Letter to the editor
Students respond to cheerleading column
April 27, 2007
Assuming Paul Winkels was not sarcastic, we present the following argument: We want to apologize to cheerleaders who read this column because Winkels highlighted your program as "the only sport worth writing about." Naturally, a statement like that should have clear and semi-factual evidence to support it, and Winkels didn't provide either.
First off, not all physically taxing activities are sports. Cheerleading is not the "most physically challenging ... sport of them all." Track, rodeo, tennis, wrestling, softball and lacrosse are more physical endeavors than a few cartwheels followed by overly-excited cheering for the defense. Also, it wasn't an Olympic event last time we checked. We don't see them competing against another squad in the traditional sense. One squad can't directly impact the success of the opposition. Also, what rules govern cheerleading? Can they foul? Are there penalties? We haven't seen any of them get removed for misconduct or unsportsmanlike cheering.
Winkels, your ignorance annoys me. College sports spend 20 hours plus weekly in practices and meetings. Time spent in practice is physically challenging. If college cheerleading involves more than that, we stand corrected.
Cheerleading is also not "the most... competitive sport of them all." Are you kidding? Many sports are extremely competitive, and to say that cheerleading is the pinnacle of competition is not only ignorant, it's ridiculous. Yet, it is commendable that cheerleaders are encouraging fans. It is an activity that requires hard work, dedication, and skill, which are three important attributes to any sport. However, there are obviously other games such as hockey, basketball, etc. that are more physically demanding and complex.
Cheerleaders need something to cheer about. It is only a component of a sport. We wouldn't expect a team to run a touchdown in celebration of a slam dunk. Since cheerleading merely supplements other sports, what purpose does it serve alone?
Ryan Agrimson and John Buckner