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Original Issue

Good Golly, Ms. Molly

You're 38 years old. You've married a FORTUNE 500 multimillionaire. You've got three picture-frame kids under seven. Your face is a fixture in the society pages. You live in a mansion in the best part of town. You have your own p.r. guy. What else could you possibly want out of life?

Well, how about becoming an NFL cheerleader?

That's how Molly Shattuck, one of the richest women in Baltimore, ended up shaking her groceries for $75 a game.

Is this a joke? I mean, who wants to see a 38-year-old mom out there in one of those skimpy costumes?

Push 'em up! Push 'em up! Wayyyyyy up!

And then you find out that her husband is Mayo Shattuck, CEO of Constellation Energy, a man who calls George Bush Sr., Tiger Woods and Cal Ripken pals. He also helped broker the sale of the Ravens to their current owner. Ah, ha! No wonder she made the team!

But then you find out that the women who try out are not allowed to give their last names. And then you meet Molly Shattuck.

"At first I thought she was 24," says Ravens cheerleader Alyssa Helfenbein, 18. "When she told me she was 38, it knocked me off my feet."

Eighteen? Molly has lipstick older than that. She's 15 years older than the team average. She's the only one with kids. And yet if you lined up all 53 Ravens cheerleaders and looked for the oldest, you wouldn't pick her out in 10 tries. She's got surfer-blonde hair, a smile you could spot from the moon and a body that would make a monk bite on his robe.

"Hey, baby!" a leering guy hollered at her the other night during a game. "You're the one I wanna go home with!"

Shattuck had to laugh. "I wanted to say, 'Sure! Come home with me! But are you willing to get up at six to get the kids off to school? Can you help me do diapers?' Very sexy."

She's Martha Stewart on fast-forward. With the help of a 30-hour-a-week babysitter Shattuck has run a marathon, she's learning to play piano, she tap-dances and she sews. She had 250 people over for dinner Friday night and did all the flower arrangements herself. In other words she's the kind of woman other women would love to see perish in a Hoover accident.

Can she help it if she's got a list? She's had it since high school. It's called "10 Things I Want to Do Before I Die." On it was Be an NFL Cheerleader. The day before the tryouts began this season, she decided, "What do I have to lose?"

You talk about a rookie. With the application they wanted a full-body shot in a bikini. She didn't own one. There were more than 300 women at the tryouts, and she showed up wearing spandex shorts that stopped just above her knee and a pink top she got at Target. "Uh, no offense," said Helfenbein, "but you're a little out of date."

"I looked around and everybody was in hot pants and low-cut sequin tops," Shattuck remembers. "Boobs flying everywhere." Helfenbein lent Shattuck her extra "booty" pants. Do you have any idea how terrifying it is for a woman who's had three babies to parade around in booty pants? Me neither.

Then another girl lent her a far more daring top. Somebody else told her, "Your hair's gotta be a lot poofier," and got to work. Another came up and said, "Could I do your makeup for you?"

Voilà!--she was bootylicious. But what if her body was out of date? "I mean, I hadn't done a toe touch in 18 years!"

But she nailed every stunt and every dance. She was so good in the interview that she ended up in a group hug with the judges. Four weeks of tryouts later, she'd made it.

"Suddenly," says her 50-year-old husband, "I wake up and I'm married to an NFL cheerleader! How good is that?"

And of course, we're not even halfway through the Molly Conquers the World Tour. She still has to tackle Climb Kilimanjaro, Take a Painting Class, and Go to Law School. Unfortunately, Become a Rockette is out. "They said I was too short."

Bet me she doesn't find a height teacher.

O.K., so maybe Molly Shattuck makes you want to nail her with a cream pie. Not me. I don't get all these moms who say, "My kids are my life." They spend every Saturday watching their kids play in yet another soccer tournament and every Saturday night sitting in some icebox watching their 4,008th hockey practice. Their conversational skills range from "Amber is kicking butt in field hockey" to "Amber loves goalie camp." That's great, but since when does Amber starting mean you ending? Get out there!

"Toward the end of the games, we're all exhausted," Helfenbein says, "and there's Molly, still jumping up and down, going nuts. I'm like, 'Molly, what are you on?'"


• To see photos of Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck, go to If you have a comment for Rick Reilly, send it to

Do you have any idea how terrifying it is for a woman who's had three babies to parade around in booty pants? Me neither.