Monday, February 11, 2008

Bucs Cheerleader Will Appear In SI Swimsuit Edition 

Posted by Sasha at 6:20 PM ET

By Keith Morelli of The Tampa Tribune
February 11, 2008

TAMPA - Amid the international supermodels and voluptuous celebrities who are in the 2008 swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated is Tampa's Milly Figuereo.

No stranger to the public eye, the 27-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader will be featured among the beauties in the annual edition that is a favorite of many of the 3 million subscribers. The edition hits the stands Tuesday.

Figuereo could not be reached for comment Monday.

All the models were in New York this week attending launch festivities around the publication of the issue.

Buccaneers cheerleader manager Sandy Charboneau said she knew Figuereo was photographed to be a part of the layout, but didn't know whether she would be part of the annual package.

The magazine is cagey about information before the magazine hits the streets, she said.

Buccaneers officials were calling the magazine today as well, trying to get more information. A big splash for the issue is "Late Night With David Letterman" on Tuesday night when the cover photo will be revealed, according to the show's Web site.

Figuereo, a former student at the University of Tampa, is the first Buccaneers cheerleader to pose for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, Charboneau said.

The Dominican Republic native who moved here when she was 9 is planning a March wedding. The 2007 Buccaneers season was her second as a cheerleader.

"It was an exhilarating rush," she said in a December interview with TBO.com. "I'd been to Bucs games and various NFL games before, but everything looks different when you're out there on the field. You really feel like 65,000 people are screaming for you."

Figuereo has been a dancer and cheerleader her whole life and cheered teams throughout junior high and high school.

Since joining the squad, she has taken part in events to benefit organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and Metropolitan Ministries. She also is an avid runner, often competing in long-distance runs in the Tampa Bay area.

She works full time as an office manager for a local commodities brokerage.

The magazine began using swimsuit models in 1964 to fill up an edition in February when the professional sports world is between football and baseball seasons. It was a way to keep subscribers, mostly male sports enthusiasts, reading and looking at the pictures.

The edition caught on, boosting sales and causing controversy. Some people canceled subscriptions, but mostly the editions flew off the shelves.

Two years ago, the magazine reportedly sold $35 million in advertising in the edition, and the 2007 edition was read by 67 million people, the magazine said.

The 2008 swimsuit edition, plopped between last week's Super Bowl results issue and next week's NASCAR preview issue, is expected to top that.

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