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Ben-Gals Cover Girl Lauren Goes 100%

Ben-Gals calendar covergirl Lauren talks to The Blonde Side in the 2014-2015 NFL Cheer Series Presented by ShockTop

Ben-Gals calendar covergirl Lauren talks to The Blonde Side in the 2014-2015 NFL Cheer Series Presented by ShockTop

Meet cover-girl Lauren C. from the Ben-Gals. Yes, you can see the beautiful Lauren gracing the cover of the 2015 Ben-Gals calendar, but you get to actually hear a bunch of cool things about here right here in this exclusive Man Cave Daily interview.

Three years ago the blonde bombshell was voted Rookie of the Year and she hasn’t skipped a beat since – there is literally no stopping this gal – on or off the field. She’s all smiles, all heart and even has a good dose of humor and wit to go along with her stunning good looks. She even sees beyond the Bengal stripes and calls Peyton Manning an “iconic football player,” which is nothing but the pure truth. She loves close games (assuming her team wins) and loud fans. Want to know more about Lauren and what she loves?

Man Cave Daily: Where are you from?

Lauren C.: Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

MCD: What school did you go to?

L: I went to The Ohio State University and graduated with a major in Psychology and minors in Communications and Spanish. I absolutely loved it…I thought I wanted to go to a small school originally, but when I visited campus I knew that’s where I wanted to go! I was in the sorority Delta Gamma, which definitely made it feel a little bit smaller because I was able to form a close bond with so many women. It’s funny — one of the rookies on the squad this year was in DG at Bowling Green. It’s nice to be able to make that connection wherever I go!

MCD: Is “the” really necessary when saying Ohio State? Honestly?

L: Haha! I’m pretty sure “The” is part of the official name! Regardless, the moment I became a Buckeye I was basically groomed to include the “The.”

MCD: Occupation?

L: Project Manager (official title is Senior Account Executive).

MCD: Years on team?

L: This is my third year, and I was lucky enough to make it my first time trying out…but it was definitely a difficult and competitive process!

MCD: One secret to being a successful NFL cheerleader?

L: There are so many important aspects of NFL cheerleading…dance ability, showmanship, fitness, glamour, community service, confidence, professionalism, etc. I think the key is putting 100% effort behind each one. Being well rounded and embracing all of those things is what makes us successful because they’re all equally important.

MCD: Are you in the calendar?

L: Yes! The Ben-Gals do a great job of featuring each girl in the calendar. This year, I am on the cover! It was

2014-2015 NFL Cheer Series Presented by Shock Top

2014-2015 NFL Cheer Series Presented by Shock Top – because these ladies are SHOCKING

by far one of the greatest moments of my Ben-Gal career!

MCD: Part of your body you work hardest for?

L: That’s tough…I really enjoy getting a full body workout, but I always make sure to do abs (mainly because we wear a two-piece uniform for most of the season!).

MCD: Yes, I’m well aware, as is most of the NFL world! Greatest memory so far?

L: I have so many; I don’t think I can choose just one! Aside from being on the Cover of this year’s calendar, making the team and stepping onto the field for the first time are high on my list. Another great moment is when I was voted by my teammates as Rookie of the Year my first year on the squad—that meant a lot to me. This year, I was chosen as a side captain by my coaches, which was an incredible honor. I love having the opportunity to lead such an amazing group of women.

My favorite game has to be last year’s game against the Green Bay Packers. We came back fourth quarter and won 34-30…I don’t think the crowd has ever been so loud!

Still, some of the greatest memories are the small things. There are those times when we go out on the field and practice at night, in an empty stadium under the lights with no one else in sight. That’s my absolute favorite… when I can really take it all in. It’s an indescribable feeling!

MCD: Favorite player?

L: This is always changing–I love watching Giovani Bernard play this year… he’s a powerhouse! Of course, AJ Green is always one of my favorites because he’s such a talented athlete. There are a few players, like Andrew Whitworth and Domata Peko, who always go the extra mile for their fans, which is so great to see.

If I had to choose a player on a different team, I’d say Peyton Manning. He’s an iconic football player and such a well-respected person in the NFL.

MCD: For those who have never been to your stadium, describe the atmosphere?

L: It’s amazing! I really encourage anyone who’s never been to game to go! Looking into a sea of orange and black and hearing the roar of the crowd never, ever gets old. I still get goosebumps every time “Welcome to the Jungle” comes on! Game day at Paul Brown Stadium is something every Bengals fan needs to experience at least once.

MCD: Which Spice Girl would you be?

L: My very first concert was the Spice Girls…I loved them! When I was younger I would’ve said Sporty, but now, I’d probably say I’m a combination of Sporty and Posh. Being athletic is a huge part of NFL Cheerleading, but so is glamour!

MCD: Who’s your bestie on the squad?

L: The squad is truly a sisterhood, and I’m very lucky to have gained so many amazing friends over the past three years. Friendships are maintained throughout the years, but always changing due to new girls joining and other girls retiring. My “rookie class’ (who are now the “juniors’) became really close. One girl I instantly clicked with is Carli…I was in her wedding this past August! Even though we’ve only known each other for three years, it feels so much longer.

MCD: Biggest misconception about cheerleaders?

Ben-Gals Lauren - truly the definition of an amazing woman

Ben-Gals Lauren – truly the definition of an amazing woman

L: I think the biggest misconception is that NFL cheerleaders don’t have full-time jobs. In fact, you have to have a full-time job or be a full-time student to try out for the squad. I work from 8:30-5 Monday thru Friday, and then go to practice! It’s exhausting, but totally worth it.

MCD: What charity is nearest and dearest to your heart and why?

L: We do a lot of charity work in the NFL, and there are so many great ones! One that stands out in my mind is Kicks for Kids, which offers opportunities to children, who are challenged mentally, physically, or by the environment in which they live; through a collaborative effort with other local kids’ organizations. There’s a Christmas event at Paul Brown Stadium every year, where the kids visit with Santa Claus and Who Dey, eat food and just have a great time. Then, they walk down to the visitor’s locker room, where a locker is decorated with a personalized nameplate and filled with a new winter coat, hat and pair of gloves, a Bengals football for autographs, school supplies, and many other gifts that change from year to year. After they put on their gear, they run to the field for some fun! Seeing their faces light up in that locker room is something that really touched me.

In addition to Kicks for Kids, there’s been incredible support this year around Devon Still’s daughter, Leah, who’s fighting pediatric brain cancer. It’s been amazing to be part of an organization that is so supportive of the cause. To see her story spread across the nation the way it has is really remarkable.

MCD: If you could only dance/perform to one artist for the entire season, who would it be?

L: I don’t think I have a good answer to this because I love so many different artists! It really depends on my mood…I love dancing to Beyonce, Pitbull, and Rihanna because their songs are upbeat and fun. Michael Jackson is also one of my all-time favorites because he has so many classic hits!

MCD: What’s the most embarrassing/random thing we’d find in your recent Google history?

L: I was trying to decide on a Halloween costume, so I have some pretty hilarious searches. Teletubbies, skeleton makeup, Mean Girls, the list goes on! I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be something scary or funny!

MCD: Since you’re so busy getting ready for the games, (sadly) you miss one of my favorite parts – tailgating! If you were asked to bring one thing, what would it be?

L: I have a HUGE sweet tooth, so definitely some type of dessert. Cake, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, candy…you name it, I’ll bring it!

MCD: If you could give a message to those who serve our country and fight for our freedom, what would you say?

L: To the men and women who serve our country, thank you for your courage, dedication, and sacrifice!

MCD: Look in your purse/bag right now – what’s the most random thing in there?

L: Three little bottles of Mio! I used to be really bad when it came to drinking a lot of water, so now I ALWAYS carry Mio around to add some flavor.

MCD: Favorite book/magazine/website?

L: I’m sort of a reality show junkie, so whenever I’m traveling I’m always buying gossip magazines like US Weekly, or reading E! News online. I can’t help it! Like most girls, I loved the Fifty Shades of Grey series…I’m counting down the days until the movie comes out!

MCD: Cheerleaders are known for taking the perfect selfies – probably more so than Kim Kardashian – what’s your secret to a perfect selfie?

L: I’m definitely not the best person on the squad to ask about selfies, but the right lighting makes all the difference!

MCD: Time for interests or hobbies?

L: Whenever I get free time, I just enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I do enjoy working out, so I guess you could consider that a hobby, but I also LOVE food…so trying out new restaurants is really fun for me. Since I’ve only lived in Cincinnati for three years, there’s still a lot to explore!

MCD: What’s the team’s character like?

L: The team is so eclectic and our personalities really balance each other out. We have a really big age range (from 22 years old to the oldest cheerleader in the NFL, who’s 46!). I think that’s the best part about it…you have a group of 30 women from different backgrounds with different goals and aspirations, but we all share a common passion for dance, cheer, and community service. I’ve learned a lot about myself since joining the Ben-Gals. I had just graduated college when I first made the squad, so the past three years have been really important in figuring out who I am and who I want to be. I would not be the same person I am today without this experience, and I’m a better person for it!

MCD: Homebody or an adventurer?

L: Definitely a homebody! I love to go out with my friends on the weekends, but I also love staying home and relaxing when I get time, which isn’t very often!

MCD: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

L: I’m not a very daring or adventurous person, but this year I went to Colorado Springs on vacation and climbed the Manitou Incline, which gains over 2000 ft. in less than a mile. Typically I like to relax on vacations, but a few hours after stepping off the plane I decided that I wanted a REALLY good work out!

MCD: Tell me something about you people would find completely interesting/out of character?

L: I grew up with all kinds of dance/cheer experience, but my specialty was tap dancing! All of my competition solos were tap…I miss it!

Follow the Ben-Gals cover girl on Twitter and Instagram: @LaurenCoben (and be sure to tell her The Blonde Side sent you and says “Hey!”)

To see the original article, which ran in the sport’s section of CBS Man Cave Daily (and a lot more pictures), click here. A big thank you to Shock Top for sponsoring this series on The Blonde Side so we can show the world how awesome NFL cheerleaders are – not just on the field, but in their everyday lives.