There’s this thing about Indianapolis. Though I’ve never been and I don’t really know anyone from there, I get the sense it’s one of the greatest and friendliest places on earth (minus the cold weather of course). My girl Allie, one of the 26 lucky ladies named a 2013 Colts Cheerleader, only strengthens that belief for me. Like Jillian Michaels meets Manny Pacquiao kind of strength. She’s that good.
I’ve interviewed many NFL Cheerleaders in my day and each and every one surprises more and more. Not that I thought for one second these girls were shallow or uneducated, but hearing about their hectic schedules and seeing what their workouts and practices look like firsthand, and then hearing about their schooling and careers, I’m literally amazed. I talk about football all day, so my job’s not that hard. These women do that too but multiplied by at least 20. Maybe even 30.
Allie J. has got to be the most energetic and well-spoken cheerleader I’ve interviewed yet. She takes her job as an NFL Cheerleader very seriously as she semi-jokes about the mental preparation she put in before this interview.
As we talk about work and all the commitment that goes into being one of the illustrious “Sweethearts of the Horseshoe,” Allie walks me through a typical day, which looks a little something like this:
7:45 a.m. Arrive at work (She’s an office manager of a home lending company)
Lunch Hour: Head out to a workout with the trainer, then back to the office
Various Work Breaks: Practicing dances in the supply closets (she isn’t kidding either)
6-9:00 p.m. Cheerleader practice, which includes dance and fitness training (but of course, there’s practice before practice, so this is probably more like 5-9 p.m.)
10 p.m. Finally head home to prep and do it all again
As she almost runs out of breath explaining such a hectic day to me, she can see my questioning look, like she’s been down this road before. “Sounds fun doesn’t it?” she laughs. “But I love every second of it,” she finishes before I can even ask the question she knows I’m going to ask.
We talk a little more about her workouts and the time commitment that goes into it. “I would dare anyone to come try a high-intensity interval training class with our official trainer. I might even go so far as to say a few of the players in the league would struggle through these workouts (excluding Colts players of course). In a normal week we spend an average of 14 hours dedicated to fitness training and practice. Time management is critical as most of us are employed full-time or are full-time students,” she explains.
Yeah, I have to admit. I’d love to see a big ole offensive lineman next to these ladies trying to do the same workout. It would be entertaining on many levels, maybe even worthy of a few prop bets.
In her third season as a Colts Cheerleader, Allie was by far a perfect representation for not only the other women on the team, but the organization as a whole. Every question led right back to the same topic: the fans.
I asked Allie to tell me about Lucas Oil Stadium since I’ve yet to experience it. “How can I describe a building where every square inch is designed with the fans in mind? It’s an explosion of state-of-the art high-tech sights and sounds! Our stadium was recently voted #1 overall in the league. It was opened in 2008 and holds just over 64,000 fans,” she says. At the last second she adds, “A perfect venue to host Super Bowl XLVI!”
And those 64,000 fans are exactly why Allie loves her role as a Colts Cheerleader.
We talk about how crazy and fun the atmosphere is, which always leads to asking if she still gets nervous performing in front of all those fans? “What’s the term for feeling excited, energized, pumped, awe-struck, your heart beating wildly, anticipating the win… Is that euphoric? That’s what I get!” she says.
You might be surprised to learn that Allie’s best experience as a Colts Cheerleader didn’t happen on the sidelines, but rather mid-field. “My best experience is without question the honor of singing our National Anthem with two of my teammates last season at a home game. It was so surreal! I don’t know if anything will ever top that!” she reminisces.
Originally from Centerville, OH, where she attended The Ohio State University, we talk about her “stats.” I mean, we always talk about the weight and height and size of the players, but shouldn’t this topic be reserved for the ladies? Allie is a little taller than me, standing at 5’4 and weighing 115. We talk about my sport’s column, The Blonde Side and she adds that she’s a natural blonde, unlike yours truly. I still firmly stand behind the fact I’m a natural dirty blonde, which is almost as good. And yes, Allie and I are both living proof that blondes do in fact have more fun.
Allie is the rare kind of girl that A) hates shopping and B) can throw a “beautiful” 35-40 yard spiral. A beautiful girl throwing a beautiful spiral? What more could guys want? Why isn’t there a movie with that exact title? Her perfect date night would include a double feature scary movie complete with popcorn and chocolate-covered raisins followed by a seafood dinner.
Her knowledge of football extends well beyond the Colts current roster and your standard quarterback stats. “My high school lays claim to three well-known college and NFL players so naturally they would have been my favorites: AJ Hawk, Mike Nugent, and College Gameday commentator Kirk Herbstreit!” she gushes.
Allie’s got the perfect Colts-centric answer for everything, truly selling me on the organization from top to bottom. Another popular question I ask NFL Cheerleaders is to describe their favorite music to dance to. Past answers have included Rihanna, salsa, hip-hop, but not Allie. Her favorite music to dance to? “Definitely ANY song played immediately after a Colts touchdown!”
“There’s no doubt we rank #1 in dedication and commitment to our fan base. The serving opportunities I’ve experienced as a Colts Cheerleader continue to be life-changing. It’s critical that we support our community not only from a fan standpoint, but helping anywhere there might be a need,” the blonde bombshell says.
Let me leave you with Allie’s favorite quote. It’s a Vince Lombardi quote and really applies to every aspect of life and probably every NFL team out there: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” Allie says these wise words have helped her all the way back in her high school days, and look where she is now.
Follow my favorite Colts Cheerleader on Twitter: @Alliej_CC
Want to see more of Allie? Check out her gallery!
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.