By Anita Kiesel
Today’s mail brought the October issue of SOUTHERN LIVING. Page after page of the magazine had pictures of pumpkins, trees and shrubs clothed in fall foliage, recipes for using the bounty of fall vegetable gardens and descriptions of tours designed for the traveler to experience colorful country scenes. The magazine did not mention what seems to be indicative of autumn here in Indiana – football season. On Friday nights, high school rivalries dominate the television screen. On Saturday one has a choice of Purdue, Indiana University and Ball State football games. Since I am not a alumna of any of these schools, I have decided that my loyalty will be directed to the Indianapolis Colts.
I am certainly not alone in my allegiance to the Colts. It’s not uncommon to overhear conversations about travel to the Lucas Oil Stadium for the Colts’ game or plans for watching the game on television. Recipes are exchanged for tailgating parties or “watching the game” party. Wearing blue on Friday, if the game is on Sunday – or wearing blue on Monday if the game is Monday night is an opportunity to let everyone know that you support the Colts. You become a respected member of the community by wearing a shirt with the name and number of your favorite Colt player. Banners are hung from mail boxes, flag poles and automobiles. License plates and decals announce that an Indy Colt supporter is in the car ahead of you. Box lunches are sold from grocery deli departments and newspaper ads include support for the Colts. Colt fans are everywhere.
Being relatively new to the Indianapolis area, it has taken me a bit of time to switch my interest from the St. Louis Rams to the Indianapolis Colts. I know that I am ill-prepared to be a visible Colt supporter for the 2009 season; however, I am taking steps now to be prepared for the 2010 season. My first action will be to determine which Colt player will get my full support. Because the Colts’ punter, Pat McAfee, wearing Number 1, is a WVA alumnus, he will probably get first consideration. I plan to invest in a banner of some kind and hang it in the window of my car. I am considering a body painting course even though past experience has proven that my artistic talents leave much to be desired. When my car license is renewed I will opt for one of those vanity plates bearing the Colts logo. I keep thinking there could be more that I could do if I am to be a serious Colt fan. I decided to seek help so I went to the Colts website for additional suggestions and there – right before my eyes – was the solution. Yes! Yes! Yes! I know how I can be a Number One Fan. I am pumped with enthusiasm. I read the guidelines. I can do it. I am going to submit my application to become a Colts Cheerleader!!!
The Cheerleader website tells me that a Colts Cheerleader must represent the Indianapolis Colts by actively supporting the team and by actively participating in Colts events. I think this means free admission to all of the Colts home games. WOW! It goes on to say that a Colts cheerleader must allow the opportunity for exposure through various events. I am not real sure what they mean by “exposure” so will check into the full meaning of that responsibility. Finally, a Colts cheerleader must allow the opportunity for compensation. Another WOW! Maybe I can earn a little extra cash.
The web site suggests that I can prepare to be a cheerleader by attending classes from 6:30 – 8:30 PM during March, April and May. I will have to discuss this with the directors because I prefer not to plan night time activities. There is a $30.00 charge for each of the classes but perhaps they will offer a senior discount. Classes will include stretching, warm-up, kicks and words of wisdom. I don’t know if I am to provide the words of wisdom or if the current Colts’ cheerleaders will provide the words of wisdom. Hmmmm. Could prove interesting. As for the stretching, warm-up and kicks, I don’t see that as a problem.
There are certain requirements a Colts Cheerleader applicant must meet. First, you must be 18 years of age. That does not present a problem – I can certainly do that. Secondly, you must be a high school graduate. This requirement causes some concern. I am a college graduate. I hope that I am not overqualified for the cheerleading squad. The last requirement about exhibiting reasonable dance skills and having a strong willingness to learn does not seem to present an obstacle. I’ve been taking intermediate water aerobics for almost seven years. Those dance skills should be no problem. And, I love to learn. I think I can do this!
The website continues with information about the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders by saying the candidates must possess maturity. I believe this could be my greatest asset. Candidates must have a strong desire to support the team. GO COLTS! They must have a positive attitude. I’m positive I’m positive. They must have a high energy level! This requirement could be a problem but I could bring in a written statement from my doctor that would help the decision makers overlook this one negative. And finally, “The Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders must conduct themselves at all times in such a manner as is consistent with the highest moral and ethical standards.” Really – when would I have the opportunity to do otherwise.
And there you have it – my “Support the Colts” plan for the next few months. I think I could do a great job for the organization, besides, I look great in blue!
Anita Kiesel, 84 years young