I LOVE CHEER ANECDOTES. What’s your fave/worst cheer horror story? Close calls, blatant injustices, etc.? For example: One year after my team had won Nationals twice a couple seasons prior, we finally felt ready to win again after bouncing around in the top three for a bit. All signs pointed to another successful year: full squad tumbling, solid stunts, cute choreo, etc. We performed in prelims and did well. We were fully expecting to final. But we didn’t. And we didn’t understand why. All we knew was that after a clean performance with no touchdowns or falls, it didn’t make any sense. When we got the scores back, my coach saw we’d received a deduction for an injury resulting from a nose ring that was worn during the performance. A trainer alleged that after our performance, one of our girls had come to him with a bloody nose after trying to sneak her way through the routine with her nose ring still in, but got whacked in the face at some point and sought aid from him. This resulted in the massive deduction that kept us out of finals. Now, here’s the thing: we only had one girl on our team with a nose ring, and she knew better than to wear it during performances. She’d had her plug in the whole day so she wouldn’t have to worry about switching it out last minute. Not only that, but she clearly had not sustained any injury whatsoever... no trauma to her face, no blood on her white uniform, nothing. In fact, nobody had gotten hurt at all. Evidence of this could be seen in the professional group photo that is always taken right after a team’s performance. My coach told the judges this and offered up the girl in question and the team photo so they could see for themselves that the trainer had made a mistake. But instead of conceding to this possibility, the trainer doubled down and insisted that our girl was THE girl, despite all the evidence to the contrary. After a lot of back and forth, my coach finally demanded that he show her the document that said he’d treated a girl from our team with her name and signature and everything. But he couldn’t show it. Because it didn’t exist. He was just an incompetent dingbat who treated some girl, assumed she was from our team, didn’t record a single second of it, and then got all pissy when he was questioned. Because clearly he didn’t understand his job or that competitive cheer teams would never just accept a deduction like that lying down. Anyway, in light of this the judges removed our deduction and allowed us into finals and we won. It happened much to the chagrin of our rival team, who’d been thrilled when they thought they’d made it to finals and we hadn’t. When they learned that they’d be competing against us for first place after all, a lot of social media accusations flew about how we’d whined and cried and whored our way into finals (classy). And after all that, our rival came in fifth (out of seven) to our first. But they still acted like had it not been for us, they would’ve won. As if three other teams hadn’t beaten them into the ground as well. Delusion and jealousy are powerful drugs. Anyway, that was the most thrilling HS comp I’d ever been to. I told a Long Beach cheerleader friend about it one time, and he looked unimpressed and told me he had a thousand stories like that (I guess they increase exponentially when you’re part of a REALLY good coed college team). So what’s your story?