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Second Cheerleading Report

Over the summer, Nikki Wilson, a Duke senior from Los Angeles and a member of the cheerleading squad, contacted us and offered to write some articles over the course of the year from the cheerleaders' perspective. Obviously, we're most appreciative of the offer, especially given the time constraints Nikki and her squad members have. Here's the cheerleaders' home page, and here is a collection of pictures of the squad, including one in which they're wearing some really cool hats. :)

Here's Nikki's second report for us. Thanks!

Finding out that you're going to Texas to cheer for a football game conjures up all sorts of images and expectations. After seeing movies like "Varsity Blues", I imagined towns that are obsessed with the local teams, where football is life and girls walk around in whip cream bikinis (ok I was kidding about the last part).

But seriously, the cheerleaders that were flown to Houston for the Duke vs. Rice game were very excited to go to Houston and see what Texas football was all about.

While the buildings and houses were absolutely beautiful, I was a little disappointed with the turnout at the game. However, I realized that Rice is not a UT or Texas A & M, and that the fans that were there were every bit as crazy about Rice football as Cameron Crazies are about Duke Basketball (yes, I dared to make the comparison, and yes, the Crazies are a million times more wild than any other school I've seen).

After getting over the initial excitement of being in Houston, my excitement was slightly doused by the amount of heat and humidity that hit me when we stepped off the air-conditioned team buses. Fortunately for everyone there that was not used to the heat, the weather cooled down and a nice breeze blew through the stadium.

Despite the nice weather and a great turn-out of Duke fans, we were unable to come up with a win this past weekend. I have to say that I thought I was going to have about three heart attacks while I was cheering. There were so many opportunities for us to pull ahead and have the win, but as fate would have it, our opportunities were missed.

Despite the disappointing loss, the game was very exciting and a lot of fun. It's great to see us improve on our play and come just a bit closer to a "W". What was even more exciting was that we cheered about 3 feet from the team.

Maybe I should add "scary" to the excitement of cheering next to them. It's always a little frightening to be so close to game action and hear a lot of the comments that our players make on the sideline. But, makes our whole cheering experience that much more fun.

Our fun came to a great conclusion with a very tasty steak dinner on the plane ride back (I don't know how those guys can put down so much food!), and the hopes that the next game will be even better.