Former Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Shannon Ford is now preparing to ride a bike for more than 30 miles on Sunday Nov. 4th in the third annual Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC). By donating 100% of proceeds raised by the DCC riders to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, this ride was created to tackle cancer. At the recent Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Alumni reunion, Shannon was inspired by the spirit and courage of Christina Linett Cousineau, an original 1978 Miami Dolphin Starbrite who is living with cancer. Shannon will be riding in honor of Christina and her battle with the disease. Christina and her family will be at the finish line cheering Shannon on her final strides.
“I had the privilege of meeting Christina at the recent Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Alumni Reunion, she is such an inspiration and I will be riding the Dolphins Cycling Challenge in her honor.”
I led the Miami Dolphins into battle against the St. Louis Rams last Sunday by being the first in line to sprint across the windy Sun Life Stadium field, arms stretched and locked, as I carried the American flag.
Forget that I was outrun by the Dolphins’ mascot, T.D., who caught up to me midfield and zoomed past in front of a crowd of 50,000 cheering fans.
The Dolphins won 17-14 and improved their record to 3-3. I felt like I helped, along with the other members of the Fins Force, a band of testosterone-pumped fans paid to cheer on the Dolphins from the field and work the hometown crowds into a frenzy.
True Miami Dolphins fans know all about the Fins Force. They’re the guys responsible for running two 16-foot Dolphins team flags — one flag per guy, sprinting in the opposite direction of the other guy from one end of the end zone to the other end — after each Dolphins score.
I did that, too. It looks like fun, but the heavy wind can make it feel like your legs are made of Jell-O and you’re toting bags of coal.
I donned the Fins Force uniform, official Nike aqua-and-coral team color T-shirts and shorts, and performed the squad’s manly version of sideline cheering: fist pumping, miming first-down referee signals and fanning both hands above my head to make the crowd get loud during key defensive plays.
I stood on the field next to the real-life Dolphins cheerleaders. Ah, the life of a Fins Force member.
Joining the 10-man team for a day was one of the greatest moments of my life, even with a 7-foot stuffed Dolphin in giant clown cleats outrunning me.
From the time I showed up about 9:30 a.m., more than three hours before game time, I was put to work. I handed out Dolphins freebies, Mardi Gras-style beads and team handkerchiefs to tailgating fans. Some returned the favor with high fives or hugs.
I judged an impromptu dance contest, fan against fan and gave away game tickets. I danced too, on stage, to pump up the early-bird crowd and introduce the Rolling Stones tribute band of silver-haired rockers who performed pre-game.
It was hard to remember I was working.
“I watch the game up close. Meet the fans, players and celebrities. Get paid every game,” said Fins Force Captain Thomas Holt, who has befriended Denzel Washington and Tiger Woods and once received a warm hug from Fergie in front of her husband, actor Josh Duhamel. “I would pay them for this job.”
Each Fins Force member signs a contract with the team’s head office to perform at all 10 home games. They get paid $65 per game. Each earned his spot on the Fins Force by trying out.
They have to follow a host of rules, enforced by the team and NFL, from what they wear to where they stand, from when they are allowed to cheer to what they can yell out.
Then there are those huge flags.
“Take it,” Holt screamed at me as the crowd roared after the Dolphins scored their first touchdown. I wanted with all my soul to lift that 16-foot Dolphins flag and run it back and forth across the end zone before the referees restarted the game clock and the network TV cameras began re-rolling. But it was too much pressure.
The Fins Force came to my rescue, urging me on like brothers. They didn’t know I had a sprained elbow, and I didn’t want to make an excuse.
After the next touchdown, Holt handed me the flag, and this time I ran across the end zone. It wasn’t so bad, until I turned to come back. Then South Florida winds said hello. I returned to Jell-O.
“Sprint!” Holt shouted. “Go!” shouted someone from the stands. I ran fast but my legs hardly moved. But I made it.
As the crowd quieted and the game resumed, I felt of a glimpse of what it was like to be on the Fins Force. Those guys (Thomas, Carlos, James, Waldo, Doug, Jeffery, Brian, Javid and Fahim) have one of the best jobs in all of South Florida. And they work hard to keep it.
So you all know that the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders did a video to Carly Rae’s “Call Me Maybe.” The video went viral. Everyone has seen it.
Even our boys in Afghanistan.
There must be a lot of down time out there in the desert, because they managed to recreate the Cheerleader video with a mind blowing degree of accuracy. I’m not talking just about the choreography, but every nuance, every wink, every booty shot. They had to improvise now and then, using cots for beach chairs, mop heads for poms, and combat boots instead of go-gos with 3 inch heels. I can only imagine the number of times these guys watched the cheerleader video (in slow-mo no doubt) to pull this off. I hope the Dolphins Cheerleaders get a chance to watch this video, and maybe even get in touch with these knuckleheads. Send them some autographed photos or something, because this kind of effort should not go unrewarded.
The New York Jets Flight Crew has a new look. And I like it. As I’ve said in the past, I enjoy a puff sleeve and/or a ruffle. In moderation. The collar adds a little “pow!” too. I have no idea what these outfits were for, if it’s a one-time only thing, or what, but I enjoyed them. If one of you has the scoop, and would care to enlighten me, I would love to know the deets.
I will say, the one thing I did not enjoy so much was (were?) the poms. I have a few personal rules when it comes to dressing a pro team:
Uniforms must not be ugly, skanky, boring, or lame. Duh.
I don’t like to see cheerleaders in black. Some black is ok. Mostly black: not ok. And I really hate black poms. I find them depressing. And not very exciting to watch on the field.
The outfit has to have some kind of branding. Logo, team name, or whatever. It has to clearly identify the team the dancers are associated with.
There must be some sparkle. Doesn’t have to look like one of those glitz dresses on Toddlers and Tiaras, but you’ve got to have some.
No likey when the poms are a solid color that matches the main color of the outfit. The whole point of poms is to emphasize the motions and provide contrast. So Flight Crew, if you’re going to wear all white again, we need to chat about the poms. I know a guy who can hook you up. Call me.
I’m sure I have more rules, I just haven’t made them up yet
On a somewhat related note, the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders also recently debuted a new look. I like this one as well. Apparently in addition to a puff sleeve and a ruffle, I also enjoy a scoop neck. And I enjoy that they’ve got some color to them. I do like the white outfits worn all around the league, but after a while, they all start to blur together in my mind.
I need to start writing these down…
But that’s enough about me. What do you guys think?
Former Durant High School cheerleader Tori Moses is back on the sidelines — this time, wearing aqua and blue.
Moses, 26, was recently named to the Miami Dolphins cheerleading squad. Now living in the Fort Lauderdale area, Moses said she decided to get back into cheerleading as a way to have fun.
“I really missed it,” said Moses, who last cheered for Durant, from which she graduated in 2004. “It’s amazing. I’m loving every minute of it.”
After cheering for four years at Durant, Moses went to the University of Florida, where she was a member of the Gators Dazzlers dance team from 2004-2007.
Now Moses is one of 44 cheerleaders on the Dolphins squad, and she’s a natural, according to Emily Newton, cheerleading director and coordinator for the team.
“Tori has really been a great addition, absolutely,” she said.
Getting the call to cheer in the National Football League was exciting for Moses.
“As soon as I found out, was calling and texting everybody I knew,” she said.
Her first game as a Dolphins cheerleader was the Aug. 10 preseason game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The CBS crew’s cameras focused on her a couple of times, and she heard from lots of people back home.
“They said they saw me on TV. Of course, I was very happy,” she said.
Away from cheerleading, Moses works in a pediatric orthodontist office while she waits to go to school to be a physician’s assistant.
Moses’ mom, Lori Moses, said she and her husband, Chip, were thrilled when she made the Dolphins cheerleading squad. “We’re very proud. She worked very hard.”
Ariana Aubert, a 23-year-old Pembroke Pines native, recently spent a couple of hours a day for two weeks staring at photos of Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders in swimsuits.
“Every guy’s dream, right?” she says.
But helping to choose the final lineup for the 2013 Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Calendar was a serious undertaking for Aubert, who crowned her six-year career as a Fins cheerleader by being on the cover of last year’s calendar (which she introduced at the 2011 party, right). Aubert has moved off the field this season to serve as an assistant to the team’s director of cheerleaders, and the calendar is a key promotional tool for the squad.
First, she had to make sure the calendar had the diversity that a South Florida audience demands. Says the half-Colombian, half-Costa Rican Aubert: “I had to make sure it was well-rounded.” Insert your own punch line here.
She also had to choose from among her friends, some of whom she’d cheered with since 2007: “I just had to put that aside, and put business first.”
The final selection is secret even from Aubert, who will see the new calendar with the rest of us at Saturday night’s unveiling party at Liv nightclub in the Fontainebleau hotel (4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). The evening includes a swimsuit runway show, autograph sessions with each cheerleader in the 16-month calendar, and a special performance by Run-DMC’s Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.
Aubert also had a hand in the event-planning, using her background studying communications and public relations at Florida Atlantic University.
These were not the only pressures facing the Flanagan High grad. Her boyfriend, former Flanagan baseball player J.D. Martinez, is having a rough year with the Houston Astros, where he began the year as one of the team’s budding young stars.
“He just got sent down to the minor leagues,” she says, gloomily. “Triple AAA. Oklahoma City.” A long way from Miami Beach.
Tickets to the calendar party at Liv cost $25 (including a calendar) at MiamiDolphinsCheerleaders.net. You also can order a calendar for $14.99 at the website. Proceeds from the party and the calendar will fund charitable work of the Miami Dolphins Foundation. Here’s a taste of last year’s party:
I’m not exactly a wordsmith so let me just summarize my August 10 visit to photograph the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders in one word “WOW”. This squad is impressive, the main criteria for selection must be: “Total Package Required”. The NFL is designed for teams to experience peaks and valleys on the field but the MDC, like many of their counterparts, never seem to field an average group. The 2012 lineup consists of 44 professional women evenly divided between veterans and rookies.
The Dolphins web site is fan friendly and does a nice job in showcasing the cheerleaders. A bountiful collection of photos and videos are available. At pre game about a dozen of the cheerleaders were welcoming fans outside the Sun Life gates for photo opportunities and autograph signings.
During the game when the showers arrived (and they always do) I had to decide to either whimp out and protect my equipment or keep shooting the cheerleaders dancing in the rain. FRANKLY, SCARLETT, I DON”T GIVE A DAMN about the camera. NFL cheerleaders performing in the rain— a no-brainer.