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Brie with the Jets Flight Crew

Brie with the Jets Flight Crew

It takes a lot for me to admit someone is funnier than me. Seriously, I’ve always taken great pride in being a “self-proclaimed comedian,” but Brie, a third year veteran on the New York Jets Flight Crew pretty much has me beat. There and in many other areas including abdominal muscles, bright white smile, long legs, and her color-coded and highly organized planner. And leg kicks and dance skills, and quite frankly the list goes on further than I’d like to admit.

“I am kind of the team comedian, so I guess I’m pretty funny,” she says plainly. “I love playing pranks on the girls whenever I see an opportunity. I’ve been having a really great season, and I’m becoming known for having an energetic and exciting performance on game day, so that’s cool,” Brie says of her third season on the sidelines and in the locker room. While three seasons may not seem like a whole lot, put it in perspective of the Flight Crew in general, the youngest squad in the NFL, having just finished their seventh season.

“It’s really cool because there are girls that have been here since the beginning, so we get their wisdom. We recently just began alumni cheerleader events, which is awesome to have the women of past teams come back and see how the team has grown, thanks in part to their efforts. I always take a moment and think about how unique it is that I am a part of something so new and fresh. Basically right now we are building the foundations for the future of this team,” she says.

Brie spends her days as a merchandising assistant at an apparel production company in New York City and admits that “the city” has rubbed off on her closet. “I wear a lot of black – I need to start incorporating more color,” the Massachusetts native says.

“I am from Massachusetts, home of the ‘ENEMY,’ New England Patriots. Thanksgiving is tough; I’m just starting to be allowed back for dinner,” she says with a straight face as she tells me she is converting her family into Jets fans, one-by-one. Then she cracks that bright smile she’s so well known for.

When it comes to being an NFL Cheerleader and the misconceptions that surround the glittery gig, Brie has heard them all. “Besides the obvious that everyone seems to list, I find a lot of people don’t consider us ‘real dancers’ because our field choreography isn’t filled with overly technical dance moves. If you could see all of the talent on the Flight Crew, you would be blown away,” she says simply. “The Flight Crew is unique in the mix of talented girls we get. Being in New York means some of the best dancers in the world come to our auditions. Our team is a mix of traditional cheerleading backgrounds and technically trained dancers, so we have a bit of everything. There are women on our team who have been professional ballerinas, world dance champions, hip hop dancers…the list goes on and on. Seriously, I am in awe of everyone each year during auditions when we perform our solos. Our new Show Team, consisting of 12 of our most elite and technical cheerleaders, actually showcases some of our best dancers in a more traditional dance aspect,” she says of her teammates.

As we talk about her talented teammates and their backgrounds, we get on the topic of nearly the complete opposite. “I may be the clumsiest dancer in the world. The amount of times I trip, fall, and walk into things is insane — I always have a bruise of some sort. In fact, I had a huge egg on my forehead during the last home game against the Saints. I need a padded suit,” she confesses.

Clumsy or not, the 5’5″ brunette is proud to be where she is today, and notes it didn’t come as easy as it did for some of the others. “I actually tried out the year before I made the team and froze up doing the choreography in front of Denise (our director), so it was not my finest moment!” she says. She also met her best friend, Donna Marie, that year at tryouts.

“So, technically I got two great presents. I always refer to meeting her to practice for final auditions as our ‘blind date,’ and it was a match made in heaven!” Brie jokes of her bestie.

Brie has experienced quite a few amazing things during her time with the Flight Crew, but it seems her favorite came

Brie, with the Jets Flight Crew Cheerleaders

Brie, with the Jets Flight Crew Cheerleaders

this spring in the Cayman Islands when they were shooting their swimsuit calendar (this was Brie’s first time). “The best memory out of it was snorkeling in Little Cayman. First of all, we had no floatation type devices. It was just four of us cheerleaders, Denise, our guides, a snorkel, flippers, and the wide-open sea. Secondly, we swam so far from shore, out to Bloody Bay Wall,” she pauses to confirm whether or not she’s painted the dramatic and scary picture she has hoped to. “It was actually the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. We swam over beautiful coral reef, fish, and even a sea turtle. Then, to top it all off we actually swam over a shark; I am not joking. So not only did I get to experience the world’s best natural aquarium, I got to feel like a daredevil doing it. That’s a win for me!” she says. Oh, and the pictures of her weren’t too shabby either.

Brie is definitely the adventurous type, noting that her perfect date isn’t necessarily a certain spot in the city, as long as you take note of her rule of thumb: “make it interesting and surprise me,” then adds she loves boats, like most women.

Although this season didn’t end quite as they hoped, Brie admits that in time spent cheering at MetLife Stadium, she’s never heard the fans this loud, consistently for each and every home game. “It has been quite a ride, as it always is with the Jets. We just keep cheering hard and hoping for those wins to keep coming to us!”

Brie personally attributes much of the excitement around her current favorite player to watch: Geno Smith. “Everyone is excited to see where he will take us. I can’t help but think how amazing it must be for a rookie, and a guy so young to get the shot at QB and hear a stadium chanting for him — it has to be surreal,” she marvels.

“The best word to describe the crowd at MetLife and Jets fans is L-O-U-D. The stadium has been insane this season in terms of energy. Everyone is on their feet the entire game. It really keeps us going on the sidelines. The Jets have a great game day atmosphere. We start the day with the Player Walk into the stadium — basically the football team and coaching staff arrive and we have a parade of sorts through the parking lots and into the stadium. It’s great because fans get a chance to see their team up close. Then, there are tons of events around the stadium before kickoff for fans to take part in before they head to their seats,” she says.

Although the Jets aren’t Super Bowl bound this year, the Flight Crew is. “Since we are the host city, the Flight Crew will be out and about doing events around the area, and we will be involved in the Super Bowl. I think overall it has made the atmosphere of the city itself more exciting. There is a big countdown clock in Penn Station with the days, hours, and seconds until Super Bowl 2014. It’s New York City; of course we are going to do this big!” she says of her very own host city.

As for her favorite player growing up, it was thanks in part to her sister’s influence. “Growing up I basically copied my sister, and since she liked Emmitt Smith, I did too. She even had a pet hamster named after him. We watched him on Dancing with the Stars, of course,” she gushes of the former HOF running back.

No matter how long she’s been high-stepping on the sidelines, game day nerves are still front and center for Brie. “I get really nervous when we are performing a new routine. I always psych myself out that I’m going to walk the wrong way, or start a wrong routine, but once the music starts, the muscle memory takes over,” she says. Brie also lovingly refers to “muscle memory” as “ninja skills.” Then of course we get off on a tangent about particular ninja skills we’d both prefer to have, having nothing to do with either cheerleading or football.

We talk a lot about the differing lifestyles of New York City and good ole Texas (where I’m based) and how much she listens to music on her commute through the city. Like most of the NFL Cheerleaders I’ve interviewed, Brie too has a plethora of Disney movie songs on her iPod. “This morning I was walking to work and the Hannah Montana theme song came on. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I let it play and rocked out to it while walking along Sixth Avenue,” the drop-dead goofball says. Although she admits that dancing to Latin music or old school rock are her favorites.

J-E-T-S-B-R-I-E

J-E-T-S-B-R-I-E

She admits sometimes keeping the Hannah Montana positive vibe isn’t always easy, especially when the season isn’t going your way. “You always want your team to be winning, but we keep the spirit and smiles going for the entire game, regardless. I think the hardest part for a lot of us is to keep a smile instead of yelling when a bad call is made or a play doesn’t go well. A lot of us are actually big football fans, so we find ourselves getting into the game a little too much sometimes, but we enjoy keeping the smiles and energy up for the fans,” she says.

Her guilty pleasure in life, aside from the occasional Breaking Bad marathon on TV, is devouring Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter. “I don’t even put it on anything; I’m a straight from the jar kind of girl,” she laughs. Looking at her body, I can’t help but wonder if it’s fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and everything-else-free snack, but then we talk about her hectic schedule and it all makes sense.

Hands-down the hardest part of being an NFL Cheerleader for Brie is the schedule. “I am up every morning between 5:30 and 6, depending how many times I sneak in the snooze button, and I head to my day job. From there I go to the gym and get a quick workout in and then we rehearse later that evening. I get home around midnight. On nights we don’t have an official rehearsal, I usually practice on my own with some of the girls because you can’t show up to practice unprepared. Rehearsal is our time to learn new material and prep for game day, so you have to make sure you stay on top of your choreography. I also love doing appearances around the community, so I try to work those in whenever my schedule can allow. People don’t realize the commitment this takes outside the dance studio or field. It’s a part time job with full time obligations. Obviously, with a schedule this hectic, I have to stay really organized. I would be lost without my planner, to-do lists, and massive amounts of coffee!” she confesses of her seemingly cute but nerdy side.

At least for Brie, the seasons just seem to keep getting better. Aside from the Cayman calendar trip this year, Brie also got to appear on Good Morning America with a few of the other girls and got to attend Jets Training Camp in Cortland. “I think I just feel blessed to have made it back for a third season. I’ve come a long way and I have this team, Denise, and my teammates to thank for that. They always keep me reaching to be the best I can be,” Brie says of her time with the Flight Crew. And she’s also thankful for every bump and bruise, the literal kind, she’s received along the way.

Follow my favorite New York City brunette on Twitter: @Brie_JFC and check out the Flight Crew on FB.

This piece was originally seen on CBS Man Cave Daily on The Blonde Side’s sports column.