The Manatees: Hilarious Florida MLB Male Dance Team [VIDEO]
Cheerleaders are integral to going to any game. Imagine an NFL game without Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders or the Los Angeles Lakers without Laker girls dancing at halftime. Fans pay for the full stadium experience, and that’s part of it.
How about a group of 400 pound men shaking their booties instead? Yes, it’s true. The MLB Florida Marlins (now Miami Marlins) had 15 oversized big boys who favorite sweets on pom poms and absolutely boogie louder than any other professional sports cheerleader or dance team.
Ladies and gentlemen: this is Les Lamantins.
The Manatees: MLB Men’s Dance Team
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It’s hard to watch someone else live their dream.
Not only were the manatees (obviously) not held to the same physical standards that cheerleaders are today, but they were also paid to dance completely offbeat while having fun. Plus, these swift sea cows danced with the team’s female dance group, the Sirens.
A Santa Claus in teal blue. A construction worker. A guy whose nickname was “Chubbalicious”. The Manatees looked like a slow-pitch softball team that took a wrong turn towards Golden Corral after a game. And it was absolutely glorious.
In 2008, the Marlins’ marketing team looked for ways to attract fans. They messaged Marlins fans looking for tall male dancers and a legendary group was born.
“Every once in a while you have to score one for the big guys” ,? Member Angel “Chubbalicious” Villarreal told the New York Times. ? I felt like that? Saturday Night Live? skit when Chris Farley tries for the Chippendales.
As a longtime Marlins fan I have to say it absolutely worked out perfectly because these guys could put on a show. Every home game was a treat thanks to the Marlins’ manatees. When the baseball team was playing poorly, at least the fans had a dance team that could rumble the earth with a few twerks to hope for.
Unfortunately, the manatees were a short lived group. The Marlins changed their name for the 2012 season and played in a new stadium, and the big cheerleaders were a thing of the past.
?It’s cold,? Villarreal told the Miami New Times in 2011. âWe supported them when times were tough and pushed people to go to the stadium. Now the manatees are having the carpet ripped off beneath them.
A Facebook page called âSave The Manateesâ was created, but it was not enough.
The Marlins have traded many stars over the years, but by far the biggest mistake is not re-signing their beloved fat men. I mean, how can you not like this:
The people of South Florida deserved better.