O M G!!!
Is there some cruel football god who twisted his fickled finger of fortune into colossal karma and mated two football teams without a cheerleading squad? Stop the insanity!!
Yes, you heard me correctly. Since that first Super Bowl when the Packers punched the Chiefs, 35-10, way back in 1967, none of the big games have been played without a bevy of beauties bouncing along the sidelines. That is until this coming Sunday. Oh, the humanity!
The Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers are two of six teams in the NFL who do not field a cheerleading squad. (The Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, and Detroit Lions, round out this tragedy.) Give a big high five to the other 26 teams that do.
That hasn’t always been the case. The first team in professional football to use cheerleaders was the Green Bay Packers. In 1931 the Packers brought in girls from the Green Bay East and West High Schools to be the teams cheer squad. In 1950 head coach, Vince Lombardi, asked Mary Jane Sorgel, to form a professional squad of cheerleaders. “We weren’t the Dallas Cowgirls,” said Sorgel. “We were wholesome Midwest girls, because Vince Lombardi did not like real short skirts. He liked the girls to be more modest, so that’s the way we were.” That first group was called the Packerettes and performed until 1961 when they changed their name to the Golden Girls.
The Golden Girls were re-named the Green Bay Packerettes in 1973. They again performed under this name until 1977. Another name change came in 1977, when the Packerettes were changed to the Green Bay Sideliners. In 1986, each girl on the squad received a $10 check per game. In 1988, the team announced they were disbanding the squad. In recent years collegiate cheerleaders perform at home games.
Not to be outdone, the Pittsburgh Steelers introduced the Steelerettes in 1961. For the next nine years the cheering squad for the Pittsburgh Steelers took to the sidelines and wrote the book on how to be a cheerleader in pro football. It had to be more than the “Sis-boom-bah” found in collegiate football. When the girls took to the field it was high entertainment with meticulously practiced dance and gymnastic routines. With their knee-length skirts, everything they did, they did with class and style.
Since the big game is in the new Texas Stadium, the House that Jerry Built, you can’t talk about NFL cheerleaders without talking about the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. They single handedly retooled what it meant to be a cheerleader in modern professional sports. Since the big game is in their house they should be putting on a show, but not according to league officials who indicated they have made no arrangements for alternate squads to perform.
Perhaps Fergie of The Black-Eyed Peas will do the half-time show in one of those skimpy cheerleader outfits. That would work for me.
“I’m not a cheerleader. I’m an athletic supporter.” ~Author Unknown