Cheerleading- From Boys To Beauties
Today’s scantily-clad cheerleading beauties started off as college boys howling into megaphones trying to galvanize school spirit at football games. The first known school chant originated in the 1880’s by a pep squad at...
Cheerleading- From Boys To Beauties
Today’s scantily-clad cheerleading beauties started off as college boys howling into megaphones trying to galvanize school spirit at football games.
The first known school chant originated in the 1880’s by a pep squad at all-male Princeton University. But it wasn’t until 1898 when a certain Johnny Campbell led the first organized cheer to fight a losing streak at the University of Minnesota.
"Rah, Rah, Rah! Ski-u-mah, Hoo-Rah! Hoo-Rah! Varsity! Varsity! Varsity, Minn-e-So-Tah!" variations of this spirited shout are still in use today.
For over two decades, the on-campus recreational business of yelling and rousing fan support at athletic competitions remained exclusively a boys' domain.
Yell leaders of their day included Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.
Girls finally entered the fray in 1923 and began drawing crowd attention with light routines of gymnastics and acrobatics. Pompoms were introduced in the 1930’s to enhance the visual effect.
The feminization of cheerleading took off in the 1940’s after men left for the armed forces to fight in World War II. By the end of the decade, the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) was formed to hold clinics and workshops in what would eventually become a quintessential American pastime at all levels- high school, college, pro, competitive.
Texan Lawrence Herkimer, founder of the NCA and the first company dedicated to the business of cheerleading, invented the “herkie” jump, the “spirit stick” and also patented the hidden handle behind pompoms.
While men’s attire remained relatively unchanged, women’s original ankle-length hemlines moved north with each passing fashion fad.
Inevitably, cheerleading’s growing sex appeal and football's expanding television audience lifted the choreographed activity onto the professional stage, mixing sports and entertainment.
The Baltimore Colts were the first football franchise to adopt a cheerleading squad in 1954. The Dallas Cowboys introduced their iconic and revealing star-spangled uniforms in 1972 .
Other teams followed and even attached catchy names to their new cutie-squad additions: Chicago “Honey Bears”, Minnesotta “Vi-Queens”, Miami “Dolphin Dolls”, etc.
Though many of the designations were later dropped due to their controversial appellations, some of the more sanitized names still remain like the Cincinnati “Ben-Gals” and New Orleans “Saintsations”.
Turning back the clock a hundred years, we can only be amused at how last century's “rah, rah” male clubs evolved into today's troupes of swimsuit calendar ladies.
FOOTBALL February 6, 2011 The Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV. Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, launched 3 touchdowns and completed 24 of 39 passes to win the game MVP. His counterpart, Ben Roethlisberger, hurled 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, one of which resulted in a 37-yard running score against Pittsburgh. It was the 4th SB victory for Green Bay, the NFL’s first champions dating back to the 1966 season.
BASKETBALL February 11, 2001 The NBA holds its 50th All-Star game at the MCI Center in Washington, DC. Allen Iverson picked up the MVP after rallying the Eastern Conference to defeat the West in a narrow 111-110 game. Vince Carter (Toronto Raptors) and Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers) topped the highest number of selection votes from the East, while Shaquille O’Neal (Los Angeles Lakers) and Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) were most popular in the West.
BASEBALL February 4, 1991 The Board of Directors at the Baseball Hall of Fame votes 12-0 to bar Pete Rose from being inducted. Due to his past gambling activities around the game, both as player and manager, Rose continues to be kept out of the prestigious institution. Playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds from 1963-1989, Rose was a 17x All-Star and 3x World Series champion. In his playing career he batted .303, hit 4,256, and had RBI of 1,413.
MOTOR SPORTS February 15, 1981 Rich Petty wins the 23rd annual running of the Daytona 500. Rounding the 200-lap chase in just under 2 hours and 57 minutes, Petty beat Bobby Allison by 3½ seconds and brought out Buick’s first NASCAR win since 1956. It was the 7th and last Daytona 500 victory for the North Carolina native who still holds the record for most wins at the famed track. Petty is tied with Jimmy Johnson and Dale Earnhardt for the NASCAR series (7x).