If you're trying to decide who to cheer for at this year's Super Bowl I think you should do a little research. Now, I know lots of people are probably tried and true fans on either side and have long since made up their minds. But there are plenty of us out there who need a little help deciding, and I'm here to tell you that you need to root for Los Angeles. Nothing against the New England Patriots, but the L.A. Rams cheerleaders are going to make history this year and I fully support this.
So what are the cheerleaders doing this year to make history? Well, for the first time ever, there will be two male cheerleaders performing on the sidelines. I know, it seems almost impossible to believe that there have never actually been two male cheerleaders at a Super Bowl, especially when men compete in the sport at the collegiate level all across the country. In fact, the sport began as an all-male sport back in the 19th century. But it's true; when Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies step onto the field at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia to cheer on their team, they'll be the first men to do so in a professional capacity for the NFL. And it seems almost certain at least some of the millions of fans tuning in to watch the game will be watching them as well.
This isn't the first time these two men have made history; back at the beginning of the season they were the first men (along with Jesse Hernandez of the New Orleans Saints) to ever dance alongside female cheerleaders in the NFL. And they're feeling pretty great about their new gig, although Peron told Fast Company that he's excited not only because they're being written into the history books; he's just excited to be able to perform in front of an audience:
Yeah, you get to put on the uniform, but for us this is just another stage. As a performer, you will do anything to get on another stage.
Peron is a dance instructor and choreographer, while Jinnies is a beauty blogger and freelance makeup artist. Both have performed in Disneyland parades in the past. And both chose to try out after being coaxed by their friends. As Jinnies told Fast Company:
I felt like, this is the year. This moment in the world, it feels more accepted. If you have the talent and work hard, why not? . . . If someone laughs at you, I mean, this is not Carrie: the Musical. My skin is so thick.
The L.A. Rams have a history of being slightly ahead of the pack when it comes to moving with the times. They were the first time to draft an openly gay player, Michael Sam. The Rams also pay their cheerleaders for every moment they are working rather than simply when they are booked to appear, unlike some other organizations.
So if you weren't sure who to cheer for at Super Bowl LIII, take a page out of Peron and Jinnies' book and cheer for the Rams. They've earned a little extra support.