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When the Lingerie Football League‘s new Toronto team participates in its first league draft, their top pick should be a new PR person. Here’s how the Toronto Triumph franchise was unveiled in a news story in the Toronto Sun tabloid last week:

“Toronto is well on its way to putting the “umph” in Triumph.” Ewwww.

Yes, the redoubtable LFL has crossed the border into Canada, billing itself as “true fantasy football” for men who like to watch big-screen sports in strip clubs.

As appalling as this sounds, it gets worse: Canada is being prepped for a major expansion of lingerie football, with six Canadian teams slated for the 2012-13 season of the new Canadian Lingerie Football League and the first-ever Canadian Lingerie Bowl slated for Grey Cup weekend.

The Toronto Triumph — which appears to be the only LFL team actually named after a major lingerie brand — will be followed by teams in a bunch of cities where exposed skin freezes in 30 seconds during winter: Winnipeg, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Calgary and more. No word on whether there will be a team in balmy Victoria, B.C., but we hope so just because of the obvious naming opportunity: Victoria’s Secrets?

And some people are taking all this seriously. There’s already a league website, and an exhibition match slated for Winnipeg in July — taking place in a golf dome (in case it snows?).

And the new league’s slogan? “Canada, Prepare To Be Unlaced“. (See what I mean about needing a PR person?)

The announcement of the Toronto franchise generated loads of publicity last week, and if you’ve ever seen most sportswriters you’d understand why. There was a lot of earnest scribbling about athleticism and competition and even some handicapping of next season’s schedule (the league will field 12 teams in its third full season, each of whom will play three 34-minute games in an action-packed five-month season).

What’s not clear yet is how well this will go over in my home and native land. Canadian fans are fanatically proud of this country’s very unique style of football, and it remains to be seen whether they’ll appreciate the LFL’s attempts to piggyback on that heritage. Or what the WAGs might say about their lads rooting for a bunch of underdressed and underemployed models playing grab-ass in the snow.

But those concerns didn’t dampen enthusiasm around this weekend’s first tryouts for the new Toronto team: more than 100 women (including the mayor’s niece, shown above) tried out for one of 14 spots on the roster.

If you want to learn more about the Lingerie Football League, check out our definitive LFL guide from last year.

And, to get a sense of the kind of marketing behind this, here’s Playboy’s recent SFW video showing the world’s sexiest locker room. Listen carefully for this bit of insider insight: “In order to have a great team, you need players who can go both ways.”

Photos courtesy of Toronto Star.

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