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INDIANAPOLIS — Matt Gold is getting lots of attention — and questions — lately because his 54-year-old mother wants to be an NFL cheerleader.

Brenda Gold is taking steps to become the newest member of the Ben-Gals, the Cincinnati Bengals' cheerleading squad.

While the venture may shock the rest of America, it doesn't shock Matt Gold, a software engineer who lives in Fishers, Ind.

Brenda Gold, a math teacher at the prestigious School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, "thinks of big ideas or projects, and goes at them head-on," said her 28-year-old son.

But why try out for an NFL cheerleading squad at the age when some have their sights set on retiring to a beach?

Matt Gold can only guess.

"She was probably watching a Bengals game and saw the cheerleaders and said to herself, 'I can do that,'" said Gold, who works at Software Engineering Professionals in Carmel. "She probably can, too."

Brenda Gold was a three-sport athlete in high school and played volleyball at the University of Kentucky. She also trained in dance most of her life.

"Cheerleading would be a natural extension of that," said Matt Gold. Plus, she was voted most spirited in high school (she started cheerleading in sixth grade). And she is in darn good shape.

Still, to help prepare for her Ben-Gals audition, Brenda Gold signed up for 10 practice dance classes. Those begin March 4.

She also plans to attend some of the squad's workshops, though she isn't concerned about her stamina, strength or athletic ability.

She was, however, a bit concerned with her glamor factor. The Bengals and several other NFL franchises recently came under fire for the physical requirements they have for their cheerleaders.

So, Brenda Gold entered a makeover contest on "Live with Kelly and Michael." The contest's mission was to give age-defying, new looks to people preparing for a special life event.

A 54-year-old trying out to be an NFL cheerleader? Evidently that was special enough.

Brenda Gold made the cut to be one of three finalists in the competition and appeared on the show Wednesday, her long stringy, gray hair replaced by a chic, blonde pixie cut.

"When I first saw her, my jaw dropped," said Matt Gold. "She looked really beautiful."

Morning-show hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan agreed.

"Look how sexy this is," said Ripa.

"Coming from a guy who came from sports, you can cheer for my team anytime," said Strahan, a former NFLer with the New York Giants.

Gold will find out Friday if she is the winner of a trip for two to Los Angeles that includes seats at the Academy Awards red carpet and tickets to "Live's After Oscar Show."

But her true goal is to make that cheerleading squad. The auditions are in May.

"Now, I really think I can do this," Brenda Gold told an Ohio TV station after the show.

Matt Gold said his mom is already amazing, 54-year-old cheerleader or not.

"When she puts her mind to something, she's tireless in achieving it, especially as a teacher," he said. "It's amazing what she does to help her students each year. I'm rooting for her and wishing her luck, but I don't think she needs it. She's a great mom and a great person, and it's nice to see her getting some notice."

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