Tuesday, November 11, 2008
By Tony Marchetti
Tiffany Monroe’s second job pays next to nothing, she drives an hour to get to it, and she’s required to work weekends, late nights, and the occasional national holiday. Yet this Class of 2006 grad wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Several Sundays each fall (plus the occasional Monday night and, this year, Thanksgiving night), Tiffany dons her midnight green, black, and white uniform and takes to the sidelines of Lincoln Financial Field as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading squad.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and it has been such an amazing experience,” Tiffany said about her three-year stint with the team.
It was a lifelong love of dancing and gymnastics—she started lessons in both at age 3—that led Tiffany to try out for the team. “I knew the Eagles cheerleaders were considered an elite squad in the NFL, and I wanted to see if I had the skills to make the team,” she said.
Although unsuccessful in her first attempt—she jokingly says she was “a bit green” about how demanding the tryouts would be—she returned the following year and beat out nearly 1,000 other hopefuls for a spot on the squad. It’s been a rollercoaster ride ever since, she said, and she has enjoyed every minute of it.
Although Tiffany and her teammates are all smiles on the field during game time, she explained that it takes a lot of long hours and hard work behind the scenes to pull it all off.
“Our season begins in March and ends after the Super Bowl,” Tiffany said. During that time, the squad rehearses twice a week for three to four hours per night. Additionally, each Cheerleader must make numerous appearances at publicity events throughout the season—and of course be there for every Eagles home game, Tiffany explained.
“It is definitely surreal on game day…cheering in front of 65,000 fans,” she said. “Feeling the energy running through the stadium is unbelievable.”
Performing in front of the fans is just one of the perks that make the job great, Tiffany said. She loves having the best seat in the house to watch her favorite team play, and has enjoyed the opportunities she’s had to work with Eagles Fly for Leukemia—the team’s charity, which supports pediatric cancer and leukemia research at Delaware Valley hospitals.
“Cheering has also allowed me to meet new people and experience so many exciting things,” she said. For instance, when the biopic Invincible premiered, Tiffany was on hand to meet the film’s star, Mark Wahlberg, as well as the real-life inspiration for the movie, former Eagle (and fan favorite) Vince Papale.
Another perk has been being featured in the Eagles Cheerleaders’ calendar, the most recent of which was shot at a resort in Punta Cana. This year’s calendar was “green” in more ways than one, Tiffany explained.
“All of the swimsuits and accessories were made from recycled or reprocessed materials,” she said. “It’s what we call ‘eco-sexy.’”
Away from the field, Tiffany is a health and physical education teacher in Somers Point. She values the education she received at TCNJ, she said, and hopes to instill a love of learning in her young students.
Of course, her students think their teacher’s other job is pretty cool, too—at least most of them do. “I do take some ‘flak’ from Cowboys or Giants fans,” she joked. “But it’s always in good fun.”
“I think [having the students see] that I am able to do something that I love in addition to teaching as a profession helps to motivate them to be what they want to be and achieve their goals in life,” she said.