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Cheers: Pros, cons

Maybe cheerleaders provide good entertainment.

But that’s not the point. They exist to serve as the link between fans and the players. They cheer, fans cheer.

But it doesn’t happen that way. The only reaction from fans to cheerleaders I’ve seen this year has been during halftime, when with all eyes on them, cheerleaders often took the court with dance routines better suited for explicit rap videos than basketball games.



That’s the point. Cheerleading has almost nothing to do with the games at which they are found.

Especially when they’re wearing the wrong colors.




In a halftime show last month a cheer squad skipped to midcourt dressed in spandex outfits from the 1980s – neon pink and really, really bright green – and they danced. I wasn’t convinced who they really were until the same faces appeared on the sidelines later in their school colors.

So, if they’re not doing what they’re intended to, why do we need them?

Cheerleading is a part of most American sporting events, from junior high to the pros. But all it adds are flashy pom-poms, high-pitched yells and smiling faces. All they accomplish with that is drawing attention away from the game.

Are we so easily bored that we can’t last the period of a halftime without entertainment?

But they should be given a break. Their duty, apparently, is to stand and cheer for their team at all times, even when no one else will. When the team for which they cheer is hopelessly behind, cheerleaders are usually as loud as in the opening minutes.

They are great help for parents, though – the kind who like to throw their 7-year-olds in front of the TV when they can’t think of anything productive to do. But how many people that age are there at most games?

Not a lot.

So Ross – my opponent on this issue, whose thoughts can be found on the other side of the page – can take his sentimental stories and send them to Chicken Soup for the Cheerleader’s Soul.

But there’s more out there than cheerleaders threatening sports.

Raise your hand if you think 5-year-old breakdancers are cute (both hands should still be holding the newspaper). That’s everyday entertainment during time-outs and between quarters at Sacramento Kings games, along with dancing inflatable puppets.

And how many of you remember who won the Super Bowl three years ago? But y’all remember Janet Jackson’s costume malfunction.

This year, the Rolling Stones performed in the Super Bowl halftime show. It’s bad enough that there’s a halftime show for every Super Bowl, but haven’t the Stones had enough concerts?

Three years from now, people will have a clouded memory of a game between the Steelers and the Seahawks. But, oh, they’ll remember the Stones.

Apparently Rossy wouldn’t have minded so much when his Denver Broncos lost in the AFC Championship, had there been a better performance at halftime.

He calls himself a sports hound and then defends cheerleaders.

Dude.

There is a time when teams and schools can be forgiven for trying to fill seats: when they’re doing so poorly that no one would come for the game alone.

I know that the teams I was watching earlier this season weren’t. They finished first and second in their league.

That could have been more reason for the cheerleaders to cheer. But then again, wearing colors that didn’t match their school, Idon’t think they were cheering for their team.

They must have been cheering for themselves.

ooo

To contact sports writer Jeff Miller, e-mail jeffm@theunion.com or call 477-4240.


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