So, the next nine days will be chock full of end-of-year retrospectives. We'll do our own as well. Today: Cheerleaders.

I have no idea how mankind got by before the invention of cheerleaders. How did we fight wars? Who ran our car washes and bake sales? In 2008, cheerleaders stepped to the forefront like never before, in part due to technology. For the first time, they were photographing themselves in the nude, and distributing those photos via cell phone. We truly live in a golden age. Here's a rundown of all that transpired in the world of cheerleading:

• Scribbled anti-Semitic imagery on drunken friends.

• Oh, and penises.

• Got nude, took photos of themselves, texted them to the high school football team (by mistake!).

• Got more nude, even though only in middle school.

Risked their lives in the name of school spirit!

• When wearing clothes, argued over what kind.

• Frolicked with Dick Vitale and Stuart Scott.

Cheered for NFL teams, even though only in high school.

• Were sometimes, inexplicably, guys.

• Baked cupcakes with sugar, flour, and just a touch of love ... oh, and rat poison.

• Got soaking wet for charity.

Generally ran amok.

• Restored our faith in human nature.