As football fans at home, we sit back and enjoy grown men physically beating each other up in the most humane way possible. But, if you attend the actual game, there is a sharp contrast between the brutality of the sport, and the beautiful cheerleaders on the sidelines. These women barely get paid to go put on skimpy outfits, perform choreographed dances, and shout synchronized chants, all for your viewing pleasure. It's time we take our eyes off the game for a second, and honor those women who have high-kicked their way into our hearts. NFL cheerleading may not be your typical Bring It On fanfare, but it's still entertaining.
Therefore, we put together a list rating all the NFL cheerleading squads. Call it a "Powder" Ranking of sorts.
Now, not all of these NFL teams have pom-poms, as the Steelers, Browns, Giants, Packers (who use a nearby college squad occasionally), Bears, and Bills (RIP Buffalo Jills circa 2013) are devoid of Rah-Rah's on the sideline. It's time to "be aggressive, b-e aggressive" (yes, this list is filled with every cheerleader pun imaginable), and root for your team as we rank every NFL team's cheerleading squad! Don't worry, we made it easy for you and will link every squads photo gallery for your convenience.
26 Detroit Lions Cheerleaders
At the bottom of the rankings, the Detroit Lions Cheerleaders are the worst squad in the NFL. Yet, that's not for lack of effort. The DLC just became an official squad in 2016, making them the newest troupe to support their team on Sundays. That's not to knock the women in Detroit either, because as you can see from the photo gallery below, these ladies have rockin' bodies, and some mind-boggling moves.
Led by former director of the Detroit Pistons dance team, Rebecca Girard-Smoker, the Lionesses (such a better name) introduction into the league brought out over 300 people for auditions last year. Even Matthew Stafford's wife, Kelly, helped to judge the tryouts! So why has it taken Detroit so long to get some cheerleaders? We'd like to think because fans, let alone cheerleaders, have a hard time rooting for a team that has never made it to a Super Bowl!
25 The Ben-Gals
Unacceptable! Really, Cincinnati, the Ben-Gals? What were you thinking? That has to be one of the lamest puns in all the NFL! Honestly, their name makes it seem like the whole squad used to be women, but now they're not. Like they had once "been gals," and now they are something else. Okay, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but why not just name the team, "The Cincinnati Jungle?" Someone needs to connect me with their PR agent.
Anyway, the Ben-Gals have been existence since 1976, and include notable alumni such as television actress Pamella D'Pella and USA gymnastics coach, Mary Lee Tracy. They also had the oldest cheerleader in the NFL, Lauren Vikmanis, who hung up her pom-poms in 2014 at the ripe age of 44. As you can see from the photo, they are not in sync, and could use a little bit more guidance.
24 Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders
While we have to give some props to the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders for being a progressive group, there are still some horror stories coming out of the practice studio. The Ravens' cheer squad is co-ed, while the women perform the stereotypical dances, the dudes are out their doin' flips. While traditionalists will say that gender equality has no place in the cheerleading world, there's no doubt that their routines are much better with both sexes.
Unfortunately, scandal has rocked the squad over the last few years. Back when the Ravens were in the Super Bowl XLVII, 23-year-old squad member, Courtney Lenz, was banned from the game for being too fat. On top of that, former cheerleader Molly Shatuck was arrested for hooking up with an underage boy, who was her son's friend!The team has an insane amount of rules, and they only get paid $100 per game. We probably should have ranked them last, but professional wrestler and hottie, Stacy Keibler, is one of their alumni, bumping them up a few spots.
23 The First Ladies of Football (Washington Redskins)
First things first, you gotta dig the nickname "First Ladies of Football." Actually, the Redskins organization, as a whole, embodies the country. You've got a white dude in charge, a racist nickname, and smokin' hot women to distract you from all the issues! The squad came into existence in 1962, with the inaugural team terribly nicknamed, the Redskinettes. A year later, they just changed their title to the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. At least someone in Washington realized their mascot was unacceptable, since their original cheerleading outfits were native-themed.
The First Ladies of Football have performed all over the world promoting the sport, and have looked sexy as hell doing it. Some famous alumni are the former Virginia governor's wife, Maureen Gardner, and former Miss Maryland, Michaé Holloman. Let's hope that Dan Snyder wises up, and let's these cheerleaders cheer for Kirk Cousins in the future!
22 Jacksonville ROAR
A for effort, C+ for execution. The Jacksonville ROAR have been ROARing (just let that lame pun slide) on the sidelines since the Jaguars became an NFL franchise in 1995. When Wayne Weaver bought the team back in 1993, his wife, Delores Weaver, took a keen liking to the dancers. She helped design the original outfits, judged the auditions, and even helped choreograph some of the dance routines.
One of ROAR's members, Whitney Cowart, was subjectively and unofficially named the hottest cheerleader in the NFL back in 2014. While we don't disagree with the selection, there are too many babes to choose from, so narrowing it down to just one is downright blasphemy. Also, different strokes, different folks. They are still ranked low in our list because it takes more than one star to carry a team. Just ask Aaron Rodgers!
21 New Orleans Saintsations
Throughout their history, the Saints cheerleaders have gone from one bad sobriquet to another. They started off in 1967 as the Louisiannes, then the Mademoiselles, then the Mam'selles, then the Bonnies Amies, then the Angels, then finally in 1987, they became the poorly christened New Orleans Saintsations. Why not just be "The Fleurs-de-lis?" Honestly, someone has got to get me on their marketing team!
As with other squads, the Saintsations are no stranger to international fame, as they have been to almost every continent, shouting "Go-Fight-Win!", promoting football to the masses. Many participate in charity work around the New Orleans community too. While off-the-field, they are in the top-ten, this is not a good Samaritan contest. While they sport some elegantly revealing outfits in the climate-controlled Superdome, their choreography lacks synchronization, leaving them outside the top 20.
20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders
The Bucs are struggling on the field this year, bringing irony to their mascot, Captain Fear. One bright light on the sideline though are the Tampa Bay Cheerleaders. Well-known by fans for a carousel of outfits, these ladies brave the humidity (and humility) of Raymond James stadium to put on a show for disappointed fans. Some famous alumni from the squad include actresses Victoria Vodar, Brooke Newton, and Darla Delgado. Even the winner of season 6 on The Bachelor, Maribel Liliana Delgado, cheered for the Bucs from 1993-1999.
My one problem with the Buccaneers cheerleading squad is that they butchered their chance at an awesome nickname. Up until 1998, they were known as the Swashbucklers. It was a perfect title, why would they change it? I vote for "The Scarlett Scalawags," but that's just me. Let's hope that these fine young women continue to whip their hair back and forth, since that will probably be the only highlight at the Ray Jay in the coming years.
19 Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders
The squad formerly known as the "Embraceable Ewes" moved with the football team down to SoCal back in 2016. They traded in Midwestern obesity for Hollywood anorexia. Being an LA cheerleader has got to be a difficult job though. These women probably had dreams of becoming actresses, singers, models, but ended up on the sidelines, literally. It was either cheer, wait tables, or head to the valley to be an adult film star. Now, that's probably a little harsh, but both the latter pay a lot more than shaking your pom-poms!
With the Sean McVay taking over Los Angeles in 2017, fans and cheerleaders finally have something to cheer about. Yet, attendance is still at an all-time low at The Coliseum. Ladies, step up your game, bring in some more fans, and grab some more struggling actresses to join the cause!
18 Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders
Originally founded as the Vi-Queens and Parkettes, the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders (or MVC) became the official squad of the Vikings in 1984. With a larger than normal group of 35 members, the squad gathers in U.S. Bank Stadium every home game to root, root, for the home team (normally, they do lose, and it's a shame).
Just like the rest of Minnesota, their cheerleaders are nothing special! From the picture, you can see that their high kicks are on point though. They are beautiful, perform charity work, and give back to the community, but nothing makes them jump of the page. That is why they are ranked in our bottom 10. If you wanted to revamp their image, they should change their name to the Shieldmaidens, who were viking women that chose to fight as warriors. It's a lot better than Vi-Queens!
17 Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders
Time to take our story to South Beach and spotlight the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders. Honestly, Miami should have the largest pool of hotties in all of the USA, but since being a cheerleader pays next to nothing, most women would rather struggle doing something else. Still though, the Magic City has one of the most famous alumni groups in all of the NFL. You've got future models, future reporters, future reality show stars, and even future wife of Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Jeanette Dousdebes, that once danced for the Dolphins.
As you can tell by now, I'm a huge fan of cheerleader puns, yet the Dolphins squad came up short with their witty team names. They started of as the Dolls and then moved on to the Starbrites. Technically, a female Dolphin is a cow, but I don't think that would play over well with the ladies. Why not settle on "The Mermaids?"
16 San Francisco Gold Rush
As you can see from the photo, the Gold Rush get an A for being in sync, but a D for Diversity. The San Francisco Gold Rush celebrated their inaugural year in 1983 and have performed their dance routines all over the world. They have a whopping 40 members patrolling the sidelines, and entertaining fans during breaks in the action. Back in early 2017 though, the ladies of the Gold Rush filed a lawsuit against the NFL for withholding wages, but it was eventually dropped.
The most famous alumna of the Gold Rush is none other than Desperate Housewives and Supergirl actress, Teri Hatcher. She cheered on the 49ers in 1984, and San Francisco won the Super Bowl that year. Coincidence? I think not! Let's start up the conspiracy! Former resident of fictional Wisteria Lane, Teri Hatcher, is the main reason the Bay Bombers won Super Bowl XIX!
15 Seattle Sea Gals
Now this is a solid team name we can get behind. The Seattle Sea Gals have had some famous alums, including Miss Washington 2012, Christina Clarke and The Price Is Right Model, Amber Lancaster, who famously tripped in her high heels on nation television, taking out the stage lights. Just like all the other squads, these ladies have been all over the world, and are a staple on USO tours.
Along with the deafening crowd noise from the "12th man," the Sea Gals entertain fans during home games in the Emerald City every home game. Their lime green outfits are definitely a fan favorite. Good news for the Gals, since Seattle has a minimum wage of $15/hr, they are probably making a lot more than other squads around the NFL!
14 Carolina Topcats
With a bit of Southern charm, the Carolina Topcats come in at number 14 on our NFL Cheerleader "Powder" Rankings. Manager and choreographer, Richelle Williams, runs the Topcats organization, dancing at home games, performing community service, and touting that "practice makes purrfect."
Unfortunately, like many of these other squads, scandal erupted in 2005 when two of the Topcats were caught having sex with each other in a bar down in Tampa. One of them, who was under the legal drinking age, assaulted a fellow patron in the pub, starting a cat-fight. She was charged with giving a false identity and battery, while the other was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Obviously, both cheerleaders were released from the squad, and will no longer be part of the cheer purramid.
13 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders
We move down to the desert for out next selection, the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders, who give their red-breasted mascot a new meaning. In the state's capital, these ladies perform for fans at University of Phoenix stadium during home games, and look damn good doing it. In the offseason, a small group of these women travel around the world as the "Cardinals Show Team," dancing various routines to raise money for chairty.
When it comes to famous alumni, you will never guess who used to be on the squad. Back in the day, Phyllis Smith, who plays Phyllis on The Office, shook her pom-poms for the team! You would never guess it, but she didn't look too bad in her younger years. From dancing on the sidelines to wife of Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration, what a success story!
12 Denver Broncos Cheerleaders
Formerly known as the Pony Express, the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders have been braving the elements of the mountains since 1971. Personally, we think they should be named "The Mile High Club," but that probably wouldn't go over too well with the ladies. Known for their white leather chaps, these cheerleaders come to support their team, snow or shine.
Their alumni network is strong, spanning from beauty pageant winners, to sportscasters, to reporters, but there is one famous alum who we want to highlight. It's the wife of former Denver Bronco quarterback, Jake Plummer! Kollette Klassen and "Jake The Snake" met back in 2005, and got married in 2007. It's a stereotypical 80s sports movie come true. The quarterback bags the head cheerleader, gets married, and lives happily ever after!
11 New England Patriots Cheerleaders
The Patriots can't be the best at everything, that's why we left their cheer squad one spot outside the top-ten, at number eleven in the "Powder" Rankings. It's probably pretty easy being a cheerleader for New England, since Belichick and Brady seem to be in the Super Bowl almost every year. The team of 31 women have been entertaining fans in Gillette Stadium since 1977. Apparently, in 2008, these ladies even boogied overseas in China, helping dancers perfect their routines for the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
In New England, you have Spygate, Deflategate, and now, "Cheergate." In 2011, former Patriots cheerleader, Samantha Baker was busted for possession of large amounts of weed and PEDs, which were used to help her fitness modeling career. Yes, that's right, even the cheerleaders cheat in Foxboro! Oh yeah, let's not forget when ex-cheerleader, Caitlin Davis, graffitied this drunk guy's body!
10 Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders
There must be something in the water down in Nashville, because those country gals are gorgeous! The Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders moved with the team from Houston in 1997, when they were previously known as the Derrick Dolls. Several of the 25 members participate in USO tours during the offseason, and can be seen rocking revealing Titan Blue outfits throughout the year.
While the squad has a few famous alumni who went on to win Miss Tennessee and Miss Mississippi (say that ten times fast), they have a more infamous former member, Elizabeth Garner. Back in 2013, the then 42-year-old wife and mother was charged with unspeakable crimes, involving a 12-year-old child. Garner's defense was weak, saying she mistook the boy for a man. The courts sentenced her to 18 months probation for the incident. Well, that's not so cheery.
9 Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders
Similar to Jake Plummer's story, Matt Schaub decided to ride off into the daylight with former Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader, Laurie Flynn. The two met a golf tournament during Schaub's first stint in Atlanta, and hit it off immediately. But, we are not hear to gush over a love story, we are hear to break down who's the best squad in the land.
That being said, the ladies down in the Dirty South come in at our number nine spot. From 1969-1976, they were originally named the Falconettes, but changed to the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders shortly after. Some former members, such as Kori Lanard, have been caught by the law, running a chop-shop. Others went on to be Playboy bunnies, like Tiffany Fallon, who was the Playmate of the Year in 2005.
8 Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders
We were torn between the Falcons ladies and the Colts squad, but from the pictures, you can see that the Colts Cheerleaders have slightly better rhythm, giving them the edge. The officially-named Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders were the first squad in the NFL, ran by two women in 1954, when the team was still in Baltimore. They have been no stranger to supporting players either, as Peyton Manning had been known to snoop around the ladies, and occasionally bursted into their hotel rooms post-game.
While most of these cheer troupes are famous for the sexy dance moves and tabloid headlines, the Colts cheerleaders actually are a more wholesome bunch. Back in 2012, when coach Chuck Pagano was battling cancer, some members of the squad shaved their heads in solidarity with Indianapolis' skipper. That is the highest moral form of cheerleading ever!
7 Los Angeles Charger Girls
In a year where it seems like every game is an away game for the Chargers (Average Home Attendance: 25,382), the team needs the Charger Girls more than ever! These ladies need to be screaming chants at the top of their lungs in order to drown out the boos from the crowd in LA's Coliseum. Originally marked as the Chargettes, the squad has been one of the most popular spectacles on the sidelines, as the team hasn't been exciting to watch.
In 2016, while the team was still in San Diego, the Charger Girls seemed to be entertaining a little too much, as a security guard was caught on video playing pocket pool on the sidelines. Not sure the legality of this lewd act, but the dude was eventually fired.
6 Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders
Damn, two Midwest teams in the top-ten! They must be feeding those women some special BBQ in the Heart of America. Along with their mascot, K.C. Wolf, the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders continue to light up the endzone in between quarters at Arrowhead Stadium. These ladies pair with a drumline, known as "Rumble," to pump up the crowd. A cheerleader, named Susie, rides out of the tunnel on a horse dubbed "Warpaint" every game as well. No wonder that stadium is one of the loudest in the NFL.
As there are several famous alumni, none have them have gone viral like this cheerleader, who was unexpectedly trucked by a cameraman back in September. Luckily, the top dancer was okay, and continued with her routine. A true professional! On the other hand, someone give that camera operator a roster spot!
5 Oakland Raiderettes
If you hadn't heard of most of these squads, that's okay, neither have I. But the Oakland Raiderettes are one of the most widely-recognized cheerleading troupes in the NFL and come in at number five in the "Powder" Rankings. They have been entertaining the Bay Area for over 55 years, high-kicking their way into Oakland lore. For many years, the Raiderettes sat atop of the NFL Cheerleading pyramid, famously being dubbed "Football's Fabulous Females."
When it comes to popular ex-cheerleaders, the Raiderettes have some of the most famous graduates (and hottest). These women have penetrated all aspects of the entertainment industry. You have Playboy models like Danielle Gamba and Patty Bretton, along with several other models from all walks of life. There were actresses, reality television stars, and even comedians. Even John Elway's wife, Paige Green, used to cheer for the Raiders. What a list!
4 New York Jets Flight Crew
New York was late to the terminal when it came to cheerleading squads. The New York Jets Flight Crew became an official squad in 2007, one year after the Jets Flag Crew was formed. Under supervision of director Denise Garvey, they have danced their way up the rankings to number four. While several of the alumni became reality television stars, there are no real celebrity members, since the team is still in it's early stages.
Even in the squad's infancy, they were not immune to scandal. Hall of Fame quarterback and notorious creeper, Brett Favre, got caught sending nudes to former Jets cheerleader, Jenn Sterger. In one of the photos, Favre was even pleasuring himself - while wearing a pair of Crocs. Come on, man! No one wants to see that, and I guess the act makes it worse.
3 Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders
E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles! Philadelphia has a lot to cheer for this year, except the fact that Wentz is out for the season. On a lighter note, their cheerleaders crack the top three of the NFL "Powder" Rankings! Formerly the Liberty Belles in the 1970s, the Eagles Cheerleaders rock the Linc on Sundays, mesmerizing thousands of otherwise hostile Philly fans. Some notable alumna include wife of former Phillies Star, Ryan Howard, Krystle Campbell, and softcore porn star, Beverly Hubscher!
Up until 2002, visiting NFL teams in Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia's former arena, held a secret; there was a peep-hole looking into the Eagles Cheerleader locker room! Eventually, the ladies brought up a lawsuit, and were able to retain their privacy. What were these NFL players thinking? They aren't in middle school anymore.
2 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
You probably thought the Cowgirls were going to get top spot, but they only come in at number two! The DCC women are regarded as the most popular of all the cheer squads, making appearances in television, film, late night, game shows, and they even have had their own reality show on CMT, titled Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. During the course of the program, cameras follow these sideline hopefuls as they audition to make the team. There is drama, heartbreak, joy, and the occasional wardrobe malfunction!
The trademark vest and western garb have been a staple in DFW since the DCC's inaugural year in 1960, when they cheered as the Cowbelles. Their alumni network is expansive, spanning several industries, from modeling, to television, to movies, to reality shows, to politics, to pageant winners, to members of the Pussycat Dolls! The only way to appreciate these ladies true talent is catch them during their halftime routines in "The House That Jerry Built" on Sundays!
1 Houston Texans Cheerleaders
Down in Texas, cheerleading is as common as Whataburger and cowboys. These ladies grow up dreaming of leading their squad to states, dedicating their lives to supporting the team. That's why we have chosen the Houston Texans Cheerleaders as the number one squad in the NFL "Powder" Rankings. Move over Dallas, there is a new queen in the Lone Star state!
These women are gorgeous! Despite constant disappoint from the football team, fans still regularly attend games at NRG Stadium, and we like to think the cheerleaders make the pain of defeat a little better. Even Olympic gold medalist and America's sweetheart, Simone Biles, joined the squad late in 2017, making her the most famous cheerleader currently shaking her pom-poms on the sidelines! Her tumbling skills in the floor routine have translated to some crazy stunts during their routines. Good for you, Simone!
Well, that's it, from worst to first. Stay tuned in the future for an updated "Powder" Rankings! In the meantime, go out there and show some NFL team spirit.