Call me naive, call me oblivious, call me whatever you please, but I never thought that my little blog post about cheerleading – a sport (or activity, if you prefer), that few people care about – would ever go as viral as it did. I started this blog last semester, and from September – December I received a little over 400 hits, or views, total. Since I published my post last night around 7 o’clock or so, my blog has received 1,098 hits (as of 2:21pm on Jan 30th, 2012). For my number of views to nearly triple in a matter of hours astounded me. Yet with a topic so controversial, and with wording and speculation as amateur as mine was, I guess I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am. People always say that hindsight is 20/20, and mine is clearer than ever.
Let me start off by saying that if you have not read the string of comments that went along with my post, please do so. They were the inspiration for this rebuttal and I appreciate the individuals who took the time to share their opinions with me. There were a few people who decided to comment by making blatant character attacks upon me, which I cannot say felt too great. Yet maybe that’s just my karma coming around and kicking my ass like it was supposed to. Continue reading “To make amends”
My cheerleading team is considered a club sport at my college. Now, I have never been the type of cheerleader to complain and start an argument over whether cheerleading is a sport or not. I do not get upset when people say that what we do isn’t a sport and we aren’t really athletes. And the reason I don’t get upset about it is because I know how much athleticism and energy and endurance and stamina it takes to be a cheerleader; I know that what we do on the sidelines does not even begin to compare to what our competition routine entails. I am confident that I am an athlete. And I am confident that cheerleading is a sport. For those who disagree, I’m sorry, but I could care less. I love my sport and that’s all that matters.
However, the differences in club vs. Division 1 sports teams do get annoying when they are made blatantly obvious in multiple ways throughout the year. I can’t tell you how many times I see the D1 athletes write their name down on a list at Tim Horton’s or the dining hall to redeem their free meals. They sign their seemingly soon-to-be famous signatures away for a complimentary meal while I swipe my card and watch my GriffBucks that I actually pay for go down the drain. Or how about the wardrobe of free clothes that each Division 1 athlete receives? Must be nice to have new winter coats, warm ups, shoes, t-shirts, shorts, and backpacks every single year. Yeah, my team has warm ups, too. But guess what? We each paid out of pocket for them. I guess if I were offered all of those things for free, I’d take it, too. Who can blame them?
Now it’d be one thing if all of our D1 athletes were top-notch and won titles every season and brought in great crowds to the games and earned the respect of their peers. But I’ll be honest; Canisius College doesn’t necessarily gain its popularity from the winning records of our athletic teams. All of our teams work hard, I will give them that. But it’d be nice if they could see things from the other side. I wonder how many athletes would commit to their sports if there weren’t so many perks involved. Sometimes I look at these D1 athletes and I wonder if they even love their sport or they’re just doing it for the free ride. That’s one benefit that us “non-athletic regular people” have over these D1 athletes. We don’t get the perks. We don’t get the benefits. We barely even get any recognition. But we do it anyways. And we do it because we love it. For the majority of us, that’s the only incentive we have. But for us, that’s enough.