Cheerleading can distract while entertaining

Tj Rushing

The Chicago Bears, New York Jets, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions are all NFL franchises that have one characteristic in common.

No cheerleaders.

Actually, another common component of the seven teams would be cold winter temperatures, which may affect the owners’ decisions to not include the in-game entertainers.

For the other 25 teams, however, a memo was sent out last week banning home team cheerleaders from flaunting their “stuff” in front of opposing teams’ sidelines.

According to reports, certain undisclosed NFL teams were telling their cheerleaders to warm up in front of visiting team’s players in an attempt to distract them from listening to their coach’s instructions.

NFL fan Ben Valberg, junior in marketing, said the players of the league probably won’t be too affected by the overly cautious league’s memo.

“I don’t think it matters at all,” Valberg said. “The players probably wouldn’t even care, but it’s the ‘No Fun League,’ so I guess they had to do it.”

ISU starting defensive back Allen Bell agreed with Valberg and has first-hand experience with opposing cheerleaders. He said if you’re on the field to play football, then it shouldn’t matter where or what the opponent’s cheerleaders are doing or saying.

“I did notice Nebraska’s cheerleaders were kind of close to us at warm-ups,” Bell said. “I don’t know if it was on purpose or not. I don’t think it works, though. If there are 80,000 fans in the crowd, then you can’t let six cheerleaders distract you.”

On the other side of the matter is ISU senior cheerleader Rachael Gonzales.

She said the difference between NFL cheerleaders and college cheerleaders is drastic, but agreed with Valberg and Bell that it shouldn’t be an issue.

“The NFL cheerleaders are a lot more skanked out than we are. Their sex appeal is a lot greater than ours. They wear go-go boots and halter tops; it’s a lot more risque,” Gonzales said. “Where are the players’ minds, though, if they’re concentrating on the cheerleaders and the crowd rather than the football game?”

Maybe college players are indeed more vulnerable than the pros when it comes to “off-field distractions.” Gonzales said the Iowa team may have been a bit distracted prior to the 15-13 loss to the Cyclones on Sept. 15.

“When I was warming up for the Iowa game, they were definitely watching us before the game when we were doing basket tosses and pyramids,” Gonzales said. “I’ve never seen a team more distracted than them; maybe that’s why we won.”