Lazy Sunday: Cheer

By Ann Shayne
January 19, 2020

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  • Ann, your description has me weeping (not only from laughing). My elder daughter cheers and one of the teams from her gym (we’re in the UK) came third in the worlds! But it’s your description of the coach that is making me laugh. My other daughter joined them just for the school team (same coaches doing outreach to gain recruits and give more kids the chance to do a sport which isn’t taught in school) and fell and broke her collarbone during a session, but of course (because she wasn’t crying) the coach told her to get back up and carry on. She even walked home with her backpack on before I took her for an X-ray! But you know what, the things my daughters can do now are incredible!
    Thanks for recommending this show. I hope we can get it over here because I want to watch it with my kids (my son could totally be one of them hunky dudes with a girl in his hand if he only knew he wanted to be).

    • That sounds so hurty! I hope she’s on the mend, good heavens.

  • I’m 2 episodes in and totally hooked. The things they can do are really amazing.

  • It’s a Christmas miracle – it’s streaming on Netflix Canada too! I know nothing about cheerleading, but based on your description Ann, I can’t wait to watch it…
    Read MDK every morning and love it – thank you both for all that you do!

    • Hooray! And thank you for the kind words. Makes our day!

  • I believe this is required watching for me since Corsicana is only an hour from my house!
    Fun fact: Corsicana is also home to the Collin Street Bakery of world fruitcake fame.
    How cool is MDK that they bring together smiling knitters (if they weren’t smiling already, they are when they experience MDK) from across the world who will also wish to watch Texas Community College cheerleaders, whether they knew it or not?

    • Yay for Collin Street Bakery, the best fruitcakes!! Except they discontinued my favorite-Apple Cinammon:(
      Cheer is a brutal sport. What these kids do is Amazing!

      • CSB fruitcake is the only one I will eat! I grew up in Dallas and binged Cheer in a single long night – I’m impressed by those of you who can turn it off to watch another time. I was not a cheerleader, but it is a huge part of local culture. The docu-series was well-edited and told the story of the participants very well.

        • It took a will of iron not to watch the whole thing. I have all those characters in my head now. Jerry! I love you Jerry!

      • Apple Cinnamon Fruitcake sounds like a fruitcake even I would eat! I am sorry for your loss . . . ; )

    • We see those fruitcakes in the show! I love a regional speciality! And yes, I think this view into cheerleading isn’t really just about cheerleading. It’s about parenting, and growing up, and overcoming, and love.

  • I just finished this series. What a ride! Loved it. So much to take in about resilience and what we humans can do and get through.

    • So glad you liked it. It’s hard to imagine getting hooked on a cheerleading documentary, but there you go.

  • We started watching last week, at our 30 year olds encouragement. She knew we’d love it. We weren’t ever on a squad, but yes, that Monica…something about her. Those kids. Their stories. Their efforts. It is a great show. I’ve dropped a few stitches watching it

    • Yes, those kids. When Morgan is out running on that empty Wyoming road . . . wow.

  • One of my teachers encouraged me to try out for cheerleading in 10th grade. I am 73 now. We had to work out for 6 weeks before we could ever try out. I made the team. Absolutely loved it, and improved my self esteem and reduced my anxiety when performing in front of a group. It was one of the most challenging things I have ever done! Diane

  • My niece is the producer of this show. Her comment on it was that she had never seen such great athletes.

    • Wow, Janice, that’s so cool. I think the director did a tremendous job in capturing so many characters so vividly.

  • I’m in the minority here, but I actually stopped watching this as it sickened me more than entertained me. It was the point where Monica forces a male cheerleader to keep practicing after he’s injured himself elsewhere, in order to punish him. Watching him struggle through obvious agony while she just stares…I had to turn it off.

    As a former professional athlete, I’ve had coaches like her, who put their own power trips over their athletes’ health, and it’s not something I can respect. I dealt with years of a recurring injury, thanks to a coach who made me “play through the pain” instead of get appropriate medical care. Athletes shouldn’t be used up and thrown away just so the coach can win again.

    • I agree about the clear cruelty of that scene–it was weird and disturbing.