“Simple and effortless” is the goal

"Simple and effortless" is the goal

Just hours before the Jaguars’ first game, the sky turned black with thunder, forcing the team to issue a “Code Blue” warning to clear the field and get everyone inside. This includes the members of Roar, the cheerleading squad, who have to cut their last act before the real stuff starts.

Christy Stechman Zynda doesn’t care. Of course, she has 85 people to organize, and on game day she scrolls through the floor plan to the second, multi-page schedule, two chats and a cell phone, while listening on headphones as well. But she was hardly fooled.

After that, she has been on this field for 20 years, going back to 1998, when she became the Jaguars cheerleader while still a student at the University of North Florida.

In 2004 she was named director of cheerleading, and two years ago she was promoted to director of entertainment.

That means she handles most of the things that go on before and during Jaguars games that don’t involve actual football: the cheerleaders, mascot Jaxson DeVille, the D-Line drummers, the JaxPack, the crew and goes with the flags. and kick those free T-shirts into the bins that people are going crazy for.

None of the routine and stressful events happen by accident. Zynda, who was walking to the side during the game, was behind them all.

“You want people to think it’s effortless and easy and just happens,” she said. “That’s the purpose.”

At the stadium meeting, with no lightning outside, Zynda stopped to tell Jim Berlinghoff, who invented and maintained the Gatling gun-like devices that fire those T-shirts. Every game he makes sure they shoot straight. Don’t alarm him, by the way, if these bundles inevitably fail in your line.

He smiled. “I can kick them off the field, they just won’t let me.”

Zynda’s work keeps her busy all year round: Cheerleaders, D-Line and Jaxson DeVille are often in the community, and she manages all this, with a little charm.

Then there are salaries, Unifos and cheer choreography. Jaxson, however, plans his own stunts and has his own crew of crooks. “I definitely didn’t jump off the light tower myself,” she said.

Game day is the main event though. Zynda is on the pitch, on the pitch, for every home game and the annual trip to London. Her job is like being an air traffic controller, she said, making sure everything goes smoothly in the unpredictable, noisy environment of an NFL game.

It’s not easy, of course: There are many moving parts, all detailed in the script she takes. She is always in contact with her team captain, via walkie-talkies and hand signals, and listens through her headset for announcements of commercial breaks, penalties, replays – whenever her teams are required to go to work.

“Of course it’s stressful, but it’s exciting. It’s adrenaline; the day of the show. That’s when, when you go out on that stage,” said Zynda.

She agreed, said Nick Carnes, the captain of the Jax Pack known as the Hype Man. He is in his 16th year flipping flags and shooting T-shirts.

“She knows how this thing goes. Everybody knows she’s the one. So we look up to her. She’s the Momma,” Carnes said. “Mother Christy.”

Well before the start of the preseason game against New Orleans, the thunderstorms passed, although there were still a few sprinkles. Zynda spoke on the sing-talkie: Get your cheerleader rain gear ready, just in case.

Standing at the 50-yard line near the Jaguars bench, she smiled as the Roar was introduced at midfield at 6:43 p.m. “It makes me happy,” she said. “They worked hard, and when you see them put together, complete hair and make-up….”

A few minutes later, the visiting team was introduced.

“Values ​​on the ground,” she said, as the Saints ran on the field. Apparently, the cheerleaders wore tea pompoms on their backs – not disrespectful, but certainly no sign of support for the visiting team.

Then Jaxson DeVille and Carnes, from the Jax Pack, helped get the Jaguars players out of the locker room, on a run.

The Jaguars got the opening kickoff, so she made sure the members of the Jax Pack were ready with big flags in every corner, preparing for the Jags’ touchdown. Of course, quarterback Blake Bortles would soon enter the end zone on the opening drive, and the Jax Pack celebrated all over the end zone.

Before that happens though, the clock ticks down to start as Zenda chimes in on her song: “Great job, everyone, with the pregame. Just make sure they stay hydrated.”

Another season is about to begin.

She said, “Start well.” “And the rain stopped.”

She smiled reassuringly. “Time to play.”

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What are the 3 goal types?

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