I’m tired of cheerleaders. If I’m right, most sports fans are tired of them too.Because of my love for sports, I attend a lot of high school football and basketball games in the valley, as well as some UTPA basketball games when they play Division I teams. At every game, we are punished by usually 20, and sometimes as many as 40 cheerleaders who look ridiculous, chant silly phrases, and get in the way of the action.
I have never understood the “cheerleading culture” in America. How did we get from a man leading the crowd in emotional rhymes at the University of Minnesota in 1898, to the spectacle we are forced to endure today? It was just men shouting “from the stands” until World War II came along, when the women took over for their absent soldiers, eventually donning strange-looking uniforms and standing on the sidelines during the game. Here are my problems with today’s cheerleading culture:
1) The fans are there to see the game, NOT the cheerleaders.
If the cheerleaders want to compete in tumbling and leaping, let them be gymnasts. If they want to compete in dancing, let them be dancers. I don’t think anybody objects to dancing or tumbling exhibitions during timeouts or halftime. But if it wasn’t for basketball or football, no one but the parents would show up to see them wave pom-poms and hop around chanting foolish, infantile poetry.
Last week, at an Economedes High School basketball game, I sat on the front row with my disabled brother, and missed a lot of the action because of the cheerleaders prancing around 2 feet in front of us! Please stay out of my way and let me watch the game!
2) The fans either mock the cheerleaders or lust after the cheerleaders, but rarely chant with the cheerleaders .
Excluding parents of cheerleaders, most fans either laugh at how silly cheerleaders look in those goofy skirts, or gaze, mouth open and drooling, at the cheerleaders legs and backsides in lustful attention. Any time the cries of “de-fense” are started, it’s usually by the boys in the student section, after which the cheerleaders join in. And even when the cheerleaders chant something coherent, they chant it with strange pronunciations: i.e., “Let’s Go, Rowe” = “Let’s Gaaow Raaow”
3) The cheerleaders appear to be in their own little world, more interested in their cheers and appearance than in the game itself .
As I said earlier, have a dance team or a gymnastics team that performs during timeouts, but get off the sidelines and stop acting like fools during the game! You are not the center of attention at a sporting event; the game is the focus!
I know lots of letters will probably pour in, extolling the virtues of cheerleading, but just stop before you write that angry letter and ask yourself what cheerleading actually contributes to any sporting event. In my view, “the emperor has no clothes”, and its time somebody said so. I know Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W Bush were cheerleaders in college, but that still doesn’t mean cheerleading should not go the way of the dinosaur and dodo bird.
My favorite line, and one of the few lines that made sense, in the movie, “Bring it On” came when a character said, “Cheerleaders are dancers who have gone retarded.” Amen.