Total Drek

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A fine American tradition

As part of my induction in the world of American tradition, I am, apart from reading my presidential information cards, trying to come to grips with the wonderful all-American custom that is cheerleading. Many's the time when my lovely Slag has attempted to explain why a perfectly good and interesting sport (as he claims it to be) like American football needs near-naked women to perform stunts before, during and after in order to render it more...interesting.

Take proper football, sorry, soccer. Yesterday, as a minor miracle, I watched the really rather splendid match between AC Milan and FC Barcelona. Barcelona is of course "my" team in so far as I can be bothered to have one. Either way, the game was exciting, with a majestic goal from Giuly. And you know what? Not a halfnaked woman in sight. A whole stadium full of excited fans cheering and not a single woman in almost non-existent spandex*.

What does the above tell me about cheerleaders and, more importantly, about American football**? From my point of view it is all very easy. American football bores me to tears, and, as a consquence, I need all the halfnaked women I can get to make it more compelling. But what with the self-avowed fans of the sport? Here's my hypothesis - at some point during the 20's some smart people realised that they had lots of sports on campus, and not very many women, and figured that they would even things out a little, and claim it as good wholesome entertainment. For that purpose they picked the most boring sport on campus, one which conveniently already had a tradition in "cheering". Then they gradually introduced more and more women until, at last, there were no men and hardly any American football in between the cheerleading. My prediction is that in twenty years there will be no American football left, only adverts and near-naked women, with the odd token male in shoulder pads carrying a ball.

*not counting me, watching at home
**yes, I know my beloved hockey also occasionally has cheerleaders; but that is only because once the NFL guys had them, the NHL folks understandably protested that they wanted almost naked women too, so they could have an exciting sport and those football women, and save money of tickets for NFL games.

8 Comments:

Blogger tina said...

I do believe that cheerleading pre-dates professional football, and it was an exclusively male activity at university sporting events. The women, and then the sexual, er, suggestiveness, came later.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 8:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually not all American football teams have cheerleaders. My beloved Steelers don’t have cheerleaders. Or at least they didn’t the last time I checked. The stated reason for this is that people come to Steelers’ games to see hardnosed, smash-mouth football and not a bunch of half-naked women on the side-lines. I think the real reason is that because winters in Pittsburgh are fairly cold and the games are held outside. The cheerleaders wouldn’t be half-naked but all bundled up in parkas and snow-pants, which wouldn’t provide much entertainment of the type you might find in warmer climates or indoor arenas.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger TDEC said...

Tina,
If you look at the Wikipedia entry linked in my post it states that cheerleading did originate with football, but was originally a male activity. The women were introduced in the 20s.

Anonymous,
I am glad that some people go there to watch the actual game. Perhaps it explains why it hasn't been done away with. And you know what? I completely support the idea of cheerleaders in parkas and snowpants. It sounds rather sweet.

But seriously, folks, you know I'm just kidding, right?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Drek said...

Hell, TDEC, you've basically hit on the reason I don't watch football. There's no other sport, with the exception of Golf, that involves so much standing around and doing nothing. I'm supposed to be excited by this? Crap.

At least golf hasn't gone all stupid on us (yet) and just revels in being the dullest sport on Earth.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger tina said...

Okay, if we're gonna be snippy, I'll point out that I said professional football.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 1:08:00 PM  
Blogger Drek said...

Okay, if we're gonna be snippy, I'll point out that I said professional football.

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

Sorry... I've just always wanted to say that. If it balances out the implied chauvanism, please help yourself to this.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2:03:00 PM  
Blogger TDEC said...

He he. Yes Tina, entirely fair point; you are of course right. And you introduced the word snippy, which is great.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Ugh -- has anyone ever tried talking to a cheerleader? It's as much fun as stapling your gentalia to your thigh. I have yet to see compelling evidence that cheerleaders provide anything worthy or interesting in society (as cheerleaders, since I assume they have to get over it eventually -- that spandex won't hold it all in forever, you know)...

Thursday, April 20, 2006 5:26:00 AM  

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