There’s this crazy misconception about NFL cheerleaders – that they’re stupid, only in it to date players, don’t have “real” jobs, don’t know jack about the actual sport they’re cheering for… the list goes on and on. But it’s a pretty ignorant list if you’ve met 99% of these gals that suit up on NFL Sunday (which now also includes Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) to dance and cheer and hair flip for everyone’s enjoyment.
Meet Morgan, or Moe as everyone calls her, of the Houston Texans Cheerleading (HTC) Squad. Taking her spot in the red, white and blue glorious lineup for her fourth straight year, Moe is no rookie when it comes to dancing in front of 70,000 screaming fans inside Reliant or to the sport she’s loved since she was a child. (That’s Battle Red, Liberty White, and Deep Steel Blue to be exact for you Texans fans.)
Originally from Austin, TX, Moe has led quite the exciting lifestyle, becoming a backup dancer for big country stars like Big and Rich and Trace Adkins. Moe happily calls Houston home now and spends her days as a Business Development Representative for a prominent Orthopedic Group in the Texas Medical Center while her nights and weekends are spent proudly representing the Houston Texans.
The HTC is known around the league as the squad with a more hip-hop approach than most of the others, thanks to Coach Alto, and Moe fits that mold perfectly. “I like the style that Coach Alto puts in. We’re a little more hip-hop, and that’s my strong suit. Obviously I backup danced for country stars so the little bit of hillbilly we add to it fits me just fine too,” Moe jokes.
We all know the simple truth that everything is bigger in Texas, and cheering is certainly no different. “Dancing in front of 70,000 people, you have to be huge,” Moe explains. “Your personality has to show – every facial expression counts. I have to exaggerate all my moves – my smiles, my walks, everything. People can spot me out from a ton of rows up. They aren’t dancers critiquing you, they want to see you’re enjoying the game.”
But being an NFL cheerleader isn’t all glitter and pillow fights. “We work hard. We do a minimum of 40 appearances a year, and you have to maintain a full-time job or be a full-time student. We have practices 3 days a week, but you have to practice before practice. Practice isn’t for learning; you’re supposed to already know it. We learn four new dances for every game plus 12 sidelines plus 10 fillers. Then there are the workouts…” as she trails off. Clearly it’s exhausting just talking about all the hard work that goes into this passion of hers.
Moe was voted Rookie of the Year in 2011, Most Spirited in 2012 and voted the cheerleader to represent her team at the Pro Bowl in 2012. The internet has also dubbed the blonde bombshell as one of the most photographed cheerleaders in the league. And it’s easy to understand why Moe flashes her pearly whites so often. The girl is happy with her life all around and thankful for where she is. She doesn’t take a single day for granted, especially her numbered days in that coveted HTC uniform. “You only get to put your Superman suit on for so long – that’s what my cheerleading outfit is, and then I go back to being a normal person. Football players are somebody years down the road, but cheerleaders, we come and go. Maybe that’s why we’re always smiling,” she says.
And be sure to follow @TexansCheer on Twitter – this group of social media hotties has more followers than 13 NFL teams, 19 MLB (including their hometown Houston Astros), 19 NHL, 19 NBA and 20 MLS teams. Clearly these gals are doing many things right. (Stat via Matt from the Everything NFL Cheerleaders account on Twitter @NFLCheerRT.)
Jayme Lamm is a freelance sports and travel writer based in Houston and is currently in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Follow her travels for sporting events and check her out on Twitter.
Jayme interviewed a whole team’s worth of football talent last year, including Antonio Garay about his Hello, Kitty! Smart Car. Then she got stuck on a Carnival cruise in her Dispatches from Hell’s Neverending Bachelorette Party.