By MICKEY SPAGNOLA, DallasCowboys.com Columnist SAN JOSE del CABO, Mexico - Just for the record, been doing this work for nearly 30 years, going way back to college writing part-time at a local newspaper. During my career, I've been to Super Bowls. Been to Final Fours. Been to The NBA Finals. Been to Tokyo to cover a Cowboys preseason game. London and Mexico City, too. Been to Seoul for the Olympics, and Calgary, too. Pretty sexy assignments. Oh, and I've been to remote places you probably have never heard of to cover games, too, paying my dues in such tucked-away places as Glasgow, Mo., and Walhalla, S.C., and Kosciusko, Miss. But you guys, this one takes the cake. Right now, as we speak, I am on Flight 357, this Adventure Tours charter pointed straight south at the moment, headed toward San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, close neighbor of Cabo San Lucas, and no this is no vacation. This is work. Hard work. Because surrounding me at the moment are 22 of the best looking women you'll ever see on one flight, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and me, Mickey Spagnola, must spend seven days in the Baja's southern most city documenting the 27th Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders calendar shoot, and the 12th to one of these tropical locations. Plus, the big boys at the bike rack tell me they wear swimsuits for these shoots. Aw, eat your hearts out. I'm telling, ya, the lengths I'll go to just to entertain you guys, to give you a behind the scenes perspective of another key component of this organization. Now seriously, you're going to find out something about these young ladies who come down here to this Mexican paradise hoping their photo shoot is worthy of a month on the 2005 calendar. What a kick it must be. "You just hold your breath," says third-year veteran Adrianna Butler, who earned a month in this year's calendar. Do the math. There are 22 cheerleaders on this trip. There are just 12 months in a year. Ten don't make it. You would think this would be big-time competition, a lot of cutthroat stuff going on. I mean, after all the reality TV shoved down our throats over the past few years, could you not imagine a lot of sabotaging going on over here the next six days. Stealing your roommates makeup. Maybe turning a sunlamp on the girl next door when she's sleeping to turn her skin a camera-unfriendly beat red. Hiding suntan lotion. Turning off the alarm clock. Just anything to get a, uh, leg up, on the competition; to somehow eliminate 10 people so you're a shoe-in. But so far, I detect none of this pettiness. And from the camaraderie displayed at Gate 35 of DFW International late Saturday afternoon, and then aboard a flight delayed on the ground, sorry, don't think we'll be getting any juicy back-biting like that. Just a lot of All-American stuff. Just a lot of smiles and good nature. Maybe most of all, though, a whole lot of stares if the stay at Gate 35 and the welcome party on the beach of the Melia Cabo Real Saturday night are true indications. No, no, not me, and certainly not the three photographers, the makeup artists, hair stylists or the TV camera crew all on this trip. The cheerleaders. Come on guys, you have seen them on the sidelines at Texas Stadium. You've seen them on stage. You've seen footage of their USO Tours. You don't dress 22 of 'em up in heels and leg-enhancing skirts, prance through an airport and onto a charter flight, and then onto this beach without being noticed. Please. Funny thing happened at the check-in counter at DFW. Two couples were in the process of checking in, and the ladies of the group were feeling pretty good about themselves, thinking they were looking pretty spiffy, and you know, maybe they were. But darn, should have seen their jaws drop when they got to the gate to find 22 of Dallas' finest sitting there waiting for the same flight. Then there was this guy sitting with his female partner at the gate. Oh, probably in his mid 30's. He couldn't help but watch the parade of legs going into the women's room as we waited for our flight crew to clear customs for its return trip to Mexico. He evidently had been so mesmerized by the cheerleaders, when he got up to go to the bathroom, darn if he didn't walk right past me into the women's restroom, much to his chagrin as he embarrassingly walked right back out a few seconds later saying something like, "I must have lost my mind watching them," all leaving his good-natured lady friend laughing with him. Or there was this older, unsuspecting gentlemen sitting next to me at a table on the beach here Saturday night after we arrived, two tables of cheerleaders behind him and two others, Brandi Redmond and Kari Laywell, at our table eating dinner. Summoning all his inspective powers, the guy very discreetly leaned over to whisper, "What is the nature of this trip?" Brings new meaning to paradise, doesn't it pops, and so, too, for the guys here on bachelor's party, probably thinking they had died and gone to heaven about 9 p.m. Saturday. And shy they were not. Ain't life grand. Wish, though, I could have said that about for this other poor soul. While waiting for the ground crew to reposition the luggage under the plane, two Dallas policemen walked past us down the aisle another 10 rows or so, a 50-ish guy in a straw hat their target. A few minutes later, they walked off the uncomfortably air-condition-less jet. But darn if they weren't back five minutes later. Same guy. But this time, Dallas' finest had lost their patience, escorting the guy off the flight. Our friends in the back of the plane said the man, who might have began his vacation in the airport terminal a tad too early, if you know what I mean, had been ragging on the flight attendants about the delay and lack of air conditioning. And he wouldn't quit until . . . . Anyway, just before take-off, the captain thanked everyone their patience, and pointed out there is no "tolerance for any belligerence." Another first for me. But I'm sure this was only the beginning. Like, I've never been to Cabo San Lucas before. Never been to the Baja, or south of Tijuana for that matter. Never been deep sea fishing for Marlin, but plan on doing so if the trip goes off as planned. Never been to a real photo shoot with models, and you should know not only are there photographers here for the calendar and yearbook magazine shoot, but there is a crew of TV cameramen here, too, filming the hour TV special documenting the Cowboys Cheerleaders' shoot to be shown on ESPN and EPSN2 later in the summer in HD for the first time. Man, should have talked myself into this gig long time ago. I mean, DCC director Kelli Finglass and sidekick Judy Trammel don't just go anywhere for these shoots. Last year it was in Cozumel. The year before right here, based at the Melia San Lucas. Before that Aruba. They've shot in St. Kitts, Nevis and Costa Rico, too. And heck, for a guy who watches training camp practice after training camp practice year after year, season of games after season of games, don't think I've even met a Cowboys cheerleader in like forever. Maybe longer. But standing in line to clear security at DFW, one of the young ladies actually recognized me from the website. I kid you not. "Amber," she said, shaking hands. That would be Amber Gosdin. You would know her from this year's calendar. She's the one posing with the stern looking Mexican federales in Cozumel. Then there was Brandi. You would know her from the 2003 calendar cover. She really said she makes a point of listening to me on The Ticket mornings to catch up on her Cowboys news. Get outta here. So here we are, like 50 strong, ready to descend on this resort town, heading to remote mountainous desert locations, beaches and villas to produce the best 12 months you've ever seen in the next six days. And, oh, don't worry, we won't neglect football. I know June 1 is right around the corner, and the Cowboys are sure to make some news. My partner, Nick Eatman, will make sure you guys don't miss a beat. Me, I'll be grinding away down here in Baja California, facing those 4:30 a.m. wakeup calls for sunrise shoots, chasing those sunsets on the beach, being forced into jeeps rolling over rugged terrain for shoots at the hard-to-get places and having to interact with a dozen or so swimsuit-clad cheerleaders on a snorkeling trip. Hard work, but somebody has to do it.