Imagine our surprise this morning as we were going through our regular routine and figured out that the Oakland Raiders will soon debut the NFL’s only grandmother cheerleader. And here we thought the big news from the Raiderettes this year would be Tony LaRussa’s daughter. Now comes Susie Sanchez. Is NFL fan ready for a grandmother on a sideline shaking her pom poms? We’re about to find out.
News of Sanchez making the team and being a grandmother first dropped way back on May 6 via the Hollister (CA) Pinnacle, but never made it into the blogosphere.
So when it was finally Sanchez’s turn to stand out, finally her chance to at least make somewhat of an impression, she walked onto the stage and said she was 37 years old, a mother of three, and a grandmother of one.
She felt her answer might have drawn the attention of the judges when she saw one perk up. Was it the age? Or the grandmother part?
What was for sure was that it wasn’t the only factor. Sanchez again impressed the judges with her dancing ability, skill and presence later that week – she had been dancing since she was 8, after all – and she can now safely say she is the oldest member of the Raiderettes as well.
“I just started crying,” she said after she heard her number called – lucky No. 45. “It was like, ‘wow.’ I was overwhelmed with emotion … just never give up.
“It’s life changing at that moment.”
Susie was pretty much at the end of her road with this being her fifth Raiderettes tryout in six years. Now she has her very own Raiderettes profile page where we learn that Susie worked in the corporate world for 11 years and now works in sales for a Salinas, CA TV station.
Research tells us that the Raiders have a history with grandmothers cheering on their sidelines. Kathy Ferrin was a Raiderette during the ’03-’04 season and is believed to be the first grandmother cheerleader in league history.
Of course, by now, we’re all aware that the Cincinnati Bengals have the oldest cheerleader. Laura Vikmanis is 42, but not a grandmother – yet.