The Eagles cheerleading squad looked a little different in 2019 thanks to rookie Kyle Tanguay. Not only because he was the first male cheerleader the organization has had in decades, but because of his bright, contagious personality and being completely fearless in everything he does.
The 21-year-old has only been in Philadelphia since the summer of 2017 but has completely fallen in love with the city, the fans and more importantly, the Eagles. Not even a week into his time here, he was already watching the Eagles to make friends and share a common interest.
Little did anyone know that just two years later, he’d be cheering for the team. What’s even crazier is that he had never done something to this degree before.
“The biggest challenge was not really knowing what to expect,” Tanguay said. “I had never done professional cheerleading in my life, I had never even done a dance team in my high school and my college doesn’t have one.”
Pretty surprising to believe, especially when he shines during every performance.
Philadelphia had taken to Tanguay essentially overnight and those who came to cheer on the birds every Sunday, also cheered for him. Not only was he welcomed with open arms, but an unbreakable bond was also created.
“The fans of Philadelphia are the greatest fan base in the entire world,” Tanguay said. “I think the reason that the Philadelphia fans love us so much as a squad is because it’s very clear to see that we have the same amount of passion as them.
“One thing that I appreciated about them and something that they appreciated about me was that we both shared this intense love for the Eagles. Maybe we don’t look the same, maybe we don’t act the same, maybe we have different values, but at the end of the day I’m an Eagles fan and so are you so that’s what brings us together.”
Now, with the NFL offseason in full swing, there’s a new challenge for Tanguay to face — ‘American Idol.’
Tanguay noted that he was a newly born singer but based off of videos he had posted on social media, it seemed like he had been doing this for a while.
How long has it been since he started?
“I think I’ve been singing since October ,” Tanguay said with a laugh.
“The first time I ever sang in front of anyone that wasn’t my roommates … was my audition.
“I did chorus in high school — I never wanted a solo, I always stood in the back and I always kept to myself. I would sing in the shower, I would sing in the living room, I would really only sing in front of my roommates if we were tired and had the sleepy ha-ha’s and so for me, this opportunity presented itself and I got to go down to Washington D.C. and try out for ‘American Idol.’
“It was the most craziest experience ever and it really allowed me to remind myself that it’s okay to step outside your comfort zone. The experience on the show was so awesome, so exciting and it’s something that I cannot wait for the world to see.”
It was mentioned before, but Tanguay is fearless. To make your mark in the NFL and step fully outside of your comfort zone to perform in front of the top artists in the music industry within the same year is nothing short of incredible.
This field can be tough, competitive and even make some turn away from their goals. When asked about the best piece of advice Tanguay could give those who need to stay inspired or motivated, the most sincere answer was given.
There’s a quote that was plastered in my middle school gymnasium that said ‘stand up for something you believe in, even if you’re standing alone.’ And that is something that I’ve always carried with me.
No is only two letters. It’s a small word if anyone tells you no there’s just another yes around the corner. I’ve heard no so many times in my life. So many times in my life. It has always made the most crazy, windy path … but it’s been my path.
It’s a mindset that not many people have at such a young age. To thrive off of being told ‘no’ and instead of being knocked down, simply changing direction to get to where you want to be is a special thing.
Being positive is infectious, and when Tanguay left for the day, I felt inspired. Inspired to just put a smile on my face, to do something kind for someone else, to push myself a little more than what I typically do. Not everyone can say they have that kind of power — he absolutely does.
‘American Idol’ premieres this Sunday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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