Flashback Friday – Charger Girl Marlina at the 2008 NFL Wildcard Playoffs

In this edition of Flashback Friday, we feature what is a rarity in Southern California…1) rain and 2) the Chargers in the NFL playoffs.  It rarely rains in Southern California and in all the years that I have been going to Charger games, it has only rained three or four times.  And “rain” is a misnomer.  Those “rain” games were more of intermittent, light showers because if it was a slow and steady rain…I wouldn’t be there…not with thousands of dollars of photographic equipment at risk.

In this photo from January 6, 2008 we feature one of the most popular Charger Girls ever…Marlina Moreno, who was performing in the rain at the 2008 Wildcard Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans.  And who says California sunshine boys can’t play in the rain…the Chargers held the Titans to two Rob Bironas field goals in route to a 17-6 victory.

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Chasing The Dream: The 2017 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders Auditions – Day Two

The selection process for the 2017 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders was a long and grueling process, spanning several days and several rounds of judging.  Twenty four hours earlier, over 150 girls began the process with the hopes of making one of the few spots on the 2017 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders squad.  Several hours and two cuts later, the mass of hopefuls was whittled down to the sixty best candidates.  They would return on Sunday to perform two more dance routines in front of a panel of judges who scrutinized every detail from their appearance, dance technique, public speaking and overall look.  It was another chance to stand out and make a lasting impression…and more than a few did from my perspective.

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In part two of our coverage, we feature the most memorable images from the semi-final round.  So let’s take a long look at the remaining candidates.

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Chasing The Dream: The 2017 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders Auditions – Day One

“One Team.  One Dream.”  That’s the motto for this year’s Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders.  This past weekend, the Arizona Cardinals held their preliminary auditions for their 2017 cheerleading squad.  Over 150 young women were in attendance, vying for one of the 28 positions on the team and a chance to share the dream.  With 15 or 16 returning veterans trying out again, the competition for one of the available spots on the squad would be fierce.

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Spanning several days, the 2017 auditions would be a grueling process.  For the preliminary auditions, three dance routines would be taught and performed in front a panel of judges before the finalists would be announced.  The remaining girls would undergo an extensive interview and then endure a two day final audition before the team would be announced.

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Flashback Friday – St. Louis Rams Cheerleader Morgan at the 2012 Rams Cheerleaders Final Auditions

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It’s audition season and I thought it might be a good idea to share a never seen photo from the 2012 St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders Final auditions.  A little background.  When I was growing up, the Rams were my favorite NFL team.  They were the home team and as a kid, I used to watch Rams games with my father.   I grew up watching Roman Gabriel, Merlin Olsen, Rosie Grier and a host of other old time Rams players.

But when the Rams moved to St. Louis, I became more of a college football fan and I never became as hard core of a fan of another NFL team as an adult, as I was when I was a child.  But, there still there was a special place in my heart for the Rams even when I became a season ticket holder to the San Diego Chargers.

So in 2012 when I was looking to expand my horizon of teams that I covered for UltimateCheerleaders.com, I immediately thought of the St. Louis Rams and covering their final auditions.  I reached out to their director, Keely Fimbres, and she welcomed our coverage of her squad.  And over the next five years, I have been able to shoot their final auditions.

And here is a never before seen photo from that audition.  It’s an image of one of the most memorable candidates that tried out on that day.  Her name is Morgan and she was clearly one of the most beautiful girls at the event.  So I hope you enjoy this edition of Flashback Friday.

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Flashback Friday – Charger Girl Melanie

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In this Flashback Friday post, we take a look back to 2009 and highlight a very special Charger Girl…Melanie B.  I think she was on the squad for only one year after relocating to Southern California from Seattle, where she was a Sea Gal.

After the 2009 season, Melanie moved back to Seattle and once again became a Sea Gal…and the amazing thing about that is that she is a currently cheers for Sea Gals…the Seahawks haven’t held their 2017 auditions yet, so in my book Melanie is still on the squad!

And as a bonus, here’s a pic of Melanie I took at last year’s P-R-O Convention in Atlanta.

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2016 Charger Girls of the Day

It’s mid March and audition season is well under way for NFL, so it’s an appropriate time to take a look back at the 2016 Charger Girls of the Day.

The 2016 season was momentous as it turned out to be the final season for the Chargers in San Diego.  The unthinkable happened and after more than a decade of trying to secure a new stadium, the Chargers finally gave up on San Diego and accepted the NFL’s offer to relocate to Los Angeles.  Overnight, the Chargers tripled the value of the franchise, but the move up north is not without consequence.  The bottom line is that the franchise is starting over in terms of developing a fan base that they can leverage financially and that will be a challenge with the Rams already staking a claim to the nation’s second largest market.  And for long time season ticket holders like myself, the Chargers did themselves no favors by raising ticket price from $110 to $255 per game.  Sometimes it makes you wonder what they are thinking, other than squeezing every last dollar of revenue they can.

Well we shall see what the 2017 has in store for fans like myself.  But for now, let’s take a look back at the 2026 Charger Girls of the Day, those girls that provided me with the most outstanding photos of the day.

Our first honoree is a Tina, a former Captain and one of the most talented dancers on the team.  She has always been wonderful to photograph and was in the mix for a couple of Charger Girl of the Day honors.

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The second preseason game of the year was a tribute to our military and the Charger Girls wore these special military themed uniforms.  Many Charger Girls were outstanding, but the CG that stood out the most was a beautiful rookie named Madison.  With a fresh face, great dance moves and a rare photogenic quality, Madison left a very positive impression throughout her rookie season.

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2016 saw a number of memorable rookies join the team and another one of those special rookies clearly deserved the title of Charger Girl of the Day for the first home game of the regular season.  Kayla Ann caught my eye because she is quite beautiful, but also because she takes some very compelling photographs while dancing and that in my book is what I find worthy of consideration.

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Our fourth honoree of the season is one of my favorite Charger Girls of all time…Shelbi. She is as beautiful as they come and she’s a great dancer, but the most compelling thing about her is that she is extremely photogenic.  I never take a bad photograph of her and pretty much every photo I take of her, I find something in it that I absolutely love.

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2016 might be called the season of the rookie because another rookie earns the title of Charger Girl of the Day.  Glory is another one of those special Charger Girls that stand out.  Perhaps it’s her flaming red hair or perhaps it’s her wonderful smile.  Whatever the reason may be, Glory stands out.  And for week 6 of the regular season, she was very memorable indeed.

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Our honoree for week 9 was a Captain and one of the best dancers on the squad.  Delani has been one of my favorite Charger Girls to photograph over the years because she has it all…great looks, great dance ability, and she is extremely photogenic.  She is always in consideration for Charger Girl of the Day for these reasons and for week 9, she was the most outstanding Charger Girl of the Day.

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Did I mention that 2016 was the year of the rookie?  I did?  Well, our next honoree is another one of those amazing rookies and this one comes from Baltimore, MD.  Shelby caught my eye from day one.  Those people that know me, know that I have a soft spot for leggy blondes and Shelby is definitely a leggy blonde.  In addition to being leggy and blonde, Shelby is a great dancer and I got many, many great photos of her dancing.  In week 10 of the regular season, there was only one choice for Charger Girl of the Day and her name was Shelby.

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Our next honoree is a repeat winner!  Delani is one special cheerleader and always gives me amazing photographs.  I generally don’t like giving out repeat awards, but I always believe in doing what is right.  There must be a reason why Delani was named a Captain this year and named the Charger’s Pro Bowl Cheerleaders…I suppose those are the same reasons why she is a two time CGOTD award winner.

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Our final Charger Girl of the Day for the 2016 season is another Captain, who has often been in the conversation for this award.  Bridget has been on my radar ever since the made the squad a few years ago and she had been in the running for this award several times over the years.  This award has evolved from the best photo of the day to the best series of photos of the day.  This award has become more competitive as the caliber of girl has improved over the years.  And on this week, Bridget, by far, gave me the most memorable series of images on this day.

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Well that’s a wrap for the 2016 season. I  only went to nine games, but they were memorable ones.  I don’t know what the 2017 season will bring, but it will be a season of change.  A new city.  A new stadium.  And a new squad of Charger Girls….Los Angeles Charger Girls.

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Snapshots – The Ladies of Ontario Fury in the MASL Playoffs

It’s playoff time in the MASL and this past Tuesday, I attended the Ontario Fury game against the San Diego Sockers.   The visiting Sockers won the first game of the series, making this a must win game for the Fury if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes alive.  If the Fury wins, then the two teams would play a 15 minute abbreviated mini game for the rights to move on in the playoffs.  So there was a palpable sense of urgency for the home team…win and they would continue on, lose…well…see you next year.

The game started off fast for the Fury as they scored three first quarter goals before the Sockers responded with two goals in the second period.  As the game tightened up, the play turned physical with several hard tackles and some hard feelings that carried over into the locker area during half time.  In the second half, the Fury outscored the Sockers 5-2 to win the game and force the 15 minute mini-game.

Final Score: Ontario Fury – 8, San Diego Sockers – 4

After a brief 15 minute break, the two teams returned to the field to play the decisive mini game.  Nine seconds into the rubber game of the match, the Sockers scored the lone goal of the mini-game.  With more than 14 minutes left to play, the Fury were unable to score an equalizer and the Sockers went onto prevail and move on to the next round of the playoffs.  And with that, the Fury’s season was over.

As it turned out, this was also the last game of the season for the Ladies of Ontario Fury and perhaps the last time this group of young women will perform together.  It’s audition season and Lynae de Leon, the director of the Ladies of Ontario Fury, has a knack of developing dance talent that go onto major league dance teams.  Last year alone, four members of her 2016 squad made it to NBA and NFL dance teams.  And on Sunday, the first of several local NFL and NBA auditions begin and I know that several of her current squad will be trying out.

So let’s take a final look at the 2017 Ladies of Ontario Fury.

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