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Monday, Oct. 27, 2008

Male Cheerleaders

Sports in Real Life

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There's only a couple of reasons I can fathom why a man would want to be a cheerleader. Any red blooded heterosexual male with an ounce of testosterone would tell you the same reasons off the top of his head. It's a fantasy, being surrounded by gorgeous girls in tiny dresses. As a bonus, you get to lift them off the ground and support them with your palm. With any luck at all it will be a very long fight song, the game will go into triple overtime.

If you were hypothetically forbidden to go near the girl cheerleaders, why in a supreme being's name would you want to be involved. Are you bubbling with team spirit? Do you have the vicarious urge to be near the team you couldn't make in tryouts. It just doesn't make sense to me. It's a female domain, let it be. Rabid fans of the NFL or NBA have no desire to see scantily clad men jumping up and down, forming a Rockettes kick line.

Surprisingly, after diligent research, I discovered women didn't start this whole thing. Some guys were so eager to cheer while watching sporting events they created a pep club at Princeton University. I'm sure these were some charming lads with their straw hats, letterman sweaters, megaphones, summoning the ghost of Rudy Vallee. Women became involved later and introduced gymnastics and salacious skin-tight underwear.

I don't think male cheerleaders are lacking in strength or talent, nor do I think they're sissies. The strength and coordination required by male cheerleaders is comparable to any male dominated sport, but this fact is often ignored by society. These guys get the short end of the stick, and I don't mean that in a literal sense. Even though I believe these guys have some talent, it doesn't mean I understand why they choose this form of athletic expression.

George 'W' Bush, our fearless Commander In Chief was a Cheerleader at Phillips Academy in Andover. He did a little lift back in those days called Air Force One. He is said to have practiced lifts with his mother Barbara, which gave him triceps a linebacker would envy. Dick Cheney didn't have the athleticism and was relegated to the snack bar.

One of the most accomplished U.S. Generals, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was a cheerleader. Here's a guy that planned the invasion of Normandy, was respected internationally and eventually became President. One of his early cheerleader partners was asked who she'd like to work with. The young woman replied, "I like Ike." His wife Mamie was just too butt-ugly to try out for the squad.

Jimmy Stewart is said to have lead some cheers in school. The tall, lanky actor looked like a stiff wind would blow him over and I never really saw him as athletic. During one particularly heated contest for which he was cheering, Stewart lifted his female counterpart and due to the complexity of the lift and to achieve balance, Stewart was forced to look up her skirt. Stewart reportedly exclaimed, "It's a Wonderful Life."

Both Kirk and Michael Douglas are said to have been cheerleaders. It's not easy for me to imagine Spartacus and Gordon Gekko traipsing around in sweaters and warm-up pants.

Even harder, I read Samuel L. Jackson cajoled fans on the sidelines of games. Here's an actor who has played some of the meanest dudes ever on screen, including Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, and a bad-ass like John Shaft.

If you happen to be sitting court side when Jackson is cheering and asks you for a bite of your Big Kahuna burger, you'd damn well better give him a bite.

Scariest Sports Costumes this Halloween

Living north of Cedarburg, (read civilization,) my quaint hamlet held trick or treating session between 4-7 yesterday. The customary Spiderman, Batman, princess made the rounds. A few kids old enough to drive had no shame receiving their bitesize Butterfinger. What I found missing were sports figures. No football players, baseball players, jockeys, male cheerleaders, race car drivers. I did see a few scary sports-related ensembles.

The Pete Rose costume: A large kid wearing a Prince Valiant wig, a Cooperstown Rocks tee-shirt, and a notepad to keep track of bets.

The Isiah Thomas costume: A high school kid wearing a Detroit Pistons jersey and holding an empty bottle of Seconal.

The Michael Vick costume: A kid holding a bag of cash and a dog leash.

The Nancy Kerrigan costume: A young girl in a skating dress and a bag of ice on her kneecap.

The Herb Kohl costume: A kid wearing a sky blue blazer and applying scalp wax.

The Tanya Harding costume: A hillbilly witch with skates over her shoulder.

The Ned Yost costume. A kid carrying a pink slip and a map out of town.

The Doug Russell costume: Kid carrying a Dancing with the Stars video, and a plate of nachos.

The Dennis Krause costume: A kid with a blank expression on his face, no personality and the wardrobe of a Miami Vice extra.

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