Tommy Cole

Age: 25 Day job: Recent George Mason graduate looking for a job in law enforcement Like many male cheerleaders, Cole moved in college from the center of the football field to the sidelines -- cheering for the game he could no longer play at a high level. As someone who loves the adrenalin rush of the gridiron and the collegial benefits of team sports, he realized cheerleading could provide both. For a while in college, he juggled football and cheerleading, remembering, "I had 15 minutes to strip off my pads after football and run across campus for cheerleading." Though this is his third year cheering for the Ravens, he still gets goose bumps when, armed with a megaphone, he helps build the crowd's roar until thousands are booming in unison: "Dee-fense. Dee-fense." "The crowds respond to us, they definitely do," he says "I'm there to encourage the people sitting close, but energy in a stadium, to me, is pretty contagious. We start in the front, and it spreads all the way to the back."
Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun
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