Rah! Rah! Sis-Boom-Blah!
By Tom Nussbaum
I’ve never participated in organized team sports and only took part in individual sports when bribed by friends or threatened with a starting pistol at my temple. But I am a sports fan and watch a lot of ESPN and weekend afternoon television.
I have found, however, there are many slow-paced sports that are as much mental as physical. As a result, they might be boring to the average viewer. Therefore, I recently asked myself, while watching golf, “You know what would make this more exciting?”
Yes. Cheerleaders. They perform a public service probably more vital to the American way of life than Walmart greeters, public restroom attendants, and roadside sign spinners. But they have been grossly underused.
For decades, cheerleaders have been limited to football and basketball, with little opportunity to expand their visibility. When I was in high school during the 1960s, for example, and our baseball team vied for the league championship, the school’s pep squad was at a loss how to deal with it. “We have to do something,” they said. “It’s the championship and our team needs our support.” But, alas, they had no appropriate outfits or cheers. So, the girls attended the game, sat in the front row, and thought about what they’ll wear to the prom and day-dreamed about losing their virginity during the first week of college.
Male members of the squad attended, too. They, also, did not know what to do. They, however, could have gone commando and worn pants so tight fans would have been torn between which bats and balls to focus on.
Individual urgings from the stands could have been turned into group cheers. “Batter Batter Batter!” could have come alive with suggestive choreography, perhaps to the score of The Bad News Bears. Jeers like “You’re blind, Ump!” could have been rhymed with nice rump.
Golf, like I said, needs something to make it more exciting and cheerleaders are the answer. They wouldn’t support individual players, but would root-on all the golfers. But how many cheerleaders are appropriate for professional golf? The answer is obvious: Fore! Lined up behind the player, to avoid disturbing tee shots, sand trap blasts, or putts, they would wear green in order to blend into the verdant environment. “Hole in one!” they could whisper. And “Par, par, par.” The aforementioned “Fore!” could be yelled an appropriate four times as a warning when an errant golf ball sails toward distracted spectators who are texting friends that they are watching the world’s Tiger Woods wannabes.
And what about tennis? Certainly, like golf, the cheer squad would have to work in hushed tones. And probably between points. But their uniforms could match the neon-yellow of the tennis balls and could feature two large, breast-high ball appliques, to remind spectators they are, in fact watching tennis, not jai-alai. Their routines could be simple. They could merely raise their arms and sway them back and forth, like stereotypical tennis onlookers’ eyes, during volleys. Or they could chant “Ace” when the ball is served well or “Ass” when a losing player smashes his racquet during a temper-tantrum. They could personalize their yells, calling the names of individual players when encouragement is needed, monikers, especially Eastern European ones, that explode from mouths like morning phlegm, names like Krejcikova, Sabalenka, and Basilashvilli. Crowds could replace rah-rah and olé with Pavlyuchenkova, and Van de Zandschulp.
Alpine sports, too, could use peppy cheer squads. Downhill and cross-country ski courses could be lined with scantily clad young women frantically shaking their mammary mountains to prevent the silicone from freezing. Males on the squad could wear Speedos stuffed with tube socks to disguise shrinkage. And the cheers—well, it wouldn’t really matter what the cheerleaders chanted as they’d be shivering so severely no one could understand them. But they could try to yell “Shuss. Shuss. Shussing,” “Faster. Faster. Faster,” and “TREEEEEE!”
Bowling, I believe, is another sport that demands cheerleaders. They would wear, of course, bowling shirts, perhaps lowcut to accentuate their bowling valleys. Chants could include “Strike! Strike! Strike!” which, of course, would send management into a tizzy. And the squad could do the splits when the seven and ten pins are left standing. If there are ten cheerleaders, they could perform between frames at the end of the alley, in triangle formation, trying to avoid getting knocked down or knocked up.
And finally, there is ice hockey. Oh, how that elegant athletic endeavor cries for cheerleaders. Of course, the squad would be required to have missing teeth and facial scars. The primary chant, appropriate to yell at any time, particularly during televised games, would be “Puck! Puck! Puck!” This could, of course, throw television censors into a state of apoplexy.
Apoplexy? Doctors treat apoplexy. You know where cheerleaders are needed? Operating rooms. Examination rooms. Yoga classes. Courtrooms. Yes! Courtroom cheerleaders could wear mini-skirted judge’s robes, red or blue ones depending on the area’s politics. The squad could chant “Defense! Defense!” “Go, Bailiff, Go! and “Order in the Court” until they are the only ones out of order. And, instead of pompoms, they could shake color-coordinated gavels.
Blue state courtroom cheerleaders could chant “Lean to the left. Lean to the ri…left. Fight. Fight. Fight!” while red state ones could yell “Lean to the right. Lean to the right. White! White! White!”
But I digress. Sports. We’re talking sports, like at the Olympics. Oh, my god. The O-L-Y-M-P-I-C-S …
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