Hi Everyone!! I can’t believe the next game of the season is the SUPER BOWL!! I’m sure that quite a few people aren’t surprised to see Pittsburgh make it to the Super Bowl, but I don’t think many predicted that the Arizona Cardinals would be their opponents! The match-up should make for a very interesting game; hopefully, it is action packed and a battle to the end! Though the Super Bowl is the next game on everyone’s mind, today I want to skip ahead one week to the 2009 Pro Bowl.
The Pro Bowl will be held on February 8, 2009, one week after the Super Bowl champions have been crowned. The Pro Bowl pits the paramount players of the AFC against the finest of the NFC.
The roster is determined by fans, players, and coaches from every team – and it can be tough deciding who to vote for! Prior to 1995, only coaches and players selected who to send to the NFL’s all-star game, but the incorporation of fans has added a new dimension to the game and has increased the excitement surrounding the event.
Because there are players from every team, the issue of uniforms comes into question. I think if each player wore the uniform of their team, mass chaos would transpire on the field! Matching uniforms are made for each team, however, the players do get to wear their own helmets. The home jerseys and pants are solid blue for the NFC and solid red for the AFC, and away jerseys are white with accents of either blue or red. With a wide range of players, it seems natural that more than one player may wear a certain number – but have no fear, this conflict has been resolved! If two players have the same number, they can both wear that number for the game. Prior to a few years ago, all players were required to wear different numbers; regardless of the number they wore on their regular team. Players can choose to wear a different number to help eliminate confusion, but for a lot of players, their number is part of their identity.
An interesting aspect of the Pro Bowl is that several rules exist that prohibit certain moves that are allowed in all other games; the main reason for these rule changes is to prevent injuries, especially since the game does not count towards any teams’ records or statistics.
Offensive rules are:
1.) Offenses are prohibited from shifting, 2.) they cannot send a receiver in motion, 3.) they cannot line up with three receivers on one side, 4.) a tight end must be on the field for every play, and 5.) intentional grounding penalties are not called
Defensive rules are:
1.) Defenses cannot press coverage (except inside the 5-yard line), 2.) a 4-3 defensive formation must be used, 3.) a fifth or sixth defensive back (nickel or dime) may not be inserted in place of a linebacker, 4.) safeties must start each play within the hashmarks, 5.) defensive players cannot touch the quarterback’s hair or face (this one always makes me laugh!), and 6.) special teams cannot rush kickers, and the punting team must observe a 5-yard “halo” around the receiver.
The Pro Bowl game has been held at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu since 1980; however, this year is unique because it marks the last time the Pro Bowl will be held in Hawaii. Next year the event will move to Miami, and it is scheduled to be played the week before the Super Bowl. The 2010 Pro Bowl game will be the first played outside of Hawaii since 1980, and will be the first played in the same city as the Super Bowl since both were played in Los Angeles in 1967. Changes, changes!!
Questions regarding whether players from the teams playing in the Super Bowl will participate in the Pro Bowl are still up in the air. On the one hand, the elite members of those Super Bowl teams surely should play in the Pro Bowl, especially if they receive a large number of votes. But on the contrary, risking injury and extra wear-and-tear the week before the Super Bowl may be too large of a gamble for any player, no matter how strong he may be. I’m sure this debate will continue as next season’s Pro Bowl approaches, and I am very interested to hear everyone’s opinions!
Anyhow, back to the 2009 Pro Bowl! As you know, we are sending three excellent players to the game this year, which are most certainly in the NFL elite. Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and Casey Wiegmann will be representing us this coming February, and hopefully bringing a win for the AFC! The NFC claimed victory last year, so the series is now tied at 19 wins for each conference. I cannot wait to watch our players show their skills out in Hawaii. Cutler, Marshall, and Wiegmann are three of the most talented players in the NFL, and the cream of the crop at their positions. It is very exciting that Casey Wiegmann will be going along with Jay and Brandon this year; he was selected as an alternate and will be replacing the injured Kevin Mawae from the Tennessee Titans.
Though this is his first season with the Broncos, Casey Wiegmann is a seasoned veteran with years of exceptional talent. Undrafted in 1996, Wiegmann joined the Indianapolis Colts, and has since played for the New York Jets, Chicago Bears, and the Kansas City Chiefs. Entering the 2008 season, Wiegmann was not sure if he would be the starting center or the back-up for Tom Nalen; but his undeniable talent made him the perfect fit for the center of our O-line. He started all 16 games for the Broncos in 2008 and has a 127-game starting streak, which is the longest streak among all active NFL centers! As many know, the Broncos offensive line this season was explosive, powerful, and one of the best we’ve had in years. In fact, they tied the Titans this year for fewest sacks given up during the regular season. And without a doubt, Casey Wiegmann was the outstanding veteran leader that kept the line so stalwart all season. The 2009 Pro Bowl selection is the first of Wiegmann’s career – and it is so very well-deserved! We wish him, Jay Cutler, and Brandon Marshall the best of luck out there this February!
Along with excellent players, there are also 32 beautiful women that grace the sidelines at Aloha Stadium every year. That’s right, one cheerleader from each team in the league represents their teams’ cheerleaders at the Pro Bowl. I am not sure how other teams select their representatives, but Teresa has all of us vote so the cheerleader chosen is one that the team respects highly. Of course, we feel that any of our 33 team members would represent us wonderfully, so we take a lot of time to think about who will be the absolute best representative of our team.
During one of our team meetings, Teresa has us vote individually on who we believe deserves the honor of attending the Pro Bowl. Teresa and Shelly also discuss and cast their votes privately. When considering who to vote for, I spend extensive time before the day we vote, making my choice based on who epitomizes everything it means to be a Broncos Cheerleader. We want our representative to be personable, genuine, talented, confident, and passionate about the Denver Broncos.
This year, the lady representing us at the 2009 Pro Bowl will be Alex Taylor! Alex is truly the perfect selection; she is an unbelievably incredible woman and dancer. She is a fifth year DBC and was a team captain this year. All year, Alex stood out as the rock of our team – she supported everyone, was always honest no matter the situation, and always remained calm in even the most stressful moments. Alex is not only an unbelievable dancer, spending many of her years as a highly trained ballerina, but she is also brilliant. A self-proclaimed “nerd,” Alex is one of the brightest people I have ever met, and she is also one of the classiest and most cultured ladies I have come across. She is so passionate about the Denver Broncos and about our team. Alex is the type of person who will drop whatever she is doing to help someone else out – I remember the first time I experienced it in action.
We were in Japan on an Armed Forces Entertainment tour, and we were nearing the end of our trip. Everyone was very frazzled one day and we had a very hectic schedule planned. I couldn’t find my passport and was looking frantically for it. Although Alex was still packing up her bags and had so much to do before we loaded up the bus, she dropped everything to help me run around the military base looking for my passport. She kept me calm and helped me find it in half the time. I was so amazed that she just dropped everything, even though we had hardly any time left before we had to be ready, just to help me out. This is how Alex is in all aspects of her life. It is truly an honor to send her to the Pro Bowl to represent the Broncos Cheerleaders this year. I can’t wait for all of the other cheerleaders and fans to meet her and see what an exceptional person she is. Best of luck to Alex in Hawaii!!
This year something unique is happening for the Broncos Cheerleaders. We are actually sending two cheerleaders to the Pro Bowl! Alex is our Pro Bowl representative and will be dancing at the game as well as attending events all week long. A few weeks after Alex was nominated, e2k sports called Teresa and asked if we would send another representative to the Pro Bowl to be a Youth Clinic Cheerleader. It is such an honor that the NFL and e2k holds us in such high regards to nominate us to send a second cheerleader.
This cheerleader will be visiting elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Hawaii to teach cheerleader clinics and educate kids on drug awareness and the importance of staying in school. I am so honored and humbled to say that I will be the cheerleader this year going as the Youth Clinic Cheerleader. When Teresa pulled me into her office to tell me I had been selected, I was speechless – and being speechless tends to be a rarity for me! I am SO unbelievably honored be chosen by my teammates to be another representative in Hawaii. The Denver Broncos Cheerleaders, my teammates, Teresa, Shelly, Kelly, Keela, and everyone who is a part of the organization are some of the most important people in my life.
I respect each and every one of them to the utmost, and they have all shaped me into the person I am today. Everyday I think of how blessed I am to be in the presence of such extraordinary women, and when I am out in Hawaii, I will be carrying all of them with me. Everyone person I meet will not just meet Romi — they will be meeting all of the women of the Broncos Cheerleaders, because each one of them is a part of me.
Okay, I know I can get a little sappy, but it is only because I love the Denver Broncos, the cheerleaders, the fans, and the NFL as a whole SO very much!! I will be sure to send out a blog while I am in Hawaii to let you know how it is all going. And I will try and grab Alex for a few minutes to hear what she is up to as well!!