That picture is what happened at the Cheerleader Finals on Sunday when they announced “Number 3, Sydney” as one of the last rookies to make the 2011 Redskins Cheerleader squad: Sydney went airborne on her way to her spot on the stage. You would be very safe assuming that Sydney was pretty happy about the announcement, and I’m sure that her boyfriend Nate was happy as well.
But I didn’t get to talk to Nate when he was happy. I spoke to Nate when he was a nervous wreck during the judges’ deliberations, and he gave me the boyfriend’s perspective on dating someone who is about to either become a Redskins cheerleader — or just narrowly miss, for the second straight year.“I’m nervous,” Nate said, standing in the lobby of the State Theater while stage music blared and the judges planned his girlfriend’s immediate future. “I’m shaking. Her mom and dad are, too. We’re all just asking each other questions and hoping. I’ve said my prayers and stuff like that, so I’m just doing what I can.”
There was more that Nate could do in the run-up to the event. “Massages,” he said, shrugg. “Pretty much just supporting her, like her mom and dad and entire family do. They’ve been really motivating for her, and we do as much as we can. We pray.”
Nate said that he hadn’t learned much from the experience a year before, when Sydney had again made it to the final day but had failed to make the cut. But he definitely saw a difference in Sydney.
“Last year she made it all the way to Finals,” he said, “and she tried her hardest but she was pretty much last-second with everything: costume, everything like that. But she lived and learned.”
And she put that learning into action in the days leading up to the event. “She was pretty nervous,” Nate said, “talking to all her family, and making sure that everybody was informed about what’s going on, kind of going through her last rounds and everything. But she’s pretty prepared, a lot better than last year. She had everything together early and packed up, stuff like that.”
Nate comes across as a very genuine guy. He downplayed the swagger value of dating an almost-Redskins-cheerleader — “Everybody else is kinda unaware of what goes on behind the scenes, how much these girls really put into it,” he said, “so I don’t really talk too much about that” — and spent his most nervous moments feeling sorry for the people who were deciding Sydney’s fate.
“The judges have a hard decision to make,” Nate said. “They’ve got a tough job too.”
I wasn’t able to catch up with Nate after the judges made their tough decision, but I have to imagine that he looked almost almost as relieved and happy as Sydney does in the picture below as she takes her place in line with the rest of the cheerleaders.
Tags: cheerleader finals, washington redskins cheerleaders
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