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Washington Redskins Cheerleader Farewells: Allison


Much like the day I made it onto this team, today is a day I never gave much thought to before; it is with a full but heavy heart that I say my goodbyes as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader. I didn't always know I wanted to be a WRC, but my love for this team came swiftly and whole-heartedly after attending a prep class one night in 2012 (in all the wrong attire, with no glamorous hair or make-up, and basically not a clue what I was in for). I was a recent transplant to the DMV, and all I was sure of at the time was that I had decent kicks and needed to make some friends. Our director, Stephanie Jojokian, has often said that if you are meant to be on this team, it will happen and will happen at the right time. I still believe this and am so thankful to have become a part of this incredible legacy when I did. I grew into a stronger, though oftentimes more critical version of myself, but grew into myself and my life here all the same.

I have never been closer to truly "living in the moment" as I felt in the midst of so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences I got as a member of this team. I danced and made great friends, which was my ultimate goal; however, I made great friends, with whom I took incredible trips, explored the world, and had many sweet and stupid memories with over time. Not to mention, I had the best "seats" for every home game! The first NFL game I attended, I watched only minutes of the action because I was desperately trying to follow along as a rookie cheerleader, taking the field for the first time. To Stephanie, Jamilla, and every woman who paved the way before me, thank you for embracing me as I am and taking a chance on that girl who looked like Betty Spaghetti with a pair of poms attached to her hands. As much emphasis as we place on looking our absolute best (from every angle that camera can get you at), the women in this organization do lift each other up. In that regard, this is one of most positive environments I have been in, watching women help other women become successful, on and off the field. 

The past three years have been thrilling, joyful, exhausting, wonderful, liberating, stressful, hilarious and the best years of my life so far. It is a difficult choice to leave something I love so much, and I will miss every piece of it in the upcoming months, probably even the long drives to FedExField in rush hour traffic every Tuesday and Thursday. Many people we meet are surprised to learn that as cheerleaders, we also manage full-time careers, full-time coursework, and have families and children who need our time and attention too. While being a WRC is a full-time commitment and passion for each of us, it unfortunately cannot be our only job (at least not yet!). The group of women I have met in my three short years on the team changed my own perceptions of what I imagined an NFL cheerleader to be. They are ambitious, assertive, empathetic and brilliant, and have become some of my most genuine and beloved friends (my cheetahs <3). The time and energy required to be on this team is a serious commitment, and oftentimes, it can be easy to forget how much our family and friends on the "outside" sacrifice in order for us to do what we love. To my family back in Texas, and my second McCarthy family in D.C., thank you will never be enough. You supported me and gave me strength just to get through on many occasions when I needed it. I apologize for every freak out I ever put you through over a pair of lashes or a parking pass. No one understood my kind of crazy better than Ryan, for whom thank you will truly never be enough; even so, thank you for coming on this journey with me. 

As I move on to new adventures, I will be forever grateful for the crazy, wonderful opportunities I have been given. I hope I will always stay close to the organization, and I hope I can be that crazy alum that comes back to find a team of women getting compensated appropriately for the value they add to the organization and NFL overall…then I can tell "back in my day" stories.

All of my love, and HAIL YEAH!


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