Originally created 01/26/99

Rookie cheerleader enjoys teams success



Laura Chisholm is biased, no question, but more people should've heeded her message.

As an Atlanta Falcons cheerleader, it's Chisholm's job to sing the praises of the Dirty Birds. The bandwagon has gotten crowded during the last month, coinciding with the Falcons' inaugural Super Bowl berth.

Chisholm said the Falcons and their fans are finally getting national recognition as one of the NFL's elite.

"It's about time they get their props," Chisholm said. "They're obviously a team worth watching. I've been telling everybody all year."

The 32-member cheerleading squad will take a charter flight to Miami on Wednesday. They've been working on new routines and will perform live with 70s glam-rock legend KISS.

The Falcons cheerleaders will participate in parades, photo and autograph sessions in addition to their game duties. They will also attend parties thrown by basketball great Magic Johnson and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.

Extra hours of practice and learning new routines are the sacrifices the cheerleaders have to make. Advancing to the Super Bowl is worth any sacrifice for a team not expected to be in Miami the final day of January, Chisholm said.

"What a great thing to have to stress out about. We were just excited to be in the playoffs," Chisholm said. "Who would've thought a rookie cheerleader would be in Miami for the Super Bowl?"

Jimmy DeButts can be reached at (706) 823-3216.