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Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders compete to make the team

Larry Downing / Reuters

Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Angel is pictured in front of participants during the cheerleaders tryout clinic at the Ravens training facility in Owings Mills, Maryland, February 19, 2011.

I have mixed feelings about the whole cheerleader thing; the games should be interesting enough without all the extra show biz trappings.

But I have to hand to the team of Reuters photographers who followed the cheerleaders from the tryouts to summer training camp to the NFL regular season.

As Reuters reports:

Cheerleader talent is strong along the east coast and candidates drive to Baltimore for team tryouts each March hoping to join the squad.

Related: Baltimore Sun story on the tryouts.

Jason Reed / Reuters

Hopefuls line up to perform during tryouts for the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders in Baltimore, Maryland, March 5, 2011.

Molly Riley / Reuters

Baltimore Ravens cheerleader hopefuls prepare prior to performing during tryouts for the Ravens cheerleaders in Baltimore, Maryland, March 6, 2011.

Molly Riley / Reuters

Ravens cheerleader contestants warm up before performing during an event called "Making the Cut" to select the final Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders in Baltimore, Maryland, March 26, 2011.

Larry Downing / Reuters

A cheerleader performs as judges watch during tryouts for the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders in Baltimore, Maryland, March 5, 2011.

Jason Reed / Reuters

Judges discuss possible picks during tryouts for the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders in Baltimore, Maryland, March 5, 2011.

Larry Downing / Reuters

A disappointed contestant cries after being eliminated during tryouts at for the Baltimore Ravens 2011 cheerleader squad at a gym in Baltimore, March 6, 2011.

Larry Downing / Reuters

A young fan of the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders reacts as she has a cheerleader provide an autograph in Deep Creek, Maryland, May 21, 2011.

Jason Reed / Reuters

Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders perform stunts during cheerleader training camp at Deep Creek, Maryland, May 20, 2011.

Larry Downing / Reuters

Male and female Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders chat in the locker room prior to a Ravens NFL football game in Baltimore, Maryland August 25, 2011.

Larry Downing / Reuters

Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Olivia applies lipstick prior to the Ravens NFL football game in Baltimore, Maryland October 2, 2011.

Larry Downing / Reuters

The Baltimore Ravens 2011 cheerleaders run onto the field during a game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, August 19, 2011.

Molly Riley / Reuters

Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Angel lines up while players take to the field for a Ravens NFL football game in Baltimore, Maryland August 19, 2011.