A National Football League game would not be the same without the cheerleaders. The beautiful women dancing along the sidelines have become a staple of the professional football game day experience, for fans in the stadium and those watching on television alike.
While organized cheerleading began in the late nineteenth century as an all-male activity, these days it’s the gorgeous women who make NFL cheerleading the attraction it is today. Cheerleading may seem ubiquitous in the NFL, but there are seven teams that do not have cheerleaders at all. The Buffalo Bills, the Chicago Bears, the Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers, the New York Giants, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are all, sadly, lacking even a single cheerleader on their sidelines.
Thankfully, the other 25 teams of the NFL do have cheerleading squads. Although you may only see them with their pom-poms (invented, by the way, in 1965) on Sundays during the games, NFL cheerleaders actually have busy schedules with charity events, corporate appearances, and grueling practices to perfect the routines for the eight home games each team has per season.
Some NFL cheerleaders have made the news recently, filing lawsuits against their teams for wage theft, poor working conditions, and humiliating hygiene and beauty practices, including a “jiggle test.”
Cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Buffalo Bills have all filed lawsuits against their teams this year. On Monday, a former cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers filed suit against the Bucs, accusing the team of paying her less than $2 an hour for the two seasons she worked for the team. The lawsuits involving the Bills and their cheerleaders, the “Jills,” were enough for the cheerleading team to cancel the 2014 season. The Jills had been dancing on Buffalo’s sidelines since 1966.
While these cases are not yet resolved, cheerleader preparation for the upcoming NFL season is already underway. When the teams take the field for week one of the season in early September, there will no doubt be dozens of beautiful cheerleaders on the sidelines to make the game more enjoyable for fans.
Debate rages among fans about which of the teams have the best-looking cheerleaders, and while it’s unlikely everyone will agree on that issue, here’s a list of what we consider the ten hottest cheerleader teams in the NFL.
10. Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders
The Arizona Cardinals cheerleading team was founded in 1988, when the team was known as the Phoenix Cardinals. The Cardinals Cheerleaders dance at the University of Phoenix Stadium during home games, and the team has a sexy red and white color scheme for its uniforms. Phyllis Smith, the actress who plays Phyllis Lapin-Vance on the television show The Office, was a member of the old St. Louis Cardinals cheerleading team, before the team moved to Arizona.
9. San Diego Charger Girls
You can’t miss the Charger Girls during home games at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Decked out in their signature dark blue and white two-piece uniforms, the Charger Girls are a beautiful attraction in sunny San Diego. When the Chargers switch to their throwback powder blue uniforms, the Charger girls switch colors as well.
8. Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders
The Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders are famous for their annual swimsuit calendar, and for good reason. Twenty-five of the most beautiful women in Tennessee make the cut to perform at LP Field on Sundays. The Titans Cheerleaders employ a beautiful light blue, red, and white uniform color scheme.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders have some of the skimpiest uniforms in all of NFL cheerleading, not that anyone is complaining. The Bucs Cheerleaders dance at home games in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, and wear an appropriately swashbuckling black, grey, and red color scheme to complement the pirate look of the Bucs. Maribel Liliana Delgado, the winning woman on The Bachelor season 6 TV series, was a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders for much of the mid-1990’s.
6. Oakland Raiderettes
Another pirate-themed cheerleading squad comes next on our list. The Oakland Raiderettes make the Raiders’ classic silver and black look even better than the players do. The squad bills itself as “football’s fabulous females,” and with good reason. The Raiderettes dance during home games at O.co Coliseum in Oakland.
5. Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders
Originally known as the amateur group the Dolphins Dolls, the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders were officially formed as a professional squad in 1978. The Dolphins Cheerleaders dance at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, and are also busy off the field, with an annual swimsuit calendar and regular United Service Organizations trips. Like the Dolphins themselves, the Dolphins Cheerleaders wear an attractive teal, orange, and white color scheme for their uniforms.
4. Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders
The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders have a very rich history. The team was first formed in 1948 as the Eaglettes, and then was known as the Liberty Belles in the 1970’s. It wasn’t until a decade later that the team took on its current name of simply the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders. The team is famous for its swimsuit calendar, its best-selling Android app, and its green, black, and white uniforms designed by Vera Wang. The team dances at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
3. Houston Texans Cheerleaders
The Houston Texans Cheerleaders were formed in 2002 alongside the Texans football expansion team that same year. The Texans Cheerleaders are known for their annual swimsuit calendar and their gorgeous red, white, and blue cowgirl-style uniforms. The team dances at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
2. Denver Broncos Cheerleaders
Cheerleaders for the Broncos have gone by several names throughout the years. First there were the Bronkettes, then the Bronco Belles, then the Pony Express. The cheerleading team then disbanded entirely in 1980 after two of its cheerleaders posed topless in Playboy. The team was reconstituted in 1993 as the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders after a 13-year absence from the sidelines. Nowadays, the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders dance on home Sundays at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High, wearing orange, blue, and white uniforms.
1. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are unquestionably the most famous cheerleading team in the world. The team was originally formed in 1960 with a male and female team called the CowBelles and Beaux. The Beaux were removed from the team in the 1970’s, and the all-female Cowboys Cheerleaders took on their signature cowgirl uniforms with blue and white tops, white shorts, and long white boots. Today the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders put out a best-selling annual swimsuit calendar and dance home games at the gigantic AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.