Perhaps political conventions are necessary.
It feels smart to admit, however, that they’re
pep rallies really. I’ve no problem with pep rallies.
They occupy a hallway in my public school memory,
those mornings when first thing we’d file into the
gym and watch closely for glimpses of cheerleaders’
bloomers and fully ignore speeches by football captains.
It was a chance to skip first period which was usually
a snoozer like Civics or Math. So the student body was
rah-rah but not really about the coming night’s game.
Those cheerleaders would hurl miniature plastic
footballs with our mascot’s image on one side and the
name of a car dealership on the other, and we’d
fight even best friend to catch their wobbly spirals.
Of course sometimes those cheerleaders would step up
into our knees and hand out ribbons with the outline
of the opposing mascot and “Beat ‘Em!” printed below.
To receive a coveted spirit-ribbon was an honor, you
felt called, like she had eyes for nobody else but you.
Rallied in such momentous pep you dared to believe in
something beyond winning or buying a Coker Buick.
You pinned the ribbon on, and cheered for love.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,190 other subscribers


  1. Shaun C. on July 29, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Love this man, thanks

  2. thejohnhoman on July 29, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I love this.

    Love, desire and dreams of getting the cheerleader under the guise of school spirit.
    That’s good stuff.

  3. abby blackmon on July 31, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    yes!!- though was not a cheerleader, nor interested in being nor romancing one. This is calling to mind my current idea of a “rah-rah,” which is a smallish but VERY loud street parade carried out with great fervor and randomness all over Haiti. Sometimes a rah-rah is political, sometimes celebratory, as in a birthday celebration or during Carnival, and sometimes dark. One of my most fearful nights in Haiti was the very first night I spent in a tiny town called Les Anglais, a town I now call my second home. From my window, I witnessed the rah-rah at 3:00 am, led by a Voudou priest standing under a lone street light, fully decked out in his priestly garb, chanting words from a large book while other rah-rah attendees danced and marched down the road directly in front of the town’s lone hotel, where we (some of the first blans (non-Haitians) to have ever shown up in Les Anglais and come back again- 6 years now of 7-8 visits each year) were staying. To say we would have welcomed a pep rally that very early morning doesn’t even begin. . .Thankfully, though, God being God, and prayer being powerful stuff, have not had another night like that one since.
    Thank you, John, for stirring the thought juices. wanna come see it for yourself sometime?? :-))

Leave a Comment