Being an NFL Cheerleader – Not Just About Shaking Your Pom Poms! Part 1
BettyConfidential goes inside the locker rooms to answer questions about what it takes to become a high-kicking cheerleader … from keeping in shape (yes!) to dating players (no, no!).
If you thought all cheerleaders were stereotypical bottle blondes with fake boobs and few brain cells, think again. In fact, these rah rah enthusiasts are ambitious, hard-working girls who get a lot more flak and a lot less money than you’d expect! And this year, for the first time in 45 years, they’re shut out of the Super Bowl! Neither the Green Bay Packers nor the Pittsburgh Steelers have a squad. Snap!
But what is being an NFL cheerleader really like? Betty Confidential went one-on-one with two former gridiron girls to get the truth. And although both say it was one of the most challenging experiences of their lives, it was also – hands down – the best.
DATING A PLAYER
Most teams in the NFL have a strict, no-fraternizing policy, which is the dating equivalent of window-shopping: you can look, but you better not touch!
“We physically signed a contract saying we weren’t allowed to fraternize with the players,” says Melanie Brown, 25, a former San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks cheerleader (pictured above), who adds it’s much easier for a cheerleader to be sacked, so to speak, than a pro. “I heard [the guys] had to sign one, too, but if it’s between a cheerleader, who makes nothing, versus a player, who makes millions, who do you think will get fired?”
Brown, a one-time Pro Bowl cheerleader (one cheerleader from each of the 32 squads in the NFL is asked to cheer in this annual all-star game, meaning: she is very, very good) continues to say that when she started with the Chargers in 2009, her squad was minus one great cheerleader who didn’t obey the rules. “[The league] will find out. A girl on my team didn’t get asked back because she was hanging out with one of the players…and they weren’t even dating!”
Although each team does have a different set of rules and some are allowed to date, most in the NFL are anti cheerleader-player relationships. Want proof? Christy Oglevee was fired from the Washington Redskins just two weeks after she started dating tight end Chris Cooley. At least their story had a happy ending: the two fell in love and tied the knot in 2009.
THE PAY SUCKS, BUT THE PERKS ARE GREAT. RIGHT?