Attention sports fans! If you do not think cheerleading qualifies as a sport, raise your hand. Now get ready to use it to slap yourself upside the head. Because a cheerleader at Louisiana State University put a helmet cam on her head during a recent LSU game against the Arkansas Razorbacks and blew that tired old notion right out of the water.
Shot from her perspective, the video shows just how high up in the air these sideline supporters get, and just how precarious the set-up is. She's in the arms of some guys and then all of a sudden she's catapulting through the air. If you've got a light stomach, you might want to grab some Dramamine before you watch:
That? Was awesome! It almost makes being a quarterback trying not to get tackled seem easy ... at least he gets to stay on the GROUND. She's the brave one who has to fly.
And if it didn't change your mind about the validity of cheerleading as sport rather than cheerleading as supporter of sport, how about this? Although LSU demands its cheerleaders maintain good grades and have an outgoing personality, that's not enough to make the team. The school doesn't recommend even trying out if you don't have experience with the more physical aspects of the sport. As they advise on their tryout FAQ:
Standing back tucks and standing back handspring tucks are the norm for our squad. Running tumbling ranges. Most girls have layouts and fulls and our guys range with no running tumbling to fulls. Both girls and guys have a first round motion cut so it is important to also have good collegiate style motions. Tumbling is usually the key factor in the first cut along with motions.
Now add that to what you saw in the video. You have to do all those tucks and tumbles while flying through the air high above the crowd. Still think it's "not the real sport"?
Image via YouTube