We Are Warpaint

I had the pleasure to connect with Kelly Campbell when we hosted the 2014 One Dream Awards together in Las Vegas.  She was warm, friendly, funny and gorgeous.  I was immediately intrigued by her passion for sport and her involvement with the Legends Football League (LFL). Female, tackle football in bikini style uniforms?  I had so many questions...  

Kelly took any snap judgements I had about the perception of the league and allowed me to ask the blunt questions.  Do you get paid?  What's your training regimen like?  Is it hard to gain respect from fans/outsiders like myself?  But, the real question on my mind was, why do you do it at all?  Without hesitation, she told me it was because she loved to compete.  She eloquently went on to explain that her involvement in the league made her a stronger person mentally, physically and emotionally and at that moment, I knew this was a fellow female athlete that deserved my respect and support.

Kelly is a 5 year veteran with the LFL and is currently the Corner Back with the Las Vegas Sin.  She played for the Baltimore Charm from 2010 - 2013 as Defensive Back and during that time was nominated 3 times for the Most Improved Player of the Year and won in 2013.  Additionally, she was named to the All-Fantasy Eastern Conference Team in 2013 & Team Mexico in 2012.  Lastly, probably most importantly, she won the Baltimore Charm Most Dedicated Player Award in 2013.  Competing in the LFL is nothing but commitment. The athletes in the LFL do not get paid for their involvement with the league, but this does not stop them from giving their fans their best performance on game night.  Their passion for what they do is what drives them to continue to compete at the level that is expected of them.

Anyone who is willing to grind at something they love, work hard to achieve goals & be willing to take criticism regarding the LFL and its perception is truly someone We Are Warpaint is humbled to know and respect.

We Are Warpaint could not be more proud to highlight, Kelly Campbell of the Las Vegas Sin Legends Football League. 

 

WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT:  DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

 

WP:  You graduated from Penn State with a background in competitive cheerleading & dance.  How were you introduced to the LFL & the Baltimore Charm?

KC:  During my senior year at PSU, I took Judo for fun with my friend, Shelley.  She was tall, beautiful and one of the sweetest girls ever... but, not the most athletic person.  After college, she was pursing modeling and she posted a photo in a bikini type outfit and she was holding a football.  I asked her what it was for and she said she was playing women's football and it was tackle.  I was a little taken back, but she was super into it and working really hard at it.  I thought it was really cool and followed her season with the Philly Passion in 2009.  That next spring in 2010, she told me Baltimore was next on the list to get a team and become a franchise.  I went to the first tyrout ever in May 2010 and that was it!  There were over 100 girls and they selected 25 to a mini-camp, which just happened to be held in my hometown of Frederick, MD.  I 100% believe it was fate.  We practiced in my hometown for 2.5 years, and even in my parent's backyard between season 2 and 3.

WP:  You're a 5 year veteran with the LFL, how has competing in the LFL impacted your life?

KC:  I was always involved in fierce competition with sport.  Even though I was a dancer and a cheerleader, I was always competing on various teams and usually two teams at once.  I took karate, played baseball, soccer and varsity lacrosse in high school.  

When you leave college, unless you are one of the few women who go on to play professional sports or have a chance to compete as an Olympic athlete, there are few options to continue athletics and receive that same internal fulfillment that a competitive sport provides.  The LFL helped me discover a new passion for sports and football.  It also helped me become a stronger person physically, mentally and emotionally.  What you learn and do on the field directly translates to life.  I stopped being such a pushover and learned to stand up for myself.  I learned how to walk away and take chances and risks.  I can appreciate women and how strong they are, and how many of us just LOVE football and simply want to play.  

 

 

LFL USA, Postseason, Journey as a Champion ]

 

 

 

Because of my experience with the LFL I have definitely become more understanding of all of the different types of women I have the opportunity to come across.  You learn that everyone has a story.  I have made countless friends and memories while playing for the LFL.  I have traveled to 3 countries: Mexico, Canada and Australia.  I learned how to believe in myself and perhaps most importantly, I moved across the country alone, from Maryland to Nevada to work for the league.  I had no idea if it would work out, I didn't know a single person in Nevada and unexpectedly I ended up meeting my future husband, who ironically enough is from Maryland!

 

So, to sum it up, the LFL has completely changed my life and it is amazing to look back at the journey I've been on over the last few years.  You have to take life as it comes and like football, you can't hesitate, or you might miss the opportunity for a big play.

 

WP:  What is one thing most people don't know about you?

KC:  My two favorite to share are:

        1)  I've had a titanium ankle that includes 7 screws and a plate going on 13 years.

        2)  I am fluent in American Sign-Language as my youngest brother is deaf.

 

WP:  What is a typical training day for you as you prepare for your season?

KC:  There is usually 2 days of team practice on Saturday and Sunday.  Practice would range anywhere form 3-6 hours of drills, conditioning, scrimmage, etc.  In addition, I have always taken at least 2 weeknights for personal training.  I've worked with multiple trainers to develop a sport training program that focuses on speed, agility, power and anything that will translate to the field.

 

WP:  What are 3 things that most people don't know about the LFL and the 1 thing you hope they take away from watching an LFL game?

KC:  1)  We are the most  passionate group of women playing a sport in the entire world.  We love football and most of us understand more about the game than you could imagine.

2)  We do not get paid.  Yes, it would be nice, but we aren't there yet as a sport or as a society.  When we do get there, I may be really old, BUT, those of us who have been playing for 4 or 5 years will know that we paved the way to help shape the future.

3)  Legends, lingerie or whatever name you want to call the league, we don't care.  We've heard it all.  If what initially gets you to our games is that you think we're hot or look good in uniforms or any number of reasons, I promise we will absolutely change your mind and make you forget about all of that in the first few seconds after kick off.  

This will be my one take away as well - once you see it's real, respect us.  That's all.

 

WP:  Do you have a favorite quote?

KC:  I have two:

        "Purpose may point you in the right direction, but it is passion that propels you."

        "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

 

WP:  You recently returned from Australia where they launched their own LFL.  What was that experience like?

KC:  I have always been entranced by other cultures and part of me needed and still needs to travel and see the world.  That is probably what sparked my major in college, Anthropology.  I didn't study abroad while in college, so I knew this would be my chance for that kind of experience.  Although we worked 6 days a week, I was able to travel to Melbourne, Sydney, scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, live in Perth as well as the Gold Coast in Surfer's Paradise.  The culture is focused on getting everything you can out of life... working to live, not living to work.  Aussies love their sports so much that the introduction of the LFL was received with open arms.  The rugby/soccer stadiums are beautiful and the attendance was better than it is in the states. 

 

WP:  What song or artist are you currently listening to?

KC:  Such a mix!  I have a ton of Pandora stations, everything from AWOL Nation to Judy Garland.  

 

WP:  What are the LFL fans like from your experiences in both Baltimore and Las Vegas?  Do they differ?

KC:  Baltimore is known for big time sports fans and supporting their teams win or lose.  You definitely felt that in Charm City.  Fans come in full Charm gear, Ravens purple and Orioles orange.  We even had Ravens and Redskins players come to our games each year.  It was amazing to receive that kind of support.  Fans knew your name, your number, your position and your stats.  In Nevada, I think the fans think the sport is cool, unique and action packed, but it's not the same personal connection like it was in Baltimore.

WP:  If you could design the next Warpaint color, what would it be?

KC:  GOLD!  I love gold.  Or, Dallas Cowboy Blue and Silver.

Written by Jenn Holt — January 29, 2015

Comments

Maureen Campbell:

Wow, I lived it and I still love to read about it! Life with Kelly has been somewhat surreal ! Love from your #1 fan always – will follow you to the moon and back, “MYTMO”, Mom

February 01 2015

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