Ravens Make Stunning Super Bowl Roster Change: Five-Year Veteran Dropped
In a move sure to keep point spreads right where they are, the Baltimore Ravens have brought locker room cattiness out into the harsh light of cold reality by telling the young lady whose photo is on the right that she's not going to New Orleans.
Furthermore, it naturally follows that if the Ravens win the Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, the only way she's going to Disney World is if she buys her own ticket there, too.
All comely 23-year-old Courtney Lenz did was inform the squad near season's end that she would dance for them nevermore. She was cutting short her promising cheerleading career because real-world employment was getting in the way. Somehow, sideline prancing for relative peanuts was not feeding the bulldog as well as her full-time marketing job. But the perks were cool. Until now.
Those petty Ravens have denied Lenz the Ultimate Perk.
All she did was make an announcement about her future. It's not like she was the only one in the organization to do that this month. So why should she get singled out? It's not like she was involved in some nightclub violence, double-murder kind of thing. And she's probably never been near a set of antlers, ground up or otherwise.
The NFL allows a team to have 32 cheerleaders on the sidelines. The Ravens roster is 60. Key personnel moves had to be made, and pro sports is a ruthless business. Film was no doubt relentlessly scrutinized. Mascara smears noted. Bumps noted to the finest grind.
Travel squad criteria was cited by team hack Heather Harness (yes, really: Harness. As in halter. Somewhere, Beavis and Butthead are sniggering.): Their selection process was based upon seniority, performance ability and personal conduct throughout the season. It's clear Lenz flouted the last item by daring to go beyond smiling (even though the Ravens seem to be hiding behind a rationalization that she gained 1.8 pounds). She was summarily told to turn in her uniform. Her last act of defiance must surely be to stuff it into a business envelope and mail it postage due.
Lenz's fans aren't going quietly. One of them, 52-year old Debbie Kammerer -- yes, Debbie; not Delbert, Daniel, or anything else indicative of a Y-chromosome -- is so outraged that she's posted an online petition to register the universal indignation that is clearly out there (it's at 30,000 signatures and counting) to get Lenz reinstated to the traveling squad, at which time some other unsuspecting dancer would hear the knock of the Turk at her door.
Kammerer also launched a Facebook page on this critical issue and cited Lenz's key stats for her actions: "She was 57th among the hottest NFL cheerleaders this season." Then she really unloaded: "People want to burn their jerseys and don't want to support the Ravens anymore. My heart isn't even wanting to go. I could save $3,500. This is totally wrong."
The very fabric of Baltimore's support is being torn asunder. It could be a game-changer.
Then again, probably not.