Cheerleaders don’t get enough respect or attention that they deserve. Some cheerleaders have a deeply rooted history with their respective football team.
Here is a look at some of the greatest cheerleaders in football history.
1. New York Jets
Source: New York Jets
Flight Crew in the 1970s.
Denise Garvey approached the jets about creating a cheerleading squad in 2005 but it wasn’t until August 7, 2007, that the Jets Flight Crew was officially together.
The New York Jets relied on a male flag crew who allowed five women to run the flags during the team introductions and after touchdowns and field goals. The women were such a success that more and more flag girls joined the team.
From a modest group of 10 members, they have grown in size every year. They were recognized in the NFL and the Jets community that the Jets organization worked with Marc Ecko to design the uniforms and image for the cheerleaders. They now have a calendar and have made dozens of TV appearances on CBS, ESPN, First Take, Dr. Oz and TLC. Some of the women even made it onto Maxim magazine.
2. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers back in 1984.
The Green Bay Packers were one of the first professional football teams to have a cheerleading squad with them back in 1931. They used the Green Bay East and West high schools’ squads for several of their games before establishing one of their own in 1950.
Packers coach, Vince Lombardi wanted “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.”
Their names have changed over the years from the Packerettes in the 1950s, the Golden Girls (1961-1972), and the Sideliners (1977-1986). Though they eventually disbanded in 1988.
Now the Packers use the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay cheerleaders to help root for them.
3. Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Jills vintage photo.
When they first started back in the 1960s the Buffalo Bills cheerleaders were eight Buffalo State College cheerleaders. In 1967 the Buffalo Jills were officially established and made of up 36 young women in wool uniforms.
In 1995, seeking better pay and more respect, the Jills formed the first cheerleaders union in the NFL.
In 2014, a lawsuit was filed by former Jills who alleged the cheerleaders were not paid for the hours they worked. May 28, 2015, a bill in the New York State Assembly changed the New York State labor law making it clear that the professional cheerleaders are employees of the teams they cheer for.
4. Washington Redskins
50 years of cheerleader outfits.
The Washington Redskins have the longest running cheerleading team in the NFL making their debut on September 30, 1962. They wore Native American costumes and joined the marching band.
Originally called the Redskinettes, they helped the their team raise millions to support local charities and group every year. In the 1980s, they toured China and helped to promote American-made products as well as Turkey, Sicily, Spain, and France.
The First Ladies of Football were also the first cheerleaders in the NFL to from an alumni association and are the largest professional cheerleaders alumni association in the NFL.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
Liberty Belles 1977.
The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders made their debut in 1948. They were the Eagelettes between 1948-1970 and changed to the Liberty Belles from the 1970-80s. Now they are known as the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders.
Some of their notable members are Amie Barsky who is also an actress and Gina Cerilli who was Miss Pennsylvania USA in 2010.
6. San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers vintage photo.
The San Diego Charger Girls became the official cheerleading squad for the Chargers in 1990. They are managed by e2k Event and Entertainment who also manages the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings and the 49ers Gold Rush dancing teams.
They are managed by e2k Event and Entertainment who also manages the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings and the 49ers Gold Rush dancing teams.
They have performed internationally to countries like Germany, Japan and Australia. They entertain troops stationed in the U.S. and abroad and dedicate over 1,000 hours for volunteer work and special events.
7. Miami Dolphins
Miami Starbrites from the 1980s.
The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders were originally known as the Dolphin Dolls, which had a squad of over 125 girls in 1966.
In 1978, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, Joe Robbie, recreated the cheerleading squad and named them the Dolphin Starbrites. These 30 women trained and practiced under June Taylor and wore go-go boots and bathing suits. Over the next few years they continued to change their uniforms but the white go-go boots seemed to stay.
They now have rhinestoned uniforms and their iconic shiny white boots and have been voted the hottest cheerleaders in the NFL.
8. Indianpolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders in 1954.
The Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders were the first squad that was formed the same year as their teams inception in 1954.
Gino Marchetti, former player for the Colts, knew the cheerleaders as “nice girls, great girls who started the idea of cheerleading in the NFL. They really got the stadium rocking. … Other stadiums were like morgues compared to ours.”
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelerettes in 1967.
The Pittsburgh Steelerettes were the first cheerleading squad in the NFL. Established in 1961, the cheerleaders were all full-time students at Robert Morris Junior College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
They continued to cheer for the team until 1969 when their school finally had their own football team.
10. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys established their first cheerleading team in 1960 calling them the CowBelles & Beaux. The squad was made up of male and female cheerleaders.
In the 1970s, Tex Schramm changed the cheerleaders image to boost attendance and created an all-female squad and redesigned their uniforms to be much more revealing. The blouse, vest, and shorts were design by Jody Van Amburgh and are trademarked so that no other cheerleader may duplicate it without permission from the DCC.
They ended up touring with their team across the US and for troops stationed in South Korea.