OK, color me surprised – Darren Rovell of NBC’s SportsBiz, recently released his list of the NFL’s top 10 best cheerleading squads and nowhere on that list was the squad that works their butts off at every home Green Bay Packers game.
Check out Rovell’s list … it’s eye candy to the max.
But my argument is that these gals (no, I didn’t see a single dude) are not cheerleaders – they are dancers. No doubt they are skilled dancers. They can shake with the best of them and to watch their synchronization is well worth the time. Not only do these “cheerleaders” entertain the crowds across the league during halftimes, time outs, and probably before and after each game, but they have their own websites, swimsuit photo shoots, personal trainers and many other marketing ventures that make them well-known within their cities and football communities.
And to become a member of these groups is indeed a highly competitive venture. Have you ever seen the reruns of the programs about some of these units on the NFL Network? They are broadcast seemingly nonstop throughout the offseason when most dudes are back into baseball mode.
Anyway, my point here is that while this is a great list put together by Rovell, nowhere mentioned are the “real” cheerleaders that represent the Green Bay Packers.
We know why.
It’s because they don’t wear the near-nothingness the other units don; it’s because they don’t shake those pom pons (and other accoutrements) that the other units do; It’s because they don’t have their own swimsuit calendars; it’s because they don’t have their own websites with individual pictures, team pictures or videos.
No, that’s because the cheerleaders who represent the Packers are just that – cheerleaders from local universities – UW-Green Bay and St. Norbert’s College – who come up with their own routines, shout through megaphones and yes, they even toss one another into the air. Oh yeah, there are also dudes who are members of the squad!
And damn, they put together one hell of a pyramid while shouting “GO PACK GO!”
According to Wikipedia, the Packers have a long tradition of putting cheerleaders on the field:
Packers coach Vince Lombardi notified Mary Jane Sorgel that he wanted her to organize a professional cheerleading squad. Lombardi wasn’t clear about exactly what he wanted, but he was clear about what he didn’t want. “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.”
The first professional squad was named the Green Bay Packerettes. They were later renamed the Golden Girls, renamed back to the Packerettes, and later the Green Bay Sideliners. The Packers last had professional cheerleaders in 1988.Green Bay television station WFRV did a poll and found that approximately 50% of fans wanted cheerleaders and 50% did not. Packers Vice President Bob Harlan issued a press release, stating “In general terms, the poll disclosed there were as many fans who expressed opposition to the return of the cheerleaders as there were those in favor of restoring them. On that basis, we felt the appropriate decision at this time would be to continue without them.” College cheerleaders now cheer on the sidelines for the team.
Is there any other NFL franchise with anything similar to the Packers’ unit? Not that I’m aware. Even the “cold weather” New England Patriots have a professional “dance” team (the team that’s number one, according to Rovell – yes, they beat out the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders who finished in second place – sorry to wreck the suspense).
So, the next time you attend a Packers game, pay close attention to this unit. Heck, you might even want to cheer along with them – especially when they get the crowd chanting “Green Bay” by holding up placards on each side of the stadium to allow for a good old-fashioned competition for which side yells the loudest.
Now, that’s cheering! That’s why they deserve some love. And that’s why when they aren’t mentioned in the top 10 cheerleading units in the NFL,.
They need to have just a little bit of recognition.
Thanks, gals and guys for all you do. You are appreciated.
Tags: Bob Harlan Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Darren Rovell Go Pack Go Green Bay East High School Green Bay Packerettes Green Bay Packers Green Bay Sideliners Green Bay West High School Mary Jane Sorgel NBC's SportsBiz New England Patriots NFL NFL Cheerleading Squads NFL Network Vince Lombardi WFRV Wikipedia