Friday, December 14, 2007
By Adam Zinser
Ask any player in the NFL, and the 2008 Pro Bowl in February would be the very last thing on his mind. For the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders however, the Pro Bowl was recently on everybody’s mind.
The squad held their Pro Bowl Cheerleader Announcement Party at Director of Cheerleading Stacie Kinder’s Nashville home. With music pumping out and the house filled with squad members and friends, Kinder finally announced the winner, chosen by her fellow cheerleaders.
Six-year veteran and head captain Valerie will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, along with cheerleaders from around the league to cheer on the NFL’s best as the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl teams take the field on Feb. 10, 2008.
“I feel like I don’t deserve this, to be honest,” Valerie said after hearing the news. “It means a lot to me, and I’m glad that they have chosen me. For them to believe in me is an honor in itself. I appreciate that they see me filling that role.”
In her sixth year as a Titans Cheerleader and third as a captain, Valerie was shocked and excited upon hearing the news. Kinder was not surprised at all, however. She believes Valerie has done all that has been asked of her -- and more -- en route to her first trip to Hawaii.
“Valerie was the sentimental favorite because she is in her sixth year with the team,” Kinder said. “She is behind the scenes because people don’t know just how much she does. She works hard. She is everywhere we need her to be. She is dependable. She is a wonderful captain and has been for three years. She absolutely deserves it, and I’m thrilled she is getting to go to Hawaii.”
A University of Tennessee graduate and avid follower of fashion design, Valerie balances her time between cheerleading and being a sales manager. She lives with her Chihuahua Pedro, whom she calls her most prized possession.
Last year’s delegate to the Pro Bowl, Jennifer, knows exactly what Valerie has to look forward to.
“The Pro Bowl was the best experience I have ever had. I have cheered for five years, and that was like the finale,” Jennifer said. “Everybody knows Hawaii is the most beautiful place in the world, and they rolled out the red carpet for us. That is not even the number one thing, though. It’s the fans. They really love us. They thought we were like superstars. I loved talking to the fans. We did a lot of community service as well. It was humbling. It was a great experience. Get ready for the ride of your life, Valerie, because this is going to be a memory that you will never forget.”
While her squad members will have finished the season already, Valerie will have one last game to look forward to. She has never been to Hawaii and can’t wait to get there. She knows the NFL will keep her busy, but she hopes to have at least a little time to have some fun and enjoy beautiful Hawaii. She may even have some time to find a way to thank her fellow Titans cheerleaders for sending her there.
“I want to be able to balance work and fun, while representing the Titans at the same time,” Valerie said. “And I’ll definitely be saving some money so I can get some souvenirs for the rest of the team.