Here it is! The moment you have been waiting for has finally arrived. What you are about to witness is the result of THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON's sit down with 'Male Cheerleader', the greatest male cheerleader in Georgetown University history. This interview is so awesome that we had to break it down into a 4-PART PULITZER PRIZE WINNING OPUS, starting today and ending Friday. This 4-part series will bring you into the world of The Male Cheerleader, from his upbringing in New Orleans as a high schol cheerleader through his days at Georgetown and beyond. With the annual open practice now in the past and our opening date with Old Dominion now visible on the horizon, what better individual to usher in the promise of a new season than the guy who revved your engines for four years at Verizon. Ladies and gentlemen, the Male Cheerleader:
How does a guy like you get interested in cheerleading?
My Stepmom was the cheerleading coach at my high school, and while that made me somewhat familiar with cheerleading, I was actually a football player, and I didn’t join the cheerleading squad until the end of football season senior year. I was a bit hesitant at first, a football player becoming a cheerleader is not exactly the most typical thing; but Hurricane Katrina had forced most of the male cheerleaders to leave the team as they spread across the country in the evacuation, leaving an all male high school without many male cheerleaders. Throughout high school, I had kept busy with football practice every afternoon, mock trial, Columbian Squires, and a laundry list of other clubs and organizations, but with a dearth of spare time on my hands at the end of football season, I wasn’t used to going home at the end of the school day, and I saw a chance to help out the members of the team, whom I’d come to know over the previous years and my Stepmom. It wasn’t until the end of my senior year that I started to consider college cheerleading.
More Male Cheerleader After The Jump:
Where else did you apply as a senior in high school?
I was originally scheduled to take my first SAT in October of my senior year, and had scheduled prep work all throughout the fall, but Hurricane Katrina forced my family and I to evacuate the city, turning the college admissions process into a sudden rush to find a new high school until mine could reopen (initial reports indicated that may not ever happen, but it’s difficult to comprehend your high school, especially at the start of senior year, just closing down). The lack of preparation on top of the difficulties of the dealing with Katrina, several relocations in a matter of months and another evacuation due to Hurricane Rita, pushed my SAT into December. I wouldn’t get a score until it was too late to start applying, so in order to make sure I had options no matter what the eventual score would be, I applied to 18 colleges across the admission’s spectrum. As a tour guide at Georgetown I was often asked where else I applied, so I can fortunately still remember the list. In no particular order: Georgetown, Mary Washington, Tulane, Dickinson, William and Mary, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Washington & Lee, Notre Dame, Holy Cross,Centre, Gettysburg, Furman, Richmond, Randolph Macon, Villanova, Davidson, Boston College
I attended Jesuit High School in New Orleans, and very much identified with the Jesuit way of doing things. It was Jesuit priests who instilled in me a belief that the busier I was the more focused I’d be when it came to grades and it was Jesuits who put my high school back together again after Katrina, and perhaps most importantly, they taught me that there is some greater purpose to everything we do; for some reason that just clicked with me. I always liked the idea of attending a Jesuit University, although admittedly had I not gotten into Georgetown, that probably wouldn’t have happened, as only Boston College, and Holy Cross are the other Jesuit school’s I applied to, with that in mind attending a Jesuit University was more of a strong preference than a priority. I also knew going into college that I wanted to go to law school immediately after graduation, and given Georgetown’s academic reputation and general prestige, I thought it would help me get ready. Almost immediately after starting Georgetown, I began to think Georgetown University Law Center would be the next step. Perhaps the biggest thing that stood out about Georgetown was the combination of the benefits of a Georgetown education itself and being in Washington, DC. As I often told tour groups on Saturday mornings, there aren’t many schools with Georgetown’s academic success record and a location that offers the opportunities of Washington; whether you’re looking for internships, post-graduate jobs, research opportunities, or just a fun city in general, DC has it all from entertainment to museums to the more practical things like a place to live after graduation and as already mentioned plenty of job opportunities. Georgetown was by far my number 1 choice, but it was also the "dream school." I never really let myself think I’d get in until the letter actually showed up. Expecting the waitlist or a rejection within the tiny envelope that I’ve learned is something of a tradition of Georgetown admissions, my family almost didn’t give me the letter, but as it turns out, the dream became a reality.
Would you be a cheerleader at another school?
It definitely would’ve depended on which school, but I at least would have looked into it no matter where I ended up. Since I started high school, I’ve had few days where I just went to class, came home, and did homework, always being involved in a handful of clubs, organizations, and teams. Additionally, I’d always had football to keep me in shape, but I certainly wasn’t big enough to play in college, so cheerleading became my reason to go to the gym.
Favorite Georgetown dorm and why?
New South will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first time I’d ever lived away from home and, as an only child, had a roommate that wasn’t also a pet. With Father Steck and Jack down the hall, a great view of the Washington Monument, and being only a short walk from Leo’s I don’t think I could have asked for a better first year residence hall experience. I should also note that McCarthy comes in a close second, because it had all the location benefits of New South, but I lived there for both my sophomore and senior years. Although I was initially hesitant to live in a single as a senior, it was cheaper than a town house, conveniently located, and I never had to deal with any of the negatives of a roommate. Plus by senior year I had enough friends to keep me busy.
Booey's or Wisey's? Which sandwich?
I love Booey’s but Wisey’s is by far my favorite. One summer I lived in one of the townhouses with a backyard that exits into the Wisey’s parking lot, and I think I ate Wisey’s just about every day, to the point that if I’d forgotten my wallet they were willing to open a line of credit. A favorite sandwich is tough, because it’s way too typical to go with the Chicken Madness. I think people box themselves in and never really explore the menu, just because the Chicken Madness is so popular, don’t get wrong it’s delicious, but so are most of the sandwiches. Overall I’d probably recommend the Pizza Steak Sub or the New Yorker (which has a whole different, but still delicious at the new or healthy Wisey’s on Wisconsin). Additionally, turkey and swiss on a toasted bagel really hits the spot for breakfast.
Intrepid Casual Hoya blogger lordnick was recently spotted on two consecutive days sporting two different free Hoya Basketball t-shirts. Some contend he is a champion for this endeavor, others state he looked like a homeless person. What do you think? How long can you go wearing only Georgetown shirts?
There’s definitely no shame in wearing free Georgetown shirts, as I think they were by far the largest part of my wardrobe the past four years. I’m probably most proud of the 99 Days Member shirt from Tombs, although it was free at the start of 99 Days, the significance at the end of it all probably cost a bit more. If I tried, I could easily make it three weeks, possibly a whole month wearing a different Georgetown shirt every day. I think I could even go two of those three weeks in Georgetown shorts, and at least a few days in Georgetown boxers and pajamas. The cheerleaders at my high school alma mater, which I now help coach with my Stepmom, asked me about three weeks after I started if I ever wore non-Georgetown clothing, so apparently it’s all I wear.
Inexplicably, you dislike salsa. What are your top 5 condiments?
I promise I have nothing against salsa, it’s more the chips than anything. Why waste a good meal by filling up with chips?
1. Mustard on J. Paul’s appetizer pretzels
2. Hershey’s Chocolate and Whipped-Cream – seriously I wish it was acceptable just to eat them without the ice cream
4. Light Agave Nectar – you probably haven’t heard of it, but it’s healthy and delicious; goes great on yogurt
5. Ketchup – not that I’m a big ketchup fan, but it’s ketchup I feel like it has to make a condiments list.
As a native of New Orleans, what are your thoughts on the Obama Administration's handling of the oil spill? How about the new Real World: New Orleans?
Being the President is like being the quarterback of the football team; you get too much credit when things are going well and too much blame when things are going badly. The most frustrating thing is that New Orleans and the whole Gulf Coast, is really just starting to get back on its feet since Katrina. New Orleans just elected a new mayor, which brought a lot of change and excitement into the city, but the BP oil spill has really been another punch to gut that no one saw coming. Additionally, I don’t think most people really grasp the impact of the spill, the real effects of the subsequent moratorium, and the long term environmental factors that are in play, because it’s the kind of thing that when it’s not affecting you personally it’s really easy to just watch the new and move on. Even being from New Orleans, before I moved home, I really had no concept of what a big deal it should be. I think the response could have been better by all parties, not forgetting the emergency planning that should have been in place prior to the well even becoming operational. The Real World picked a good year to pick New Orleans, with the Saints winning the Superbowl , and Mardi Gras following shortly thereafter, I don’t think you could have found a more excited city in the world this past year. They also filmed here once before when I was much younger, but it couldn’t have been anything like some of the things I’m sure they filmed this past year.
Are you a Saints fan?
I’ve been a lifelong Saint’s fan, and have been fortunate to have season tickets throughout most of my life, and up until this year I had actually been on the field for every Saints playoff win in team history, though I suppose that’s as much a sad thing as amazing as each of those games were. I was actually the tee retriever for the Saints first playoff win against the Superbowl Champion St. Louis Rams and ran a gigantic Fleur-de-lis flag for the playoff win against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006. The Superbowl experience is part of what my friends often hear me reference as the "best weekend ever." After the Villanova game this year, as Snowpocalypse settled into Washington, I mustered the energy to walk from campus to Union Station wearing a long sleeved Saints shirt and Jersey with a pair of jeans and tennis shoes, caught a train to New York City, then flew home to New Orleans to watch the game with my family on Bourbon Street. Literally in about 48 hours I watched Georgetown beat Villanova in a blow out, after walking through the snow to catch the metro, spent the night in New York, stopping to eat at Carnegie Deli, and best of all saw my Saints win the Superbowl, all the while on Bourbon Street with my family. Although I was running on about one hour of sleep, that I got in the terminal at La Guardia, the weekend as a whole, starting with the Villanova win and then ending with a snow week to follow, is something I’ll never forget. Then of course the Saints won, which as a child I never could’ve imagined happening. My great grandparents went to the first Saint’s game back in the 1960’s, and my great grandpa didn’t even live to see them have a winning season, so this kind of success was a longtime in the making.
As a native of New Orleans, when did you first visit The Boot?
Believe it or not, I have actually never been to The Boot, though I’ve heard they have great late night pizza (RIP Philly P).
The overall consensus of CH bloggers that have lived in both New Orleans and DC is that NOLA is far superior. Please comment.
I don’t think it’s a fair comparison of New Orleans to any other city in the country, it’s just too unique to really compare to any city in the world really. Beyond Mardi Gras and the tourist attraction of Bourbon Street and all, there’s just a different culture to New Orleans that I’ve never seen duplicated elsewhere in any sense. The culture all ties together from the way you start high school in eighth grade, to the Saints, the great food, Spanish, French, and Cajun influence, and all. New Orleans is truly unlike any other city in the world, not that DC is exactly ordinary, but New Orleans is just too different to compare.
What are your career ambitions and why will a Georgetown education help get you there?
I want to get my law degree and use it to do something that will positively affect the world. I want to practice, but just don’t quite know what branch of law I want to get into, though I’ve recently been leaning toward Environmental Law, perhaps because it’s been on my mind a lot with the BP spill, but I also recently read some articles about the causes and blame of Hurricane Katrina by Georgetown Law Professor Richard Lazarus who was appointed the co-chairman of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, and I like what I read. I’m somewhat fearful of falling into the trappings of a comfortable lifestyle, with a big house, nice car, and the usual family life too soon; not that I don’t want that one day. The way I see it, I have a few years to really utilize my abilities and talents to do something that matters before I need to start thinking about settling in for the long haul. I credit Georgetown in addition to Jesuit High School with instilling in me a belief that my actions can have that kind of big effect that will matter to a lot more people than just me. It takes a lot of effort on the part of a lot of people to make it all work, but with the support of my family, friends, and mentors I’ve learned from over the years, I am hopeful that I can make it happen.