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I Don’t Really Care if Courtney Lenz the Ravens Cheerleader Goes to the Super Bowl

12 Written by: | Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 10:00am

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Maybe you’re familiar with the tragic story of Courtney Lenz, 23, the only veteran Ravens cheerleader – she’s been on the squad, like, literally forever, since she was 18 – who won’t be allowed to join the dance team in New Orleans for Super Bowl Sunday. Why? According to Lenz, it seems that Lenz had announced plans to retire at the end of the season and, therefore, the powers that be chose to ban her from the final pyramid. But close reading tells me it’s not as simple as that.

Maybe you’re on Lenz’s side all the way. (I was at first.) A petition on Facebook has already received almost 15,000 signatures.

According to the petition, the rah-rah pro announced she was retiring during the last home game of the season, which didn’t go over well with the director of the cheer program, who’d been hard on Lenz throughout the season, the defensive dancer told ABCNews.com. (Lenz recently graduated college and took a full-time marketing job.) Supposedly, all veteran cheerers were promised they’d attend the legendary game.

And yet Courtney Lenz is denied?!

“As set by the NFL, we are permitted to bring 32 cheerleaders to the Super Bowl,” Ravens spokeswoman Heather Harness said in a statement to ABCNews.com. “Our selection process was based upon three criteria: seniority, performance ability and personal conduct throughout the season. As much as we would like to take the whole team, we are unable to do so, due to parameters set by the NFL.”

Seniority, performance ability and personal conduct, check, check, check. Reasonable points.

Ask yourself one question: Why might a director or coach perhaps be in the mood to be hard on Lenz?

“[Courtney] was told she didn’t put in as many appearance hours this season as she did the past four years while in college,” says the petition. ‘They also stated she struggled with weight on occasion and she had been benched for [a] two-pound weight gain during a game earlier in the fall, which is absurd, unhealthy and a complete inaccurate measurement of a woman’s ‘appearance’ and size!”

Reps have denied that Lenz’s retirement had anything to do with their decision to leave her home in Baltimore to clap her hands in her purple armchair. Frankly, I don’t feel all that bad for the girl based on the information presented.

We don’t have the whole story, granted. But it sounds as if Lenz’s behavior throughout the season was lacking. Appearance hours matter when you’re a public figure and they matter when you are an active member of any organization that does work in the world – the Girl Scouts, the church choir, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Team players show up.

Athletes — which is what Lenz actually is — get weighed regularly. When I ran track in high school, I was expected to stay in shape, same as my friends on the volleyball team and cheer squad. It’s a fact of the game. Two pounds over the weight max is two pounds over the weight max. I’m a feminist who believes that our current culture is way too obsessed with thinness, yes. But the Ravens cheerleaders are not starving with anorexia, from what I can see. The jutting-bone clues are not apparent. Rather, they are generally curvy bouncers for whom it is a logical goal to remain rather lean and mean, with a super-healthy (not low or high) BMI.

I’m not going to start my own petition to keep Lenz on the bench, but I won’t exactly be cheering if the director decides to pull a media stunt and bring her on the bus. This would mean that another cheerleader, perhaps a woman who’d made an admirable number of appearances and practiced her routine routinely, would have to stay home. Based on what I’ve read, I don’t think Lenz earned her coveted spot — I call a foul.

Leave a Reply

  • Raven's Fan

    If you didn’t care why would you waste your time writing and publishing a story about her to further exploit her name?

  • B. Boyd

    Courtney Lenz has done a great job of exploiting her own name. I have an opinion: I wrote about sportsmanship, which I do care about. Thanks for your comment.

    • Raven's Fan

      You didn’t even once mention sportsmanship throughout your entire story. How do you not see yourself as a culprit of spreading her story even further?

    • TheTruth

      Maybe she’s lucky she even had a spot on the team after getting an underage DUI in 2009, getting caught drinking in her uniform, and showing up late for multiple practices. If you think she got benched from the Super Bowl for simply 2 lbs and retiring you are insane.

  • B. Boyd

    By sportsmanship I mean being a good team player, following through on expectations, rules, requirements. Her story has spread to nearly every media outlet. Yes, I’m spreading it further by a degree. That’s what journalists do.

    • Raven's Fan

      But that’s my point. If you don’t care about her or her going to the superbowl why would you spend your time or effort writing about it. As you said in your story you don’t have all the facts. She has been rewarded for her community outreach in past seasons, has had the highest number of appearances in past seasons, stayed loyal for 5 season, and vets like her aren’t required to make appearances like the younger cheerleaders are.

      • B. Boyd

        Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate your enthusiasm. Lenz has so much Facebook support… I’m merely one voice who believes that every team player ought to give their all every single season, whether they’re rookies or vets. Over and out.

  • TXdawg

    You’re an idiot. She dedicated her time and efforts to the team in the past and if she wasn’t cutting the mustard this year she should have been fired earlier in the season.

  • Hannah Whyte

    I just had to leave a comment after seeing all the others… I fully agree with you (and your right to write an article on whatever you so choose!) This story sounded fishy from the beginning, and the fact that Ms. Lenz is promoting herself so openly also seems odd… as if she’s using the media to her advantage. Hmmm. Anyway, I’m 22, female, average (perhaps below average?) BMI and also a feminist. What do I know?

  • Gobroncos

    She needs to get on with her life and get over it. Nobody is guaranteed anything. It has to be earned, daily.

  • B. Boyd

    I appreciate your thoughts, Hannah!

  • Donna

    Here, here! Why should another cheerleader get pulled and have to stay home because Courtney thinks she should be able to go? If Courtney would have made the cut she would be going. Do you think she would want to give up her spot for one that didn’t make it and was whining because she wasn’t chosen to go? It would be unfair to pull another girl from her spot in the Super Bowl just to let Courtney go. And if they take Courtney go but don’t pull another girl then they will have 33. That is not fair either. Get over it Courtney and get over it Courtney supporters! We all have to face disappointment at some time in our lives.



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