Check out photos from Sam's Pro Bowl experience in Phoenix.
My fifth day of Pro Bowl week was by far my busiest in Phoenix.
The morning began at Scottsdale Community College for Team Carter and Team Irvin practices. My line teammates and I talked with fans, took photographs, signed autographs, and performed two Pro Bowl Cheerleader dance routines that we had prepared. I noticed lots of Broncos fans throughout the crowd sporting their orange Broncos gear. So thrilled to see them United in Orange here in Phoenix!
Before the football practice started I was quickly pulled aside for three separate interviews. I was asked a variety of questions, but the one thing I felt was crucial to express was the impact this experience has already made on me and my wish to do the same for others. Being a cheerleader is not just about dancing at football games, it's about the lives you touch, the fans you connect with, the positive light you shine over young girls and women, and so much more.
One of my biggest takeaways up to this point is the empowerment I have felt. Being surrounded by 24 women from all over the country who are strong leaders, inspirational personalities, positive role models, and exceptional teammates (on the field and in life) is so impactful. These women, like so many Pro Bowl Cheerleaders before them, are the very best at what they do and yet they continuously lift others up, support one another, encourage others to succeed and shine, and walk confidently with grace and poise, not with ego. They make a mark on people's hearts that can never be erased and they've become a part of my heart that I will forever cherish.
Following Team Irvin practice, my day continued with another cheerleader practice in the afternoon, but this time we were actually able to use the field inside of University of Phoenix Stadium. We set formations on our yard lines, practiced rotations, and even climbed a few flights of stairs to the stage where our 4th quarter performance will take place. This stage is set high above the field overlooking the end zone. The view was incredible!
Once we felt our routines were well-rehearsed, everyone headed back to the hotel for our calendar and poster exchange. It has become tradition throughout the years that each cheerleader brings either team calendars or team posters to share with the other Pro Bowl representatives. We all sat in a big circle where lots of autographs and special messages could be signed and exchanged.
Following dinner together at a local restaurant, I visited the NFL Experience in downtown Phoenix with my teammate Cassie from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cheerleaders, mascots, and players were appearing and interacting with fans of all ages. I tried out my quarterback skills at the football toss and threw a 20-yard spiral. Not too shabby! I took lots of pictures of memorabilia, especially the two Broncos Super Bowl rings that were on display. It was a great event that I wish I could've stayed at longer.
Tonight will be an early night for me, as game day is the final day of my Pro Bowl experience here in Phoenix. It's imperative that I'm well-rested for what is bound to be one of the busiest and most exciting days yet! Updates on that and more to come.