Hardwood Diva: Thanks for sitting down and doing this for us. First up, how long have you been involved in sports?
Mia Chambers: Sports have been a part of my life for 21. As the only girl in a family full of boys, dolls were never really my thing.
HDiva: What made you decide to tryout for the LFL?
MC: I am a die hard NFL fan! I know the plays…I know the calls…and I know the sport. I have always wanted to play football since high school when my basketball coach made me do a sport in the fall to stay in shape. Since I didn’t want to run cross country or play volleyball I convinced him that being a football manager for the boys varsity football team would be just as good. That was the year that I completely fell in love with football, and truly learned the ins and outs of the game. I saw the LFL on MTV one day and I knew I had to do it. I knew this was my calling. I mean as much as I loved football I had to try it! So I had a few of my football boys from ASU help me out in training to prepare for the combine.
HDiva: What was the playing experience like?
MC: There is nothing like it! I mean when the lights turn on its just like the real thing. We run routes…we have goal line plays…we have trick plays, QB draws, and its full tackle which is the best part. No more flags. This is the real thing! I know some people may think of it as a joke but this is real football; as we call it “NO JOKE FOOTBALL.” Playing in the LFL was one of the best experiences that i have been apart of.
HDiva: Now this is a topic that often gets a lot of attention from critics and supporters of the LFL. How did you feel about the uniforms that were worn?
MC: I mean the uniforms are probably the worst thing about the LFL. I mean none of the girls like the uniforms. They are one size fits all, and they are tight and uncomfortable. But we love the game so we wear the uniforms. All of us girls play for the love of the game and definitely not the uniform. Unfortunately we live in a world were sex sells. Sadly, everything can’t be perfect. There are other women’s football leagues that are uniformed and fully covered but they do not get the publicity or support that we get. I am not using it as an excuse but its the reality. I mean yes you sometimes feel like a viewing gallery but its no worse then walking around in your bathing suit. I mean even though I hate the uniforms, there is nothing like playing in that game with the Friday night lights and the fans’ screams and the adrenaline running through your system. So its worth the tight squeeze into the league’s uniform choice. Also as a plus it makes you stay in shape, because you definitely don’t want to be out of shape trying to squeeze into that outfit.
HDiva: Football is such a male-dominated sport. What are some of the things you’ve had to overcome as a woman?
MC: The hardest thing about it is trying to get people to take us seriously. I mean unless you come to a game you will never know how much more brutal this game is then actual college or professional football is. We get down and we get dirty. People think because we are not fully padded or because we don’t have on full uniforms that we are not playing real football but that is not the case. Our game is real and we follow real rules as set in the NFL. The hardest thing is getting supporters to believe in what you are doing and take a risk and come to the games. We have won over so many fans who attended games for the first time saying they were non believers until they seen the first hit! We go HARD!! Our players are real…the game is real…nothing is edited or guided. We play real tackle football and that is what we want the world to see.
HDiva: What advice do you have for young girls looking to go into semi-pro and professional sports?
MC: I would say to any young girl that is trying to pursue her sports career to never give up and to follow her dreams. I know that may be a bit cliche but its so true. I never thought that I would be able to play real football on a professional team live on TV. I mean you have to push yourself to achieve your goals and believe anything is possible. If you believe that you can do it, then there is no one that can tell you that you can’t. I think that sports are a good outlet for our youth and we need to support and encourage our young ones to never give up on the goals that they set. Sports have evolved so much since I was younger, and in today’s world there is nothing but opportunity. We just need to continue to instill in our youth the midset that anything you want to do is possible with dedication and hardwork.