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The Cheerleader Blog
Great news. I'm starting today's blog post with a joke.
It's a pretty good one. I thought of it while walking to Jimmy John's yesterday to buy a tuna fish sandwich. It was freezing cold outside, one of those November days where the chill just gets inside your bones, and I got to thinking about how cold I was and this joke just popped right into my mind and didn't want to leave. So - lucky for you! - I thought I would share it here today.
The joke is as follows...
Me: You won't BELIEVE how cold it was yesterday!
You: How cold was it, Dugan?
Me: It was so cold I saw a polar bear leaving Lawrence, and I said, 'Hey polar bear. Where are you going?' And he said, 'I'm leaving. It's too cold around here for me!'
(DISCLAIMER: I don't know what got into me with that joke! Most of my jokes aren't very funny, but I just hit this one out of the park! Go figure!)
Now, on to more pressing matters. As most of you are aware, the Kansas University football team will be traveling to Lincoln today for a meeting with the Cornhuskers of Nebraska. Big game. Big implications. Little Red, my favorite college mascot, will be there. What most of you are probably not aware of, however, is that, as of the 2002-03 school year, Nebraska decided to prevent its cheerleaders from leaving the ground during their sideline performances. Citing a previous incident and a high risk of injury, the university determined that, from then on, cheerleaders wouldn't be allowed to participate in any form of "stunting," which an NU press released described as "pyramids, basket tosses, handsprings and flips."
In other words, they tried to ruin cheerleading.
I try not to offer my opinions in print, so I won't say that having cheerleaders who don't throw each other in the air (or otherwise leave the ground) is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of - which is saying something, because I've heard of Crystal Pepsi, vanity license plates, Kansas football's end-zone seating section and the X-Games. I'll just say that grounded cheerleaders is weird. Real weird.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that, as fans, you shouldn't be expecting any flips of basket tosses this weekend. Sorry. I'm not really sure what bearing this will have on the outcome of Saturday's game, or why, exactly, we're talking about cheerleaders right now. But, hey, (what a coincidence!) now that we're on the topic, I'll take this opportunity to go ahead and tell you about how I used to date a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader.
Yep. It's true. The same guy you call "DUMBgan" and regularly request the firing of, used to be hot and heavy with one of K.C. Wolf's gals. And believe me when I say that none of you guys could've gotten this girl. Her name was Tiffany. She had blonde hair, a mouthful of braces and a curious habit of wearing "Tweety Bird" T-shirts five days a week. Of all the girls at Moreland Ridge (Mo.) Middle School, she was by far the most beautiful.
(DISCLAIMER: For full disclosure, I will mention here that I did not technically date a Chiefs cheerleaders while she was a Chiefs cheerleader. I dated a Chiefs cheerleader before she became a Chiefs cheerleader, which, in my opinion, is just as good as dating a Chiefs cheerleader while she's a Chiefs cheerleader. I also realize that there might be some of you reading this who might be of the belief that, because the relationship took place while we were both 7th graders, that I cannot reasonably claim to have dated a Chiefs cheerleader. Let me take this opportunity to tell you that you are wrong.)
Tiffany and I got together because, one day during science class with Mrs. Keiley, she told Ronnie Hurley that she liked me (Big surprise there. I got like six of those messages a day in 7th grade), and so I told Ronnie Hurley to ask her if she wanted to be my girlfriend, and so he did, and she did.
Now, if you want to know what's it like to date an NFL cheerleader, imagine what you think it would be like dating one of the most beautiful women on the planet, and then multiply that by 600. Then add infinity.
I remember at one point, an hour or so after we'd officially started going steady, we passed each other in the hallway. I was with my friends and she was with her friends. As we brushed by, we made extended eye contact, and time, as they say, seemed to stop. It was one of those moments where you look into a girl's eyes, and you just know: This is the person I'm going to spend the rest of my life with.
The relationship ended four hours later (four and a half if you count the 30 minutes it took me to work up the nerve to call and break up with her). Somewhere between pre-algebra and recess I realized that Tiffany and I were two different people who wanted very different things out of life, and that, despite our mutual physical attraction, it would probably never work between us.
Things had started out fine. Lots of love letters and flirtatious banter. Then, by the time 5th hour rolled around, she started getting weird on me. All she wanted to do was hang out by my locker and walk to class with me and sit by me in the lunchroom. Here I was, in the prime of my life (Seriously. Seventh grade was the prime of my life. I had a Starter jacket, a Super Nintendo and an Anfernee Hardaway Dream Team II jersey. Life will never be better), and I felt totally smothered!
After a contemplative bus ride home, during which Ross Johnson book-checked me and tried to steal my backpack, I decided that the best thing for all involved parties would probably be to just end the relationship now, before things got too serious.
It wasn't easy.
As you can imagine, getting broken up with by me is no picnic, emotionally speaking. For a girl, it's kind of like winning the lottery and then realizing (four and a half hours later) that you read the ticket wrong and you were actually one number off. I worried I was doing irreparable harm. That Tiffany's self-confidence would be forever shaken, and that, after her time with me, she would never again experience meaningful love (Once you've climbed Mount Everest, Mount Oread won't really do it for you, you know).
Most of all, I worried that letting me slip through her grasp would be too much for her 13-year-old heart to bear.
I picked up the phone and dialed her number, and after a few slow rings, she answered.
"Hey, babe," I said, trying to sound like Zach Morris. "We need to talk."
"OK," she said, sounding bored.
There was so much I wanted to tell her. How she had done everything right. How love works in mysterious ways, and everything happens for a reason. How, 20 or 30 years from now, she would (maybe) be able to look back on this whole situation and laugh.
Instead, I bit my tongue and said, "Hey, do you want to breakup?"
"OK," she said, sounding bored.
"OK," I said. "Cool."
Then we said goodbye and hung up. The next day at school, I braced for the breakup backlash. The constant tears and the mean looks from her friends and the vicious rumors aimed in my direction ("Hey, did you hear Dugan eats his boogs?").
But it never came. Somehow, in a miracle on par with the one that happened on 34th Street, Tiffany was able to get over me and piece together some semblance of a normal life. In fact, a couple weeks after our relationship ended, she started dating one of my best friends. Two years after that, she became a standout on our high school's state champion dance team. Two years after that, she started throwing really cool parties that I wasn't invited to. Two years after that, she moved on to the University of Missouri, where she joined a sorority and became a member of the ultra-hot "Golden Girls" dance team. And finally, two years after that, she became a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader - which I guess is cool, if you're into scorching hot girls wearing sequinned outfits and really cute tomahawk decals on their cheeks (which I'm not).
These days, I don't think about Tiffany much. Last I heard, she was running her own dance studio in the Kansas City area. I guess in hindsight, it's easy to see why we didn't work out. At age 12, I was young and carefree, too much of a womanizer to settle down with one girl. All I cared about was kickball and NBA Jam and making sure I watched "Snick" every Saturday night on Nickelodeon.
Every so often, a friend and I will be talking and he'll say something like, "Hey remember when you were dating Tiffany in 7th grade and then you broke up with her for no reason and she became a Chiefs cheerleader? What an idiot move, you dorkbutt!"
Idiot move? Not in my eyes. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing cooler than being able to say you dated a Chiefs cheerleader is being able to say you broke up with a Chiefs cheerleader.
For instance, sometimes when I'm watching a Chiefs game with a bunch of guys, the TV crew will scan the sideline and they'll stop on a group of gorgeous pom-pom girls, looking all gorgeous and happy, and someone will say something to the effect of, "Man, those girls are SO babelicious! I'd do anything to date one of them!"
It is around this time that I will lean forward in my seat, take a swig of cola or chocolate milk or whatever I happen to be drinking at the time, and say, nonchalantly, "Oh, them? I used to date one of 'em, until she got all clingy on me. Then I had to break up with her. Kicked her to the curb, really. I just didn't want to deal with all of her Chiefs cheerleader drama, you know?"