That means lots of great football, mascots and packed stadiums. I will confess, I never understood the attraction of college football, and certainly never thought I would write about it. I’m starting to get it, sort of. The football is more exciting because the game is faster and there are more big plays. The fans are fanatical just like pro football fans. But college football fans are louder and prouder somehow. Let me describe: No empty seats, a live college band, everyone wearing team colors, and all kinds of things flying in the air including cheerleaders.
I’m still wondering about one thing, what happens to these people after college? Okay, a small percentage of football players go to the pros. Others graduate with useful business degrees and do something with their lives. And the rest end up in jail-just kidding. The fans move on or purchase space to tailgate every week. But what do the male cheerleaders do? Do you ever think about that? They have spent four years throwing girls around, looking up their skirts and screaming into super-sized megaphones.
I couldn’t stand it, I had to do some research on male cheerleaders. I had to start with the query of what makes them want to become a cheerleader in the first place? Are they gymnasts or perverts? “The Google machine” and of course my all time favorite “Wiki” gave me the answers I sought.
First, you have to first want to become a college cheerleader before we can find out what happens to them after college. Did they get kicked off the soccer team or something? Second, they have to be athletic and strong because they have to be able to throw girls around and make pyramids. Last, they have to face the stigma and labeling. Other than that, I’m not sure there are a lot of other qualifications.
I found scholarships and coed cheer leading camps for guys. Wow, never knew such a thing existed. More interesting I found a science school blog called “Serendip” that claims cheerleading is a sport. (George, what do you think, sport or not?) We have previously debated as to whether NASCAR is really a sport. And I am reminded that clearly there is a winner and losers in NASCAR. What about cheer leading? If your team wins does that mean you are a better cheerleader? Is the physical demand in cheerleading more intense than NASCAR? I digress.
Since “serendip” is not a word but the name of a college newsletter, and serendipity means “by accident” or “good luck”, then I have decided it is by accident that males become cheerleaders in the 21st century. In fact as I sit here, I’m watching the LSU v. Ole Miss game, and their are some guys on the cheer leading squad that look like they should be sitting in a dorm room in a lazy boy with cigarette burns drinking a six pack of Miller High Life and eating Doritos. You might even throw in some Taco Bell at midnight. So I’m finding it hard to believe this is a true athletic sport. I’m throwing it into the NASCAR category of sports that may not really be a sport.
Last, cheerleading was actually created by men. Specifically, it was a pep club started at Princeton in the 1920’s by men. But starting a pep club hardly requires athletic prowess.
So what happens to male cheerleaders after college? Maybe they become male singing telegrams or motivational speakers. I have yet to find any information on what happens to a male cheerleader after college. Mystery unsolved and another alleged sport “un-designated” as a real sport.