check this out. I ended up finding a number to contact, calling and saying I know I missed tryouts this time, but if you have another tryout in Seattle I’d really like to know, please keep me in the loop. A couple months later I get this call out of nowhere saying hey, tryouts are on such and such a date. It was a Wednesday. I tried out, and that Friday I was told congratulations you made that team.

Adam Bernard: Most people wouldn’t think their mom would turn them on to the Lingerie Football League.
Kerry Warren: {laughs} Yeah, and I don’t think she 100% realized what exactly we were getting ourselves into, but she’s 100% supportive. I didn’t think my dad would take very well to it, either, but it only took the first game to realize it might be the sexuality part and the skimpy outfits that draws the crowd in, but it’s the pure athleticism and the true football that keeps the fans coming.

Adam Bernard: You work two jobs in addition to playing football, so is the LFL almost like your version of Fight Club where you show up to work with bruises you won’t explain?
Kerry Warren: Yeah. {laughs} I’ve never really heard it put that way, but yeah. There’s been a couple times where I’ve shown up to work and my coworkers are like “what the heck happened to you?” I have to assure them I’m not in an abusive relationship. Then you send em to the website and everything kind of explains itself. There are clips from the games, and highlight reels, so it only takes a few minutes for people to understand that oh, OK, you’re legit, I understand, I won’t bug you about those bruises.

Adam Bernard: Obviously you’re not wearing a lot when you play. How concerned are you over the potential for injury?
Kerry Warren: In all honesty I’m probably the worst one to ask. I played rugby for years with nothing (in the way of padding). A mouthguard was it. There’s always going to be a potential for injury, but that’s why you gotta do what you can to avoid it. Do your stretches, make sure you’re in good shape, stay low and attack. If you’re the one that’s doing the attacking you’re not the one that’s gonna get hurt. The one that gets hurt is the one that slows down.

Adam Bernard: There’s also potential for clothing malfunctions, as well. Is that a concern?
Kerry Warren: It was at first. The first year, on our team, we had a couple. There was one game in particular that we ended up playing in November, outside, in Denver, and it was so cold that before we even noticed there were malfunctions. The uniforms have gotten considerably better. The first year when we came out the middle was tied with a string. The string came undone a couple of times in Denver, both with myself and a couple of my teammates. I think the LFL took that into consideration and changed things up. It’s now more like a sports bra so it actually stays.

Adam Bernard: What’s a typical LFL locker room like? All we get on MTV2 is a quick clip at halftime of a guy yelling at people.
Kerry Warren: {laughs} It kinda goes in two stages. Depending on where the game is we get to the stadium at 11 or 12 o’clock and we’re there until the game starts at 9pm. There’s a lot of downtime, but there’s a lot of pump up time. A lot of girls bring pillows and blankets to relax before the game. Everyone does their own thing, but probably about a half hour, 45 minutes, before game time the music starts crankin and everyone tries to quote-unquote “get out of their minds.” It’s a lot of fun.

Adam Bernard: The LFL is on MTV2 every Friday night. In what ways have you seen that affect the league and you?
Kerry Warren: The league, I think, has gotten a lot more recognition. There are a lot more people who will take the time to come to games. It helps us to promote a lot. Just having it be on TV is definitely a credibility statement for us. It’s been a great stepping stone for us and a box to stand on and draw the crowds in. Me, personally, it’s been awesome to make that highlight, have that replay a few times, but at the end of the day it’s just something that I do because I love it, not because I'm getting recognized for doing it.

Adam Bernard: There have been quite a few blowouts this year. Is there a definitive set of haves and have nots in the LFL?
Kerry Warren: There’s been a lot of expansion, and when you’re bringing in teams that have never played with each other, that have never played under that coaching staff, and have never played football in general, it has a tendency to bring people that are unprepared. You always want to go in and do your best, but for an expansion team, a new team coming out, you can’t handle all angles of business at your first game. I’m sure a lot of the teams didn’t anticipate that blowout, but when you put in a good team, you take Tampa, you take Philly, you take a team that knows what’s going on, and put them against a team that hasn’t been together as long, that hasn’t developed an understanding for the game, I guess that’s gonna happen.

Adam Bernard: One of the quarterbacks of the Mist is Angela Rypien, daughter of former Redskins QB Mark Rypien. Does he ever come around and flash his Super Bowl ring and reminisce about the glory days?
Kerry Warren: He’s come out a couple times. We all know him as Poppa Ryp. He comes in and helps us when he can. It’s always fun when he steps in and throws us a couple balls. Nothin like catchin a ball from a Super Bowl MVP. If we ask him for advice he’s open with us, but he definitely doesn’t come in and flash anything or talk about the glory days. He's pretty humble and pretty modest. Having him around has been a real blessing.

Adam Bernard: You skipped a year in the LFL, and from an article I read you were kinda kicked outta the league for something that occurred off the field. What happened?
Kerry Warren: There have been a lot of discrepancies in articles written. Unfortunately, with the league being new not everyone knows what’s going on. My year off was not spent on probation, or anything along those lines. My year was taken off because I had a death of one of my really good friends and I didn’t feel like I could give the team 100%. I talked to my coaches about it, I talked to the team about it, to an extent, and it’s just one of those things where I didn’t feel comfortable giving my team 60-70%. I didn’t want to punish the girls because I wasn’t there mentally.

Adam Bernard: I think it’s terrible that you not only lost a friend, but had your time off because of it written about as if you did something wrong.
Kerry Warren: Yeah, it didn’t go over well, but at the end of the day I knew what was up, my team knew what was up, my coaches knew what was up. I’m back this year and haven’t seen a negative article yet. We’re just gonna try and keep on that path.

Adam Bernard: Being that the LFL has a strong male fan base, many of them young men, I’m wondering, have you been asked to any proms recently?
Kerry Warren: No, no proms. {laughs} My sister’s 17 and a junior in high school, so I don’t know about that one. It would be an interesting thought, but I haven’t had to deal with that one yet, so we’ll see.

Adam Bernard: Is there anything else you’d like to add about yourself, the league, or the Mist?
Kerry Warren: I just want to thank the league. There’s a lot of negativity surrounding girls in lingerie and football, but I really love the sport. You grow up watching football, my dad’s always been a fan of all sports, but basketball and football especially, and you never really think there’s gonna be a day when you can step on the field and call it your sport, so I’m really thankful for them opening up that opportunity and giving me a chance to play a sport that I’ve always loved. It’s the closest thing I can get to rugby and it’s a great outlet for me. It’s something that’s really developed me as a person and added to my character and it’s really given me a great family. I love my LFL family, I love my Mist family, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

Related Links

Kerry Warren on Twitter: twitter.com/alwayskerry
Kerry Warren on Facebook: facebook.com/pages/6-Kerry-Bash-Warren
Seattle Mist website: lflus.com/seattlemist

Labels: ,

posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:35 AM  
  • At 6:46 PM, Blogger Unknown said…


    Talking with you was such a pleasure. Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to me and help share the story of my journey with the Seattle Mist and the LFL. As you can tell, football is a passion of mine and I truly love the game. It is an honor to be able to be seen as a female athlete in a sport that has until recently only been iconic for men.

    -Seattle Mist Kerry 'K6' Warren

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