Set The WayBack Machine to 1972 Sherman

Wayback to 1972When I entered Junior High in 1972, I had two choices; either join a sports team and become one of the "Cool" kids or don't and get labelled a Nerd.

Since I have the athletic prowess of, well, me, I accepted the fact that I was indeed, a Nerd.

But I was a Nerd with a plan. For you see I soon discovered a loophole in the intricate hierarchy of power and acceptance that is Junior High. If I couldn't actually Play at sporting events, the next best thing was to Cheer at them.

1972 CheerleaderSo I tried out for the Cheerleading Squad in Grade 7. And to my stunned amazement, I made it! I WAS Semi-Cool!

Now keep in mind in those days, "Cheerleading" merely consisted of a bunch of girls in skirts, bulky woolen sweaters and white runners singing and clapping. There may have been, for the more advanced and coordinated Cheerleader, the odd "jump". There were no acrobatics; no pyramids, no intricate dance routines. It is only because of this fact that I kept my pom-poms in Grade 8 too.

It was great. All the fun of cross-city tournaments and absolutely none of the stress. If we lost, it wasn't my fault. But when we won, well, of course, it was due to our incredible clapping skills! I still recall my favorite classic cheer which at that time, was NEW - before it was sung it at Every Freakin' Sporting Event Ever Since:

"Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goooo-d-bye!"

Yep, we were awesome!

My crowning achievement came in Grade 9 when I was appointed Cheerleading Captain. It was a great honour in my psuedo-athletic career. But on reflection 36 years later [oh gaaaad.... 36? Really?], I'll wager no one else was stupid enough to want the stressful responsibility for a gaggle of whining, primping, backstabbing teenage girls all vying for the attention of the hunky basketball and volleyball jocks.

But I must admit, I was destined to stand on the sidelines. It was where I belonged; still in a uniform, but safely away from potentially harming the real sporty types.

It seems I STILL carry on the tradition; but instead of standing on the sidelines, I sit in my comfy livingroom chair to scream at the TV. And my uniform? Well it's my Valentine's Day prezzie from hubster - an official Vacouver 2010 Team Canada hoodie jacket (to compliment my Official Mitts, of course):

2010 CheerleaderGo! Canada Go!

"Go! Canada Go?????" Seriously???? Oh brother, now THAT was original.

But give me a break. It HAS been * sob * nearly 40 years...

36 People would rather be commenting:

JoJo said...

You look great in both old and new piccies!! Love the Team Canada hoodie and mitties too!

Alas, I was neither jock nor cheerleader in my school. I was an A/V Geek. I had my own radio show on our high school FM station after school & helped out doing videography of graduations and plays. In other words: UBER GEEK.

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Dusty Dudley said...

Classic :-D I was a geek but I went to a geeky high school, so it worked out. If it helps, though, my older daughter, nearly 14, is wearing my old ATA (taekwondo) jacket to her jr. high school. My TKD days are *cough* 20+ years behind me, and that wasn't until after high school. 'Scuse me while I go find some Geritol and Icy Hot.

Stephanie said...

Wow, cheerleading captain! That sounds scary. Nice gift from your husband!

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a Canadian, what we lack in creativity in these Olympics, we have made up for in sheer volume.

Looks better on you than on me.

Jackie said...

Very interesting and cool! As a teenager I thought cheerleading was very cool , so no , you definitely aren't a nerd in my books. and the Canada hoodie? That's awesome. Way to go Canada! I hear we won in something like 4 competitions now?

Go! Canada go! ra ra ri , kick em in the knee, ra ra rass, kick em in the other knee :P

btw I wanted to be a cheerleader but you had to know how to do a cartwheel and/or at least the splits , but I never could wah.

Tara R. said...

Seriously cool hoodie!

I was a band nerd, so what the cheer squad couldn't do during the game, we got going at half-time!

Carley said...

lol! Nice hoodie.

Kisma said...

Awesome post and from one child hood cheerleader to another.. Yea for the Olympics!

AshPup said...

Go Canada!

Babs-beetle said...

I think you look great in both photos :)

Cheer leading is not a UK thing. Then again, sports isn't held up as an important part of schooling here either.

ReformingGeek said...

I'm so glad you weren't a teenage pop star like Robin Sparkles (How I Met Your Mother). Cheerleading was bad enough.


Richard said...

Woohoo gogo captain! Did you rule over your domain with absolute power? LOL

Jay said...

I have never done the 'cheerleading' thing. Ever. For one thing, it's not British, for another, well, I guess I just wasn't born in the right era. LOL!

But I love your matching mitts and jacket. So, you go!! Go, Canada, GO!!

See? I'll help ya! ;)

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Love the cheerleading picture!

When I first looked at the pic with the mitts and hoodie the mitts blended so well I couldn't figure out where your arms were;-) Nice Valentines day gift!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I was a cheerleader too! I just loved jumping around and yelling and clapping. We didn't do all that acrobatic stuff they do now either, but we did some intricate dance routines. It wasn't till I went to my first high school reunion that I realized just how cool and desirable I was considered to be because I was a cheerleader. Apparently I was quite the catch - only I never knew and none of the boys had the courage to approach me, till 10 years later! Oh well. I still had tons of fun!

Kevin said...

What? I want one of those. I'm not even Canadian, and I want one of those.

J said...

I loved this entry. I would have, honestly, never guessed that many years had passed. You look great, and festive, in your new gear. ;)

While I think some of the things cheerleaders these days do is really fun to watch, I kinda wish they had stuck to the skirt and sweaters... I'm convinced, one day, cheerleaders will be cheering naked.

Maureen said...

Aw thanks Jo-Jo. The jacket is very comfy... I wore it at work yesterday, and I got a lot of compliments! I would have been an AV Geek too if we were beyond that stupid manual slide show thingy... the height of our technical knowledge back then ;)

Thanks Anon X 2!

Hahahaha Kael! But it is pretty cool that your daughter wears your jacket!

Stephanie: Yes, he really surprised me! It was red and it makes my heart warm... a perfect Valentine's gift!

Thanks SinisterDan!

Thank goodness doing cartwheels were NOT a prerequisite in my day; I never would have made it! I could never do those! And LOL at "ra ra rass, kick em in the other knee :P " Ahahahaha!

Ah Tara a band nerd eh? You see, we never had band back then either. Although my daughter informs me there are no Cheerleaders in high school anymore around here too... they don't do it until University now.

The Perks of Being Young and Married: Thanks! I love it; it has a Vancouver 2010 embroidered patch on one shoulder, and the Olympic rings on the other shoulder. With three pockets, it is tres comfortable.

Ha Kisma! Rah Rah Rah!

Woot Ashley! We got another silver tonight!

Aw Babs, thanks. Sports aren't as important to Canucks as it is in American schools either... I guess we would fit in between the UK and the US in that regard.

HA Reforming Geek! Back in the 70's it was no where near the thing it is now (especially in the States).

I did Richard. I did. ;)

Yay Jay! Thanks!

Perpetual Chocoholic: I took the photo myself with my timer. I was amazed it turned out on the second try; and I didn't even realize I was bracketing "Canada" on my jacket with the Maple Leafs on the mitts.... I lucked out.

Ha Pinklea! Oh how things may have turned out differently if only boys were more brave, eh? That is funny! I have never been to a reunion...

Kevin: I was so happy to get one. They are selling out fast up here. It is something I will enjoy wearing for a long time, that's for sure!

Ahahaha Jennifer! I know what you mean. I look absolutely prudish compared to today's Cheerleaders (or "dancers" I think they are called now). Although I couldn't imagine jumping around too much in those heavy warm sweaters!

Marla said...

How cute are you in your Canadian cheerleading outfit?!?! You go, girl!!

The villager: said...

Great story !

Daisy said...

My Mommeh was on the drill team in high school because she was not cool enough to be a cheerleader!

Bea Boomer said...

Good stuff, as usual, Maureen. Love the mitts. I went to Junior High (in my town it was called Middle School, 6th - 8th grade) in Grosse Pointe Woods,Michigan, home of cool, rich people. I was neither cool nor rich. *Sigh.* Like you, I wasn't the athletic type. But hey, at least you got to be a cheerleader. I couldn't even do that! I was invisible then. (Trying to make up for it now, at age 52! argghhh)

Janet said...

I love it! At first I thought maybe we'd be seeing a picture of you wearing your old cheerleading outfit. Yes? No? lol

Maureen, I saw CURLING on the Olympics today and thought of you. Weren't you a curler? I do believe we need a post about this sport. I do not understand it even the tiniest bit!

Ca88andra said...

Love the pics! I always wanted to be a cheerleader...

choochoo said...

That looks like very comfy hoodie. Which reminds me that it's frikkin cold in here, really. I'm gonna go set something on fire.

Martyn said...

You are one of my favourite bloggers and as such I have passed on to you the 'Beautiful Blogger' award.

Keep up the good work.

JD at I Do Things said...

OK, first of all, shut up. You look absolutely gorgeous. Second of all, a nerd cheerleader? It's an oxymoron! At least at my school. God, the cheerleaders were the coolest of the cool! How I wanted one of those short pleated skirts and bulky sweaters! The fact that they got to wear their uniforms all day on game days (why didn't they just change later?) made me so jealous.

You are not a nerd.

But I managed the difficult maneuver of being both a nerd (chorus) and burnout.

Altho I don't know where exactly that got me. Singing pothead?

Bruce Johnson said...

You can cheer for my team anyday.

Swubird said...


Yikes, if that made you feel old, imagine how old I feel? You could be my daughter!

I always did love cheer leaders. I wouldn't go to a game without them.

Happy trails, you young thing.

Anonymous said...

Clever loophole! Too bad guys couldn't use that. Well, they could, I suppose, but trying out for cheer-leading would just create a whole other set of problems.

Jill said...

Wow - cheerleading is a whole different animal now, isn't it? At least here in Texas it is. I think here you have to go into serious training (including summer camps) at least by age four in order to make cheerleader.

I lived in Arkansas for 1st-6th grade and our cheers all involved swear words. As in "Mmmm! Uh-huh! The F***-Yous have the power!" This after calling out to the boys playing basketball for their team name and having them answer in not very polite manner.

Anyway, cute pictures - you look great then and now!

Cupcake Blonde said...

You look awesome in that outfit. Actually in both outfits! :) I would love one of those hoodies or at least a pair of those comfy mittens.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Awesome. You look just like your daughter in that picture! Or at least how she would look in a scanned grainy black and white photograph. Still... the resemblance is uncanny.

Unknown said...

Oh, the UK...where skoolin' was about larning and not sport sadly, sadly demonstrated by our goalie at the world cup *tears*

I have wanted a pair of mittens just like those since I saw the 65 degree weather at the Vancouver Olympics! They are fantastic!

I've noticed here (in the American South) that cheerleading is a sport unto itself--they start the children in it at two or three! My two year old niece hasn't mastered colors yet, I can't imagine what the class looks like, other than I once saw a television programme about it and a seamstress was making what looked to be a fabric hairband...turns out it was a tube top for a three year old.

It's serious business--proven by this:
and this:

I used google and typed in 'young child cheerleading uniform.' It stated that some of the pages had been blocked. Yikes.

*As a note, I generally like cheerleading unforms, but a bit more retro...the pleated skirt, the long sleeves, the sweaters, the young women in high school...that sort.

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