I'm probably going to take some heat from the fellas after this post, but I need to lead in with an anecdote first.
About 5 years ago, I used to work in the corporate offices of a Fortune 500 IT-based company. I was told that one of the employees was a Washington Redskins cheerleader. I didn't know her and never met her, and honestly never thought about trying to meet her. A year later, I lucked up on a 40-yard line, Section 141, Row 5 ticket--damn near on the Redskins sideline. Throughout the game, the "Redskinettes" divided themselves into fourths--with a quarter of the squad stationed in quadrants: between the endzones and the 35 yard line, on both sides of the field. At each quarter, they'd rotate quadrants. Throughout the game, I was treated to some pretteh...pretteh...pretteh...pretteh...pretteh good looking ladies. No--hell no, they were damn, outstandingly HOT ladies!!! In the 2nd quarter, my eye caught one particularly vulcanic blonde.
You know the routine, they jumped and bounced and bent over doing their cheerleader thing...(Lord help me!). I remembered this particular blonde because I couldn't get her "bend over" routine out of my mind! Anyway, two days later (Tuesday), I found myself in a meeting in the corporate conference room about to be briefed on our project by an engineer. To my surprise, in walked that blonde--the Redskin cheerleader everyone was talking about! It turns out she was the HEAD cheerleader (and I know why!) But peep this: She was the engineer giving the brief! Brothers, let me tell you--I had no idea what she was saying because for 15 minutes my mind was consumed with the picture of the previous Sunday's "bend over" and I was secretly trying to Googling her picture on my BB. Yep, it was her!
Now, why did I tell you that story? (...here comes the part where I'll probably lose my "man card"...) Brothers, for the life of me, I can't figure out WHY there are cheerleaders of any kind in pro sports, especially football! I mean, think about it: Most folks in the stadium are actually watching the game (I know I am--about 80% of the time; the other 20% is spent standing in line for that $6 hotdog or looking around for the $9 beer man.) But I always ask myself: Why are these gals here? And I don't mind calling them "gals" when every Sunday, nothing but a 3-inch swath of cloth separates my eyes from "Ms. Hoo-Ha!" Whom are they here for? The majority of the fans at FedEx field (those of us in the upper deck) can't even see these girls. Those in the lower deck can't see them unless you're sittig in Row 5. You could say on any day, half of the fans in the stadium are women--so are the sexy cheerleaders being sexy for the women, too? Somehow, I doubt it. An easy third of the fans are kids--certainly the "bend over" isn't for little Joey (I hope not....not yet!), and half of the kids are girls (probably dreaming about growing up to be a cheerleader!) You can't hear them do any cheers--for the most part, they don't say anything, they just bounce, and giggle, and bend over. And if you could hear them, I've never seen 90,000 fans react to the cheers of the Redskins cheerleaders! ("Sis-boom-bee! Kick 'em in the knee! Sis-boom-bass! Kick 'em in the other knee!")
So, what is the pay off for NFL cheerleaders? What's their purpose? What does the team get out of their presence? Other than TV exposure and a trip to the Pro Bowl, what do they get out of it? And do we as fans really care?? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm as red-blooded as the next guy, but I just don't understand the purpose of the cheerleader! And to be honest about it (and maybe I'm being a little prudish), I have a big problem with the blatant objectification and exploitation of women, and I get a little dismayed when I see them exploit themselves (then I get pissed when those same women try to get self-righteous at me for buying what they're selling: "Hey! What are you looking at, old fart pervert?!") (sheesh! I didn't tatoo words across your clevage or give you the BCT (butt-crack tattoo), then make you wear a low cut blouse and low-rise jeans!)
I found myself very troubled by that cheerleader project engineer. I mean, how could I take her seriously when once a week she's mooning me with her bouncing the jublies--cajoling and begging me to look at her butt. One day she's giving me and 90,000 of my best friends the public soft porn act, and the next day, she's talking to me about algebraic topology of locally Euclidean metrization of infinitely differentiable Riemannian manifold! I don't get it!!! Oh, and have you noticed, except for the usual pom-pom shaking, the networks don't show ANY cheerleader routines on TV-broadcasted games, you have to be at the stadium (in Row 5) to see that show.
The NBA has cheerleaders....and now the NHL has them....why?!? Thank God baseball has remained unspoiled to the evil influence of curvaceous, brainac, super model wannabes! I wouldn't be able to take much more of it! ;-)