Cheerleading: so much more than flippy flips

Let me apologize in advance if this puts the ?duh? in ?dumb.? Cheerleading happens, and it was only a matter of time until I had to stop pretending to ignore it. There were four compelling basketball games played with tournament seedings at stake last week, but I kid you not, the involvement of each crowd crescendoed when the home cheer squads responded to the acrobatics Team Tabor threw down to energize the Bluejays? traveling fans.

I?m sure the relative lack of loudness at other interesting moments does not suggest that some of those attending did not particularly care about the basketball outcomes. I think the extra-loud reaction to the cheerleaders had something to do with the slightly-awkward astonishment that only a mob-mind can feel at the sight of something unfamiliar.

At Bethany, one Swede cheerleader drew the biggest noise of the night by stringing together a series of flips that covered the whole distance between the baselines, and more.

It was an impressive reaction to a similar move put on by a Tabor cheerleader during a full time out earlier in the contest. (Obviously by ?contest? I mean the basketball games. There are no time outs in cheerleading.)

At Ottawa, their guy did what I have to describe as a ?front handspring step-out round-off back handspring step-out round-off back handspring, full-twisting layout.?

Why? To balm his side?s egos, which were obviously bruised by the Bluejays? unique and deadly combination of pep, exuberance, extroversion and broad smiles.

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By the way, the gymnastic-sounding stuff above is a quote from a movie, so I can?t vouch for whether it accurately describes whatever Ottawa-man actually did. But if I?d described it in my own words, it would have been a ?flippy-flip thingy.?

Not even the immortal George Costanza would have come up with the two things I think of whenever cheerleaders start doing their thing.

First thought: Kevin Bacon, as in, what year was Footloose made? Second thought: projectile motion, as in, what is the minimum distance Xsafe such that Xsafe exceeds by one full unit the maximum distance X that object O at height H launched with force F at angle A can fly?

* * *

OK, I?ll get to the point. I like watching basketball, but when cheerleaders start doing whatever it is they do, I have no idea what is going on, or why, or what will happen next. I guess I?m just not that interested in whatever it is that supposedly makes cheerleading a sport. But it is kind of fun, I guess, as long as nobody gets hurt and it doesn?t delay the basketball games.

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