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Meredith's in Miami, Prepping for the Pro Bowl


Meredith 2009 Flight Crew Member Photos

On Sunday, for the first time since 1975, the NFL's Pro Bowl will be held in Miami, thousands of miles away from the event's long-time site in Hawaii.

Besides the 80-plus players, selected through voting by fellow players, coaches and fans, who are in South Florida to represent their organizations, cheerleaders selected by each team with cheerleading squads will also be participating in the game.

Meredith was chosen by her Flight Crew teammates and director Denise Garvey to represent the Jets at the league's annual all-star event.

"Every time that I think about it, I try not to talk about it because I get so excited," she said. "I'm very, very excited about the opportunity."

Meredith, who arrived in the Miami area on Monday, was announced during the halftime ceremony of the Jets' final regular-season game at the Meadowlands, and although she knew before the match that she had been chosen, she was still overjoyed.

"Denise announced it at practice and took pictures," said Meredith. "But it was still that much more exciting at the game. Even though it was a night game, my family was there to see me because they knew I was going to be announced."

Some people are disappointed that the Pro Bowl is in the Sunshine State rather than the Aloha State this year. But the fact that it will still be played on the East Coast presents a unique occasion for Meredith and her teammates.

"Because it's in Miami, the girls are coming to see me," she said. "Five of the original Flag Girls will be going down to support me. My family is actually coming, too. They're going to come for a few days and then stay for the game."

Not every Crew member can be selected to don the group's warm-weather uniform in late January and go on such a big stage, and Meredith is certainly deserving. Her teammates described her as a caring, loving leader and a role model.

One of the Flight Crew's veteran performers has her own description of herself.

"Every year at the beginning of the season, Denise gives you this little sheet to fill out with one word that best describes you. I always say 'dedicated,' " said Meredith. "I've been on this team since the Flag Girls in 2006 before it was the Flight Crew. I've been here for years. I'm definitely dedicated and this means so much to me."

Flight Crew teammate Ryann, who represented the Jets at the Pro Bowl last season, gave Meredith some pointers on what to expect. Ryann made many friends, and Meredith has already been networking with other teams' cheerleaders.

"All the girls that went down there last year made long-term friends," she said. "I definitely feel like I'm going to meet some people that I'll be friends with forever. I'm going with 25 other girls that have the exact same thing in common with me."

The Flight Crew has been able to ride the wave of the Jets' on-field success this season by making appearances at any number of off-field events. One opportunity to team up with a Green & White legend stands out for Meredith.

"The girls were able to go with Wayne Chrebet to light the Empire State Building green," she said. "That's amazing, an opportunity to do something like that. Because the Jets are winning, we're having these huge opportunities come to us, too.

"We work very, very hard during the season with practice and our full-time jobs and then we stand out there and it's either hot or it's brutally freezing. When they're winning it makes it that much easier, that much more exciting."

Randy Lange, editor-in-chief, will be in South Florida beginning Wednesday and will interview Meredith for the Website later this week.

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