From the halls of Sumner High School to the Pro Bowl sidelines in Orlando, Fla. – that’s the path being traveled by a veteran Seattle Seahawks cheerleader.
Christian is closing in on the end of her fourth season as a Seattle Sea Gal and has made it to the top of the ladder. She was recently chosen to be Seattle’s sideline representative at the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl. The game, to be broadcast on ESPN, will be played Jan. 29 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
(In keeping with team policy and her personal preference, only first names are used in stories about Seahawks cheerleaders.)
“It is truly such an honor and a dream come true to be chosen to represent this team at Pro Bowl,” Christian related in an email to The Courier-Herald.
She thinks back to her rookie season when a fellow Sea Gal was chosen to represent Seattle at the NFL all-star extravaganza. At that time, she set the Pro Bowl as a personal goal. Now, she can check that appearance off her bucket list.
“The fact that I am in this position is such a surreal, full-circle kind of feeling,” she wrote.
Christian was picked for the NFL’s all-star game by Sea Gals director Sherri Thompson, who maintains high standards when making her Pro Bowl selection.
“I base it off of overall representation of what our program stands for,” Thompson said. “She should be well-spoken, very responsible, outgoing, hard-working and an overall good representative.”
Christian, the former Sumner Spartan, keeps a busy schedule these days. Aside from the Sea Gals, she works as a retail sales associate and is a student at Bellevue College, aiming for a career in business.
Just being a Sea Gal takes plenty of hours from a person’s life. During the season, the squad meets for practice sessions twice a week, each lasting three hours or more. And, if one also is part of the Sea Gal “show group” – and Christian is – there’s also a Monday practice session.
The Sea Gals are on the CenturyLink sidelines for every Seahawks home game and, in addition, squad members get requests for perhaps 250 appearances a year, Thompson said. Those added appearances are not mandatory, Christian said, and are attended only if they fit a Sea Gals’ schedule.
Despite the long hours, Christian keeps turning out. Sea Gals aren’t guaranteed anything and must compete for a roster spot prior to the start of each season.
“I love it,” she said of her four-year sideline tenure. “It has been so amazing.”
Her best Sea Gal experiences stem from her first two years with the squad – specifically, with Seattle’s appearances in back-to-back NFL championship games. In particular, the first game delivered the sweetest memory.
“Both Super Bowls were fun, but nothing beats being world champions for the first time,” Christian wrote in a biography appearing on the Sea Gal website. “It was such an amazing, whirlwind experience that is hard to even put into words. From dancing at the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, to being on Good Morning America in the middle of Time Square, to dancing in MetLife Stadium, it was truly magical.”
Now, with the playoffs looming, Christian has hopes for a third Super Bowl appearance, which would come Feb. 5 in Houston, Texas. But, no matter what happens with the Seahawks, she will find herself on the Pro Bowl sidelines a week before Super Sunday.