Thursday, January 31, 2008

'Big Dance'? Linda's Arrives in Two Weeks 

Posted by Sasha at 6:13 PM ET

Published: 01-25-08
By Eric Allen
Senior Managing Editor

The “big game” is next week, but Linda’s Super Bowl is in two weeks. The Jets’ Flight Crew member will leave for Hawaii and the Pro Bowl on Feb. 4.

“I have to go wearing a Jets shirt or a Jets jacket so people can recognize who we are when we get to Hawaii,” Linda said. “You’ll meet up with some of the girls and an NFL rep will find us and take us back to the hotel. Everybody will be wearing their team stuff.”

The trip will take the Jets’ sole Pro Bowl representative from Queens to California. Then after a 45-minute layover, it’s off to Honolulu and a late afternoon arrival.

“I’ve been told you just go to your room, unpack and hopefully your roommate is there by then,” she said. “Then you’re on your own the rest of the night. I’m guessing it will be an AFC girl since we’ll have the same schedule, but I don’t know how they pick. It’s all a surprise.”

After Linda’s parents found out their daughter had earned a Pro Bowl invite, they decided they would leave the mainland, too. But Linda’s schedule is a busy one, so this won’t be a typical family vacation.

“My mom has all the Hawaii books out and she’s planning excursions out to other islands and stuff. They’re getting a car and they’re doing their own thing,” Linda said. “It’s not like I’m going to hang out with them a lot because I’m going to be with the girls the whole time. My parents have never been to Hawaii before, so they want to get as much out of it as they possibly can.”

This isn’t an R&R trip for Linda. Tuesday’s itinerary features nine hours of rehearsal.

“We have long practices that second day. It’s like 4½ hours, dinner, and then another 4½-hour session,” she said. “I heard there was a lot to do, but upon seeing that, it’s like it’s a lot.”

The Pro Bowl cheerleaders were mailed homework in late December and the Green & White rep has worked on all her steps.

“I’ve been learning a lot of dances. There are 13 numbers,” Linda said. “We were sent a DVD and you have to watch it and learn the routines on your own.”

The Massapequa, N.Y., native doesn’t have to leave home to get in her preparation.

“I have a dance studio in my basement that my dad built. It comes in handy with stuff like this,” she said. “I have the TV side and then the dance studio side. It’s pretty big. We have a big mirror and a hardwood floor.”

The Jets Flight Crew is unique in that the young ladies carry flags in addition to doing dance routines. Linda drops the flag in Hawaii in favor of pom-poms.

“I just got my poms yesterday and all the dances require them. I’ve never used poms before, so that was a bit much practicing yesterday with them,” she said. “I felt like I was going to fling them.”

Even though the pom-poms are a change, Linda is confident with her routines. She sometimes performs at the home studio in front of one of her two younger sisters. The 17-year-old sibling gives Linda valuable pointers as she practices.

“There were like five of six choreographers and all these different styles of dance and you just have to learn the combinations,” Linda said. “We’ll perform some at the volunteer events and some are for the gameday routine. When you get there, you have to go over all those with everyone.”

In addition to the Hawaii practices, Linda is scheduled to make a few local appearances, including a hospital visit and a stop at a military reservation. When she does get free time, she wants a ring.

“I was reading some of the other girls’ blogs, and they said on one of the days they all go into town and buy Pro Bowl rings and they get them inscribed. It’s a tradition they do every year,” she said. “They also go to the beach if you have a couple of hours. You’re split up, so if one group of girls goes and does a promotion, you’ll have some time off. But I don’t think there is a lot.”

The good news is Linda is going to keep us informed of her maiden voyage. She’ll blog daily from Honolulu, providing a glimpse of the tropics while we endure the New York winter. For those who participate in the big game, there are perks.

Labels: , ,