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Myths of NFL Cheerleaders Unravelled

Jan 11, 2008
So there's tons of cheerleaders out there dancing on the field and we never bother to get to know them. All we do is just stare at them dancing, think 'oh they dance good, look good, typical cheerleaders' and move on without a thought as to what really goes behind the scenes of an NFL cheerleader. Well, I am here to tell you that there is a lot more than meets the eye. All those movies you saw like "Bring it On" and those television shows that showed a bunch of drama queens as cheerleaders have got it all wrong.

Myth #1 - It's easy being an NFL cheerleader.

Um. No. There is no way that it is easy being a cheerleader. So much goes into the auditions, that you're lucky to even make it into the squad in the first place. Hundreds of girls try out and you have to be in the top 3% to make it in the squad, no kidding. They all dance good, look good, are energetic, enthusiastic, and have a great personality on top of all that. After they get into the squad, it takes hours of practice almost every day in order to get the NFL dancing routines down. It gets worse when they have to dance in the freezing cold, especially in the northern States (which some NFL teams use as an excuse for not having a cheerleading team and yes not every NFL team has a cheerleading squad). Outside of the dances, they also have to show up for charity events, make guest appearances, do photo shoots, and sometimes even travel overseas to entertain our very own US military troops to keep their morale high. Whoever said being a cheerleader was easy obviously hasn't seen one at work.

Myth: NFL Cheerleaders get to meet football stars and date them

Absolutely not. NFL Cheerleaders are not allowed to "fraternize" with the players. That means no flirting, no personal relationships, no personal "friendships", or anything that might imply a relationship outside of the professional realm of the NFL. Yes, they can interact a little bit at charity events and guest appearances but typically, you'd have better luck getting to know the football stars as a janitor cleaning their locker rooms or being some sort of groupie. Cheerleaders going out with the likes of Tom Brady and Randy Moss? Forget about it.

Myth: NFL Cheerleaders rack in the fame and fortune

How much do cheerleaders get paid in the NFL? The answer to that question is $15 to $50 a game. Heck, there are times when they don't get paid at all. They have to show up at guest appearance, photo shoots, overseas performances for US troops and all of that is most likely unpaid. Don't feel too bad for them. Some of them get out of cheerleading and find that a bunch of opportunities await them because of their NFL cheerleading elite status. Teri Hatcher from Desperate Housewives was a San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush Cheerleader once and look where she is now. Making $285,000 an episode and multiply that by 10+ episodes per season. Now who wants to be an NFL cheerleader?

Myth: NFL Cheerleaders are stupid and act like valley girls

Yes, NFL cheerleaders are hot but who said you can't combine beauty with brains? People tend to associate cheerleaders with light-headed valley girls who enjoy going shopping and being the drama queens. Well these cheerleaders aren't in high school anymore for one thing. Another thing is that these cheerleaders need to be mature and intelligent so that they can answer to the media. After all, they are an important aspect of the team's public image.

NFL cheerleaders deserve a better reputation. Sure there are a few black sheep out there but in general, the NFL cheerleaders are good girls who do their best to perform for us. The least we could do is show our appreciation. Don't forget they also contribute to the community in various charity events so they do help out on a local and national level. Let's show our support for them and give them the credit they deserve.
About the Author
David Court has written various articles on the issue of NFL cheerleaders. To find out more, visit his website NFL Cheerleaders Blog
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