I’m a purist. I’ve got to admit I cringe a little bit every time the stadium entertainment director plays a “boing!” or “crash!” sound effect over the load speaker following a foul ball. And I really get pissed when a team rolls out a new Phanatic wannabe mascot. There’s only one Phanatic, people, and that’s all we need. You hear that, Wally the Green Monster?
The action on the field ought to be entertainment enough, in my opinion. So I’m kinda glad that baseball has managed to avoid bringing in cheerleaders. How teams have been able to resist the cheerleader phenomenon, I have no idea. But they have. And I think we’re all better off.Actually, there is one team with cheerleaders. The Braves have the Tomahawk Team. And while they insist they’re not cheerleaders, well, decide for yourself.
From the AJC:
Quick to say that they are not a dance or cheerleading squad, Tomahawk Team members, who greet home game fans at the main gate, are best known for launching T-shirts into the crowds with hand-held cannons during breaks between innings.
“We welcome the fans into the stadium and rev up the crowd,” says team captain Jillian Rucker.
They also pass out souvenir stickers, lead “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” singalongs, and do-si-do to “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.”
The only argument to be made that the Tomahawk Team isn’t bunch of dancers is that the hopping and skipping they do during “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” could hardly be called dancing. It is, in a word, lame. Every time I have to suffer through a seventh inning stretch at the Ted, I thank god I’m NOT a country boy.