(Ed's note: I feel I need to preface this for people who may not know me. I'm not a shallow guy; a lot of people say they aren't shallow, but I'm genuinely not. I'll admit I have some very attractive friends, but I'm also very aware that some of my friends are downright ugly. It's OK, they know who they are. And if you thought to yourself "Wow, that was mean to say," well then guess which camp you're probably in. I say all that to say this: I don't usually judge people based solely on looks. Unless they have an eye patch. In that case I still scream "Pirate!" over and over in my head. So don't hate me when I mention The Ugly People. And I'm apologizing ahead of time if an IPFW cheerleader happens to read this.)
Thursday night Dad and I were invited down to Ft Wayne by my Uncle Rick and cousin Rich to catch an IPFW basketball game. For my out-of-town readers, IPFW is the Indiana/Purdue Fort Wayne college campus. My aunt works for the bank in town and was given some free tickets and I was excited to go. I'd never been to a game before.
I was pretty impressed that the guys play their games not on campus but at the Fort Wayne Memorial Coliseum. I realized that a thousand people is a lot of people unless they're in a huge arena. Then it looks like 45 people showed up.
We didn't realize how good our seats were until we got there. On the floor. Front row. Center court. A special ticketing agent had to show us to our seats and we were behind the little blue partition reserved only for people of importance. Or their Mexican relatives.
The IPFW pep band was there. It was like a 14-piece ensemble complete with keyboards and bass guitar. They sounded really good; very tight and a very talented band. But "pep band" wasn't really the best word to describe them. Instead of playing basketball game classics like "We Got The Beat" or "Another One Bites the Dust" they chose to work the crowd into a frenzy with low-key mellow jazz hits. Again, don't get me wrong. They sounded great, they really did, but the hits of Chick Corea and The Rippingtons don't really make the best soundtrack for college basketball.
And then....and then I became very, very uncomfortable.
There are 9 billion people in the world (a true fact I made up) and a lot of those people are ugly. No big deal. We all see ugly people every day and that's just the way it is; most of us never think anything of it. But when you see 20 ugly people in one big group, then you kinda notice. And when they're wearing cheerleader outfits, you really notice.
I'm honestly not trying to be mean but something was definitely afoot. When you're front row center at a college basketball game and the cheerleaders are right directly in front of you doing a routine and you try to find any excuse in the world to look somewhere else (wow, how do all of those steel beams in the ceiling stay up there? i wonder how old that scoreboard is. what's on the bottom of my shoes?) then I think that's a red flag. One of them looked like a Picasso. I know sometimes that's meant as a compliment but in this case it wasn't. Her eye and nose were interchanged and her lips were where her ear should have been.
But hey, if they weren't physically attractive, then at least they didn't have any personalities to offset that. A lot of cheerleaders will bounce onto the floor like crack addicts with huge toothy smiles and a "Yayyyyyyyyyy" spirit; pom-poms waving and motivating the crowd to their feet. This bunch of galoots trudged onto the stage with a cheer of:
"all right. stand up"
How can 20 people say something at the same time and have it not be loud? Somehow they managed to do it. Of course, not one person in the crowd stood.
But then, then, it was halftime, and it was the dance team's turn to repulse the crowd. They tried to distract the crowd from their lack of spirit and talent by having really low-cut tops, but I think rather than finding it appealing and/or sexy it sort of made the crowd insulted. And when you manage to insult the audience of a basketball game with cleavage, you know you've definitely taken a wrong turn in Albuquerque. It wasn't enough that they were all goofy lookin'. They had no idea what the heck they were doing. There were 3 girls that obviously had no idea what the moves of the routine were and the others only seemed to sort of know. Maybe if it were the first game of the season and their dance still needed to work out a few kinks I'd understand it. But this was the fifteenth game. No excuse, people. I'm not trying to be funny when I tell you the cast of The Sopranos have more talent, timing, and enthusiasm than this group of soulless rocks.
These are actually college cheerleaders! Shouldn't I want to watch them? I was really embarrassed for them. And I shouldn't feel that way. This is the college level we're dealing with, so let's put in a little effort shall we? After the game my uncle said a friend of his had warned him ahead of time. He was told, "Wait until you get a load of the cheerleaders." Oh we got a load.
This sounds like I had a horrible time, but quite the contrary. The game itself was a lot of fun and IPFW stomped all over the team from Anderson. I was shocked how good everyone was from the three and there were a lot of great plays that made the crowd go nuts.
After the game we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for a few hours to catch the UCLA game and play that trivia thing they have there. It was a lot of fun hanging out and we all had a great time.
But man those cheerleaders were ugly.