FanIQ&A: Taira Turley, Defensive Captain of the Lingerie Football League's Miami Caliente
For those of you who don't know, the LFL is the Lingerie Football League. Yes, it is as awesome as it sounds. Female athletes across the country suit up to play tackle football in lingerie. But, don't let the good looks and minimal clothing fool you. These girls train hard and are world-class athletes.
This fall will mark the inaugural season of the LFL in which the teams will play throughout a twenty week season. The LFL is going to be must watch. I am telling you all, you will be surprised with the determination and skill of these athletes. These women will blow America away.
I had the pleasure of catching up with the Defensive Captain and starting linebacker for the Miami Caliente squad, Taira Turley. She took the time out to answer a few questions, and here is what she had to say:
LSG: How did you find out about the tryouts for the LFL? Did you have any hesitation to go put your skills to the test?
Taira Turley: I found out about the LFL tryouts from my best friend Laura Valldeperas who was on the team last year. Honestly, no I didn’t hesitate at all to go put my skills to the test. I’ve always been an athlete and it seemed like a great opportunity.
LSG: What was the level of competition like? What types of athletes showed up?
Taira: The level of competition was high. There were a lot of women out there with talent and speed. At first I was nervous it definitely made it easier knowing someone on the team. Laura and I would practice before tryouts, so I had an idea of what to expect.
LSG: Tell me a little about your team, the Miami Caliente.
Taira: The Miami Caliente have great talent on offense and defense. We have women on the team that have played sports all their lives and were just looking for this great opportunity to continue playing sports. In the beginning, defense was a little shaky it was a process figuring out which girl belonged at which position. I can say now that we are in place and ready to knock em dead. Offense has always been spectacular they have incredible plays that are going to kill our opponents defense.
LSG: How’d you get to be the designated defensive captain?
Taira: Wow, it was definitely a shock. Our defense coach Pat appointed me captain. I guess he saw leadership qualities in me. Every practice I just go out on the field and play hard. No excuses I play at practice the way I would play in a game.
LSG: What are the goals you have for the season?
Taira: My goal for the season is to get as many sacks as I can. I want to be the next John Abraham, one of the best defensive players I know in the NFL that plays for the Atlanta Falcons.
LSG: The team opens up the season on September 4th against the Chicago Bliss. What’s the buzz surrounding your team right now? Are you ready to get playing already?
Taira: Well the buzz surrounding our team right now is that we are not expected to win. We are the underdogs and hey that’s fine because come September 4th we are going to prove to the league and our opponents that we are going to finish on top. We're coming strong and we are ready to play. We've been preparing for the season opener for a very long time and we cant wait to just get out there and show everyone why we're called Caliente (HOT)
LSG: What is the intensity like during workouts and practice?
Taira: The intensity at practice is high. Our coaches are tough on us, sometimes I think they forget we're ladies [laugh]. Coach Pat yells a lot but I love it. It makes me work even harder. By the way his sprint workouts are no joke, I think a few of us come close to either throwing up or passing out every time. That’s when you know we were pushed to the limit.
LSG: Do you worry some people may not take the level of athleticism seriously? What do you have to say to those naysayers?
Taira: The people that don't take the level of athleticism seriously should reconsider their thoughts. The LFL girls are going to prove everyone wrong and show them that we can play football too. Who said that a girl has to be a cheerleader. We are determined to be just as good at this sport as the guys.
LSG: Do you think they could make it through one of your workouts?
Taira: The naysayers definitely could not make it through one of our workouts. We go hard each and every time. We don’t have time for babies on our team anyone that cant take the heat shouldn't come out on the field.
LSG: Can you tell us some of the rule differences between leagues such as the NFL and your own?
Taira: Some of the rule differences between leagues such as the NFL and our own firstly are that in our league it's 7 on 7. Touchdowns are worth 6 points but instead of kicking a field goal we score extra points from the 2 or 5 yard line. Our games are only two 15 minute halfs; hopefully that changes in the future. Lastly we play in lingerie that's always a plus. Our equipment includes a helmet, shoulder pads, knee pads, elbow pads, and cleats.
LSG: Now tell us a little about yourself. You’ve clearly been an athlete all your life, what activities were you into growing up?
Taira: Yes, this is true I've always been an athlete. It all began with street races during recess. I grew up with an older brother, so I guess you can say I was a tomboy growing up. I always wanted to do everything he did. He was my role model. He played baseball, so I played softball. He ran track and field, so I ran track and field. Little did I know track would be my favorite and the sport I was most recognized for. I ran track for thirteen years competing in states championships, junior olympics, and nationals. In the fall, I would play soccer to stay in shape for the next three seasons of track winter, spring, and summer.
LSG: Did you always want to be an athlete?
Taira: Yes I've always wanted to be an athlete. I love sports and I figure if you're good at them why not show off your talent.
LSG: What sports are you into now? Any favorite teams or athletes?
Taira: As of now football is my favorite sport to watch. I only like basketball during playoffs. Some of my favorite athletes and friends include Wayne Gandy of the Atlanta Falcons, Jamal Lewis of the Cleveland Browns, and John Abraham of the Atlanta Falcons. Jamal’s brother John Lewis is my trainer in Atlanta and I definitely would like to thank him for getting me into the best shape. I'd like to thank Wayne Gandy also for all the great defense tips
LSG: What are you like when you aren’t on the field being competitive? What sort of hobbies do you have?
Taira: When I'm not on the field competing I'm a full-time Makeup Artist. I love painting faces. Other than that I'm in the gym 7 days a week trying to get more strong and fit.
LSG: To close this off, why don’t tell the readers something you want them to know.
Taira: To close off my interview I would like to let everyone know that I’m not always rough and tough, I have a soft spot too. I come from a mixed background of African American and Puerto Rican. My favorite movie is dumb and dumber and reality TV shows amuse me. I get a kick out of watching people make fools out of themselves, it’s hilarious.
LSG: Thanks for your time and good luck!