No professional sports franchise would be complete without a dance team comprised of a bevy of bouncing, buxom beauties. Usually, the dance team goes by a cloyingly cute name inspired by the franchise’s mascot; the “Embraceable Ewes,” for example, in the case of the Los Angeles Rams. I’m not saying this is a good thing, it’s just the way the world works.
Without a dance team, fans in the stands would be forced to look at the floor or artificial turf during timeouts, which might allow them to reflect on the cost of the tickets, parking, refreshments and souvenirs for the kids they paid for, only to watch the home team get blown out. That way lies madness, hence–dance teams!
Putting together a dance team raises a whole host of a panoply of a myriad of legal issues. As with all irksome tasks in life, however, somebody has got to do the dirty work; the late-night research, the preparation of the Master Dance Team Indenture (with codicils), and the hardball negotiating that ensures a team owner doesn’t lose his spangly bikini outfits. (It’s okay if they get taken to the cleaners, however.)
While I am prohibited by attorney-client privilege from disclosing the names of the actual parties involved, I was once “tasked” (as we say in the rarified altitudes where nouns turn into verbs) to do the legal work to put a dance team together. A lot of guys might say “Sorry, I went to law school to help big corporations and make a lot of money.” Not me. I’m more interested in the “human” side of the law–helping real people hire other real people who are better-looking and wear revealing leotards. Here is the “transcript”, as we say in the legal profession, of a negotiating session that produced a world-class dance team in two shakes of a ewe’s tail:
[Knock on door]
ME: Come in.
DANCE TEAM APPLICANT: You must be the team’s lawyer.
ME: How’d you guess?
DTA: Your clothes.
ME: Funny, the guy at “Gentlemen’s Wearhouse” said he thought I looked pretty sharp. What’s your name?
DTA: Tamara Thorne.
ME: Nice to meet you. First thing we need to do is shorten that big first name. I’ll put you down as “Tami”. Do you know how to dot an “i” with a smiley-face?
ME: Great, because league rules require all dance team members to use smiley faces at “Fan-tastic!” autograph sessions.
DTA: Speaking of which, they said you had something for me to sign.
ME: Not just yet. Before you become a member of the [REDACTED] Dance Team, you need to get a passing score on the DTAT.
DTA: What’s that?
ME: The Dance Team Aptitude Test.
DTA: I didn’t bring a no. 2 pencil.
ME: I can administer it orally.
DTA: I prefer topical ointments.
ME: I meant verbally. Ready?
DTA: As I’ll ever be.
ME: Okay. You are holding your pom-poms in your hands. I take one away from you.
DTA: Why’d you do that?
ME: It’s a hypothetical.
DTA: I ain’t taking no shots.
ME: No, that means it’s an imaginary story–you pretend it’s real.
ME: After I take one away, are you left with one “pom” or one “pom-pom”?
DTA: I’m gonna say pom-pom.
ME: That’s correct. It’s sort of like “deer” or “buffalo”–singular and plural are the same. The next part of the test is psychological. Have you ever frowned?
DTA: Just once–when Princess, my goldfish, died.
ME: That’s the sort of girl we’re looking for! Do you think you could smile through an entire visit to a sick children’s ward?
DTA: As long as they don’t have head lice–that grosses me out.
ME: Hospitals are usually pretty sanitary. Okay–on to Dance Team History. Name the Founding Mother of American Dance Teamness, who has gone on to become the most famousest former dance team member ever.
DTA: Former Laker Girl, Paula Abdul!
ME: (Getting emotional) Young lady–I am pleased to announce that you are officially a member of the [REDACTED] Dance Team!
DTA: Great! Can we talk money now?
ME: Sure–the team pays $50 for every promotional event, $20 per rehearsal, and $75 for each game.
DTA: (Hesitation) I could make better money than that teachin’ two aerobics classes a week.
ME: Well, yeah, but being a dance team member is a stepping stone to greater things. You’ll be surrounded by rich, famous athletes.
DTA: Thanks but no thanks! (Gets up to leave)
ME: Wait–we can help you fill out the food stamp application!
[Sound of door slamming]
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “This Just In–From Gerbil Sports Network.”