Before I go into my process for selecting winners for Week 10, I feel duty bound to comment on how I did last week when I deliberately chose opposite of my husband, Ghost Rat. We went into Monday night’s contest TIED!! I unfortunately lost along with the Eagles as my husband chose the Saints to win. Still, I declare victory that it came down to only one game. By my count, that makes me almost as right as he is! Yippee!!
On to Week 10…I enlisted some help this week from my 15-year-old son to assist me with my picks since the topic is of great importance to him. I am speaking, of course, of the NFL cheerleaders. I am coming to terms with grown men getting paid enough money to run a small country to play football for around 20 weeks a year. I lag behind in my understanding of the use of “cheerleaders”.
The criteria used to choose an NFL cheerleader are surprisingly not rigid. They are chosen based on their ability to entertain the audience. Prior dance experience in NOT required, and there are not age, height or weight requirements for most teams. In fact, while the average age of NFL cheerleaders is 25, they range in age from 18-42. Shoot!! I just missed my window of opportunity to become one! Women from all over the country can try out, but must be willing to move to the home community of the team in order to make it to practice. They are required to have another full time job in spite of the huge commitment of time required to be an NFL cheerleader. They must have a minimum of a GED or high school diploma.
This week, I wanted to honor teams that, like me, don’t see cheerleaders as necessary. By my count, there are 6 NFL teams that don’t have a cheerleading squad, including the Browns and the Packers who have a bye week, as well as the Bears, Giants, Lions and Steelers. Since the majority of teams do, in fact, have cheerleaders, I made an effort to determine which teams had cheerleaders that provided the most value in society. I also had my son look at pictures of them and measured his “drool factor”. Sleazy cheerleaders equals a loss for the team. My research proved interesting regarding the ladies that cheer and there were some nice surprises about their contribution to the greater good. It is with clenched jaw that I speak in defense of the women who make up the NFL squads. All of them appear on behalf of the team to raise money, act as ambassadors and complete hours of community service. I sought to use my usual scientific method to make a judgment call, with the team with the most substantial cheerleaders winning. The harder I had to look for information about community service efforts, the more likely I chose the team to lose.
In the Thursday night game, the Colts face the Jaguars. This one was close for me. The team picture of the Jaguars cheerleaders revealed, no pun intended, some of the most well endowed women across all teams. The ROAR, as they are called, function as a community service organization in addition to a dance squad. The Colts cheerleaders, while also a community service organization, include women named Sable, Candi (with an “I”), Jenniphure, and Allegra. Is it just me, or do those sound more like stripper names? Jaguars win!
Here are some of the other noteworthy bits of information. The Broncos Cheerleaders log over 1,500 hours of community service per year. The Buccaneers Cheerleaders and the Oakland Raiderettes are considered elite squads. The Buffalo Jills visited the war zone in Iraq in 1996 and the49ers Gold Rush traveled to Bosnia to entertain the troops. These are just small examples of the positive work of these women.
I am choosing an Eagles win over the Cowboys on general principal due to the fact that the Cowboys have the most famous cheerleaders of all NFL teams. Also, the Eagles have the only squad that places a “mature content” warning on their web page. After looking at all of the web pages, I applaud their insight because most of the sites I visited contained fairly mature content.
I am introducing a new concept this week. I am calling it the Widow’s Scorn award. For the remainder of the season, I am going to select a recipient who, in my estimation, places the largest blemish on the face of the game for the week. This may be in the form of behavior on or off the field, and will likely include violations of my “everything I need to know about football I learned in kindergarten” principles. The first recipient of the Widow’s Scorn award is Sarah Jones, former Bengals Cheerleader. She has not been in the news since October 8th when she accepted a plea deal after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student during her time spent as a high school English teacher. She has admitted to the misconduct in open court as part of her plea agreement, although she is not going to jail and is not being required to register as a sex offender. However, she is the first winner of this award because of my focus on cheerleaders this week. It is by far the most damaging thing I found, and, unfortunately for the Bengals, this bad apple spoils the batch for this week.
May the most tasteful cheerleaders win!!
Jaguars over Colts
Broncos over Panthers
Buccaneers over Chargers
Titans over Dolphins
Bills over Patriots
Raiders over Ravens
Giants over Bengals
Saints over Falcons
Lions over Vikings
Seahawks over Jets
Eagles over Cowboys
49ers over Rams
Bears over Texans
Steelers over Chiefs