Do Not Boo the Cheerleaders (No Matter What They Look Like)Posted by nvr1983 on March 9th, 2009
Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is an RTC correspondent for the MAAC and NEC Conferences. He found himself at the MAAC Tournament this weekend.
ALBANY, NY – Saturday afternoon courtside at the Times Union Center. Siena has opened a huge second half lead and is in control against Canisius in this MAAC quarterfinal. Time out. The Canisius cheerleaders take the floor. Directly behind me a group of Siena co-eds starts booing. I am reminded of Kyle Whelliston’s 2005 article and use its title as I politely say ’ Don’t boo the cheerleaders’. Ironically Kyle’s article was directed at Siena fans booing the Iona cheerleaders in the MAAC tournament. At the time Siena was suffering through a single-digit win season and the prospect of a six hour drive home on the Thruway probably had them perturbed to say the least. Today the Saints are in the driver’s seat, the tournament favorite, racking up a sizeable win, and at home. No need to boo.
“Are you a Canisius fan?” one of the Siena ladies asks. “No. I’m a writer and ironically fans of my alma mater are probably loving this.” I explain as a writer you must be fair and objective. My alma mater is St. Bonaventure and back in the day Canisius was a hated rival. Ironically, I’m defending their cheerleading squad, who would ever think…Hopefully the Bonaventure Bandwagon doesn’t throw me off.
The dance team comes out on another time out. “Get off the floor you [expletive female dogs],” one of the ladies yells. Even a nearby usher turns his head in disbelief. “No need to do that,” I said while half-jokingly remarking about some of the language out of the mouths of Catholic school fans. Anyway the ladies are thrilled to hear my alma mater, like Siena, is a Franscican institution, that led to a fist pound. It turns out they are second semester seniors and one even has three law school acceptances. Booing the cheerleaders?
You root against a team? Fine. Maybe it’s an issue of maturity. Back in the day I was a St. Bonaventure student manager and thought nothing of classmates hollering insults and profanity. St. Bonaventure fans knew all the words and probably invented some while taunting cheerleaders from rivals Niagara and Canisius. And maybe it is due to meeting coaches and cheerleaders and writing some profiles and features on squads that led to my change of heart. They are athletes that practice, stay in condition and are gymnastically skilled. Cheerleaders and dance team members are also bright, personable young ladies who represent their schools well and in a positive manner. Maybe you want to boo a coach or player(s). Not saying that is particularly justified, but at any rate give the spirit groups a break.
Overall the group was devout and passionate, and thankfully brought a designated driver. They said goodbye after the final buzzer, noted they would be at the semis, and asked who Siena plays. “Fairfield,” I answered. “And they have a good cheer squad, just give them a break.” They got a laugh out of that. And promised to do so.