For all of the fans who've followed the New York Jets Flight Crew since its creation in 2007, it should come as no surprise that the Green & White are once again expanding the size of their cheerleading squad.
"We want to be the biggest presence we can be in the new stadium," said Denise Garvey, who has been the Crew's director since the team was developed in 2007. "Everything we are doing that surrounds the new stadium is big and so the Flight Crew then follows suit."
After increasing the Crew to 30 members in 2009, Garvey may keep as many as 40 in 2010. While some veterans will surely return, no one is guaranteed a spot and the Jets have just started the process of accepting audition applications.
"There'll be more spots up for grabs. Sometimes new applicants or the returning applicants think veterans have it in the bag and their auditioning is just procedure," said Garvey, a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. "But that's really not the case. Not only are there new spots that no one has, those returning veterans have to re-audition and they have to earn their spots."
When the season opens up in the fall, Garvey says "The Flight Crew is going to be everywhere" at the Jets' new Meadowlands home. You'll see increased exposure with more lovely ladies on the sidelines and during pregame and halftime performances, as well as spectacular shots on the Jets' four state-of-the-art video boards.
"These young women have to be able to entertain. Some cheerleaders on a team have more dance experience than others and some have more football knowledge than others, but everybody individually is an entertainer," Garvey said. "In addition to that, I'm looking for young women who are reliable, responsible and professional. We have Crew members constantly out on charity events, corporate events and Jets events. For me, that takes it to a whole other level."
After collecting the applications, Garvey will host six prep classes through March and into April. Then the official tryouts will commence, with preliminaries on May 1 followed by the semifinals on May 2 and interviews the week of May 3. The Flight Crew finals will be held on May 8 and then some lucky ladies will be chosen to appear in the Crew's second swimsuit calendar.
"This year we want to take it on the road and go on location," said the Crew's director. "We have absolutely beautiful girls on our team, so why not complement that with beautiful locations?"
The Jets chose Jones Beach, N.Y., and Belmar, N.J., last spring for shoot locations, but there are strong indications that they're planning on leaving the mainland for this highly anticipated second calendar.
"I'd say you don't have to have a passport, but you might want to get one quickly," Garvey said with a wink.
Meredith, a Crew member since its inception, will represent the Jets cheerleaders this week at the Pro Bowl in Miami. NFL Films is planning to feature her on a Pro Bowl documentary they're working on as the Flight Crew continues to rise in national prominence. Throughout the year, Crew members made appearances on CBS, ESPN, TLC, WPIX and the Dr. Oz show, were featured in newspapers and magazines, and have often been seen in Maxim's various media properties.
"You are an ambassador for the organization," said Garvey. "This year we've done so many different TV appearances, it's really awesome. We need people who are personable, outgoing and well-spoken."
So in simple terms, the Jets are looking for a few good women. In just a short period of time, they've become the biggest cheerleading show in town.
"The exposure, the experience and the opportunities they get by being part of the NFL and being part of the Jets are absolutely invaluable. They're not going to get it anywhere else, so why wouldn't they come out?" Garvey said. "We are New York's team — there is no other New York team that has professional football cheerleaders. We have grown so much and the opportunities are priceless."
**Download the 2010 Flight Crew Audition Application [PDF]** (Application Due: 4/26/10)