This month on Pro Player Insiders, we feature a Buffalo Jill that should need no introduction to NFL cheerleading fans as she spent more time as a Buffalo Jill, or as an NFL Cheerleader for that matter, than anyone ever has. Omarlla’s 13 seasons are not only impressive and remarkable, but not something she had planned on when she first tried out in the spring of 2000 alongside current Jills coordinator Nichole.
Truth be told, she and Eileen, who put in 11 seasons from 2000-2010 alongside Omarlla, took it all year by year. The biggest reason she kept coming back for all those seasons, besides the obvious fact that she could do it and do it well, was because she enjoyed it. She would be getting to cheer on the Bills from the sidelines, meet hundreds of new people, including new squadmates, every year, and all the new experiences with different appearances around Western NY and with troop visits around the world.
To say “O” had a remarkable career would be an understatement. She was named to the Pro Bowl after her 4th season and represented
the Jills in the NFL Cheerleader Playoffs in the summer of 2006. In what was intended to become a yearly event, pairs of cheerleaders were selected to go to Six Flags New England for a week to compete against other cheerleaders in athletic, trivia, and dance events. Some of the athletic events included swimming and before that summer, Omarlla couldn’t swim well at all. Before they left, her teammate Aimee, at that time a 5-year vet whose family had a pool in their backyard, worked with Omarlla to make her a better swimmer.
Omarlla and Aimee started strong in the competition and won every event in the 1st round, including a swimming relay event that Omarlla kept close enough that Aimee was able to finish in 1st. The 2nd round didn’t go as well and they were narrowly eliminated due to the athletic events they finished 3rd place in, putting them too far behind to advance despite their 1st place finish in the dance competition.
Cheerleading captains are expected to lead their lines but Omarlla took that a step further. Without inferring or implying anything negative towards other captains, Omarlla bred a special kind of loyalty from her linemates. She treated her linemates not as subordinates, but as her younger sisters. When it comes to tryouts, cheerleading captains generally treat everyone trying out, veteran and prospective rookie alike, pretty much the same way. That’s not always easy for a person to do if they’ve gotten to know and care about someone over the past year.
At the 2006 tryouts, when one of the girls who had been on her line the previous fall was upset about the results, Omarlla came out to help console her. Going above and beyond like that, or going out with younger squadmates and looking out for everyone while still enjoying herself are aspects that didn’t go unnoticed by Omarlla’s squadmates. When Brianne, who had spent 2005-07 on Omarlla’s line, came back to the Jills in 2010 after a couple years away, she was pretty excited to be back on Omarlla’s line.
Not every team in the NFL has a cheerleading squad. To get one, you not only need sponsors and young ladies dedicated enough to work at it year-round, but fans who support them as well. At the end of their 10th season together, the Bills did a story on Omarlla and Eileen and, in it, they credited the fans for their longevity. The story can be found by clicking here.
After they have all that, all they need is a small amount of support from the team, as the Jills have gotten from the Bills. Currently, there are three squads working to build up fanbases and support from their teams in Detroit with the Detroit Pride Cheerleaders, in Cleveland with the Cleveland Spirit Cheerleaders and in New York City with the Gotham City Cheerleaders.
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