Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Manatees Are Ready For Their Close-Up (If You Can Fit Them in Frame)

Illustration for article titled The Manatees Are Ready For Their Close-Up (If You Can Fit Them in Frame)

The Florida Marlin's attempt to draw, well, anyone to their ballpark with the attraction of an all-male space eater cheerleader squad made the rounds when it was first announced. Well, the montage sequence of preparation is over. They've run the treadmill with a T-bone steak dangled on a string in front of them. When the Marlins hold their home opener tomorrow, we'll finally have an answer to this article's burning question: Can manatees learn to dance?


And how many can do it on the head of a pin? Too ontological?

It's a team of 16 planetesimals ranging in weight from a petite 225 to a Raven Symone 435. And one harried choreographer to mold them into a disciplined gelatinous unit.

Modeling each step in front of her panting apprentices, choreographer Vanessa Martinez-Huff watched their moves in the studio mirror, halting the music every few beats to correct missteps. Her motions were smooth and her voice cheery.

In her eyes was a look of stifled panic.

"I see people leaving to get hot dogs!" she admonishes them. "You want to keep them in the stands! Do you want to lose out to a hot dog?"

"Can they bring me one?" asks Steve Bauer, a 280-pound food service vendor, drawing high fives from the other Manatees.

Now, an actual manatee high five I would pay to see. With their short flippers and rotund bodies, they'd just collapse into one another. Apparently two of the 16 went down with injuries during the preparations and they just up and replaced them. But I thought manatees were endangered. More shady envirotricks from the people who brought us Earth Hour!

Update: Here's a video of the tryout. Woohoo! Loogit that blubber fly!