Since when do dancers belong at a baseball game?
I am a huge fan of the TCU Showgirls. In fact, two seasons ago, I too, was one of the scantily clad dancers shaking my pompoms at every home baseball game. Consequently, I remember how awkward it felt to climb onto the dugout, “perform” (if you can even call it that given the limited surface space) for a mostly apathetic crowd and then hop back down again.
Now, am I the only one who finds this concept a little strange? Because last time I checked, there were no cheerleaders in baseball. Okay, granted a few other schools – the University of Arkansas, for example – also have their spirit squads perform at baseball games. But cheerleaders, dancers or anything of the like would be a real rarity at the professional level.
My first thought was that this was just the latest ploy by the TCU marketing department to increase turnout, seemingly drawing on the advertising principle that “sex sells.” And game attendance has been on the uptick for the past couple years, but this is probably because the team is actually really good.
The Frogs ended last season one game away from the College World Series. This season, they’ve added pitcher Matt Purke (Texas Rangers’ first-round pick in last year’s First-Year Player Draft), and the average attendance for opening weekend against Sam Houston State was about 3,000 people. Yet the TCU Showgirls are still dancing on top of the dugout after the first inning of every home game. This just doesn’t seem necessary. Not only that, but they rarely stay for the entire game.
As cute as the Showgirls are – and they are adorable – I can’t help wondering how many hardcore fans are thinking, “get out of the way, this is a baseball game for goodness sake.” I can remember thinking that if I were an outsider looking in, I would find us utterly ridiculous. And I know I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.
“It has been difficult integrating what we do as a team into the baseball setting. Dancing on the dugouts has been challenging, especially being so close to the audience and not having a lot of space to work with,” said senior Showgirl Morgan Murrah. “The fans do not really seem to enjoy our short performances and do not seem to get very involved. Baseball and basketball do overlap, and since Showgirls is so involved in both seasons, it is a very busy and challenging time of year for us trying to prepare and cover all games.”
I can understand having cheerleaders perform at a football or a basketball game, but a baseball game? I don’t think so. It’s just wrong.
Jessica Reho is a senior broadcast journalism major from Beaumont.
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