MANDISA: Week of Good Cheer in Hawaii

Aloha, Jets fans! Hope you all are enjoying the off-season!

Now that I am back in town (but still not completely unpacked!) I wanted to share my experience of my recent trip to Hawaii as your representative of the Flight Crew at the 2011 Pro Bowl! I was there for a week and although that may seem long, it's amazing how many events and memories you can cram in 7 days! Although it's impossible to share every detail of my experience, here's a brief rundown of my trip:

My experience started on Monday, Jan. 24, and I luckily shared my flight with another Pro Bowl cheerleader, Tiffany, from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Our flight was direct for 11 hours so Tiffany and I spent most of it chatting and sleeping! When we finally arrived, we rushed to meet the rest of the crew and get the festivities started! At dinner I met my roommate, Taryn, from the Arizona Cardinals, and we spent the rest of the night chatting before finally calling it a night at 2 a.m.!

On Tuesday, our day started bright and early with a team breakfast. This is where we were formally introduced to our Pro Bowl directors and received a detailed description of what our week would entail. From there, it was off to rehearsal ... for five hours! It was well worth it, though, because it gave us a chance to bond with each other and we were then divided into our lines.

My line, "AFC 1," consisted of myself as well as cheerleaders from the Bills, Colts, Ravens, Chiefs and Texans. After rehearsal we had about an hour before we headed to the pool at our hotel for a team photo shoot at sunset. The event was open to the public and drew a great amount of fans. Hmm … I guess people really like cheerleaders!

From there we did a meet-and-greet with fans and you will be happy to know that I met several Jets fans at the event. Go Gang Green!

The rest of the week consisted of rehearsals to set for gameday as well as our pregame show. In addition to rehearsing, each line participated in different community events throughout the island to promote the NFL and Pro Bowl week.

My favorite event was a cheer clinic held at the Schofield Barracks to promote the NFL's Play 60 program. The kids were so excited to see us and we definitely felt honored to be there! We also had the chance to attend an evening luau, which I particularly enjoyed because it was filled with the Hawaiian spirit and culture — not to mention amazing food!

The night before the game, each line had the chance to perform at the NFL block party on Kalakaua Avenue, which gave fans a sneak peek of what to expect on gameday!

Fast-forward and it's already Sunday!!! The excitement leading up to gameday was unavoidable and we were all pumped to get the day started! The pregame show consisted of an introduction of each team, as well as a great combination of the traditional Hawaiian culture infused into a performance with the Goo Goo Dolls, flag runners, mascots and children's cheerleading teams! The game was so much fun but also bittersweet because it marked the close of our amazing week.

My experience at Pro Bowl brought me more memories than I ever expected along with some lasting friendships. I will forever cherish this experience and could never thank the Jets organization enough for selecting me to be your FC representative.

Mahalo,

Mandisa

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