When you think of professional cheerleaders, you probably don't imagine 48 women battling it out in the sand.
Well, that's exactly what happened when six women from eight different NFL teams went to Miami during Super Bowl weekend to compete in the first-ever "Beauties On the Beach Challenge."
From the AFC, there were cheerleaders from the Bills, Jaguars, Texans and the Super Bowl hometown Dolphins. From the NFC, there were cheerleaders from the Eagles, Buccaneers, Saints, and the Redskins.
The challenge first matched the teams up against each other in volleyball, tug of war and an obstacle course. Anabel, Chastity, Courtney, Crystal B., Jennifer and Onya were hoping to sweep the competition.
They nearly did, swiftly beating the Texans in tug of war and completing the obstacle course in the fastest time of all eight teams.
They fell just short in the volleyball games though, losing to the tough ladies of the New Orleans Saints. Next up was the dance competition and the Redskins Cheerleaders put on a near-perfect performance, coming in a very close second to the Houston Texans cheerleaders.
The Redskins Cheerleaders were on top in the NFC, and moved onto the final competition: flag football on the beach!
Knowing they might get a chance to play football, the Redskins had enlisted the help of Dr. Jay Greenstein from Sport and Spine Rehab--a longtime WRC sponsor--to teach them some plays and help them practice football skills before traveling to Miami.
It was a good thing they were prepared. Their competitors in this final matchup were the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders--no strangers to beach games. The game was a fierce defensive match.
Each squad had 4 downs to score per quarter, and after 4 grueling quarters, the game was still scoreless!
Moving into overtime, the object was to score in one down from your opponent's five yard line. Winning the coin toss for over-time, the Redskins Cheereladers chose to defend their end zone first.
Although exhausted from the incredibly physical regulation game--think flag football mixed with roller derby--the ladies of the Redskins stopped the Dolphins with no problem. With only one down to score, and no timeouts, the ladies of the Redskins Cheerleaders had to think on their feet.
Mixing up their lineup, the Redskins Cheerleaders hoped to confuse the Dolphins--and it worked! Fifth-year veteran Onya, who recently announced her retirement from the cheerleaders, ran the ball in to win the game.
It was an exhilarating and exhausting game for both teams, and each of the ladies on the squad played a crucial role in the victory.