Wanda Holloway is not going to like reading this, but her daughter will never stand on an Olympic podium and be awarded a gold medal.
Please Wanda, don't hire a hit man to kill me. I'm just the messenger.
The message is cheerleading is not a sport. I'm a bit skittish to bring it because you know how fired up the cheerleading community can get.
Holloway made quite a name for herself a few years back. Unfortunately for her it was the Texas Cheerleader Murdering Mom. I'm not saying all cheerleader moms try to solicit hit men to eliminate the mothers of their daughter's cheerleading rival, but you know how some people can't handle the truth.
They've been a bit miffed since a judge ruled last week that cheerleading isn't a sport. Their reaction has been wholly predictable:
Let that mean old judge spend 10 hours a day trying to do a triple back flip and then end up in the hospital with a broken pelvis. That'll show him that cheerleading is a sport!
People, just because you work hard at something doesn't make it a sport. And just because you can get hurt doing something doesn't make it a sport.
If it did, marrying Mel Gibson would be an Olympic sport. Colleges would be competing for the NCAA Ballroom Dancing title. Joey Chestnut would be a two-time Pan Am Games gold medalist in hot dog eating.
You have to draw the line somewhere. I think any activity that involves human pyramids and guys parading around with women sitting on their palms is best left for parties back at Tiger Woods' suite.
You are welcome to disagree, of course. The debate over what defines a sport has been around since the original Olympics in 776 B.C. My definition starts with if you can smoke while doing it, it's not a sport.
If that eliminates baseball, NASCAR and bowling, so be it. Some things are simply activities or hobbies or just plain old games. And as they said on Seinfeld, there's nothing wrong with that.
Just don't tell that to the participants, who equate sports with athleticism. Serious bowlers always get all Wanda Holloway when you tell them they're not finely honed jocks, and that spending two hours a day smoking and throwing strikes is not harder than three-a-day football practices in August.
Cheerleading certainly requires more athletic skill than bowling or lawn darts or sports writing, but that wasn't enough to persuade Judge Stefan Underhill. The actual case he heard was ironically hilarious.
Quinnipiac University's women's volleyball team sued the school after it eliminated the sport and replaced it with cheerleading. It was one of those bogus moves to meet Title IX guidelines, only this time instead of killing a real men's sport they killed a real women's sport.
I don't think Underhill's ruling went far enough. He said cheerleading is too "underdeveloped and disorganized to be treated as offering genuine varsity athletic competition."
True enough, but even if every SEC school got $19 million a year in TV revenue from the activity, there'd still be one hitch:
It was conceived as a sideline booster activity for real sports like football and basketball. That's not saying you can't have viable spinoffs. Cheers spun off Frasier. But this is Happy Days begetting Joanie Love Chachi, with Scott Baio trying to military-press What's-Her-Name over his head while she screams "Let's Go Tigers!"
I know what the cheerleader crowd is saying. You try to military-press What's-Her-Name!
I'm not saying what you do isn't demanding and potentially lethal. So is giving my cat a bath, but you don't see me petitioning the IOC for including it in the 2012 Olympics.
I admire the grit of the thousands of young lads and lasses who cheer. And it should be noted that there is a difference between "cheerleading" and "competitive cheerleading."
To succeed in regular cheerleading you need nice hair, breasts and lipstick. To succeed in competitive cheerleading you need a bunch of tykes synchronically jumping around to a 140-decible remix of "Hey Mickey." If they're over 16, they can smoke while doing it.
Somehow I don't think that's what the ancient Greeks had in mind when they gathered at Olympia.
They're all dead now, of course. I just hope any potential Texas Cheerleader Moms out there don't get any ideas.
I'd hate to spend 18 hours a day dodging bullets. But if I did, I wouldn't call it a sport.