The National Football League has become increasingly popular in recent years. The league features amazing athletes, outstanding plays, and often dramatic finishes; these are just a few of the reasons that football has become the most popular sport in America and is catching on in other markets as well. However, one aspect that often gets overlooked is the lovely ladies on the sidelines known as cheerleaders.
These women are incredible athletes who the “p” in pep. Moreover, cheerleaders are often some of the most beautiful females you’ll ever see. It’s fair to say the NFL just wouldn’t be the same without them.
From its humble beginnings in 1877, to its rise to prominence in the 20th century, cheerleading has become something of a worldwide phenomenon. In fact, over 4 million people participate in cheerleading in the United States alone. Its popularity is one of the many reasons that the majority of NFL teams have created their own cheerleading squads. Moreover, readers may also be surprised to find out how many famous females were professional cheerleaders at one point.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at the 15 hottest cheerleading squads in the National Football League today.
Did your favorite team’s squad make the cut?
15 New England Patriots Cheerleaders
The New England Patriots have been the most successful team over the last decade in the NFL. They also happen to have a very attractive cheerleading squad.
The squad was originally formed all the way back in 1977. The New England Patriots cheerleaders are involved in the community and have been known to make various off-field appearances with the team’s lovable mascot Pat Patriot. The group, like other cheerleading squads, also has their calendar which is released on an annual basis. In 2008, China opted to use The New England Patriots Cheerleaders to train their dancers for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
The squad has several famous alumni including; Miss Rhode Island USA 2009 Alysha Castonguay, professional wrestler Leah Van Dale (aka Carmella), and actress Madelon Curtis.
14 Seattle Sea Gals
The Seattle Seahawks are a team that has been a major player in the NFL in recent years. They also have one of the hottest cheerleading teams you will find anywhere in the National Football League.
The Seattle Seahawks cheerleaders, known as the Seattle Sea Gals, were founded in 1976, the same year the franchise they cheer for was founded. They also have a select group of girls from the squad, that form the Sea Gals Show Group. The Show Group performs overseas and even works with the United Services Organizations, which helps to provide entertainment for members of the US armed forces.
The list of famous Seattle Sea Gals includes: The Price is Right model Amber Lancaster, former Miss Washington USA Christina Clarke, and fitness competitor Julie Shipley-Childs.
13 New Orleans Saintsations
Since their inception in 1967, the New Orleans Saintsations have gone by several different names. They were originally called the Louisiannes, before becoming the Mademoiselles in 1968. The New Orleans-based cheerleaders would change their name in 1971 to the Mam’ selles; followed by Bonnies Amies in 1975. They then went by the Angels in 1978, before finally settling on the New Orleans Saintsations in 1987. So yeah, they had a lot of different names.
The Saintsations have performed overseas on numerous occasions and are known for their annual swimsuit calendar, which is the squad's primary source of revenue. A Saintsation has been featured in the Pro Bowl every season, dating back to 1993.
Surprisingly, despite having been around since the late '60s, the only famous Saintsation thus far is Miss Louisiana 2013, Kristen Girault.
12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleading team was formed in 1976, the same year the Buccaneer franchise joined the league. In the early days, the cheerleaders were referred to as the SwashBucklers, but would eventually drop the name in 1998.
The unit often wears somewhat unique pirate-themed attire. Their current uniform consists of gray and red tops, black boots, and short skirts. That being said, like other cheerleaders throughout the league, they have a variety of alternative uniforms they utilize. Moreover, their annual calendar is a must-see for anyone who appreciates gorgeous cheerleaders.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleading squad has some noteworthy former members. Professional wrestler Christina Crawford (sister of WWE star Alicia Fox), The Bachelor Season 6 winner Maribel Liliana Delgado, and the first female NFL cheerleader with short hair, Bobbie Shay Lee, are some famous former Buccaneer cheer girls.
11 Washington Redskins Cheerleaders
The Washington Redskins Cheerleaders were created in September of 1962. They are considered the lonest running squad using the same name. They were originally called the Redskinettes, but fortunately decided to drop the hideous name after only one season.
Outside of the Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleaders, the Redskin’s unit is arguably the second most famous squad in the NFL. Their cheerleaders have performed in 35 countries including places like Kosovo and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They are also some of the hottest females to ever hold a pair of pom-poms.
Former hurdler and Olympic medalist Maureen Gardner, Miss Maryland USA 2007 Michae Hollman, and Blast! dance member Debbie Barrigan are just a few famous folks who cheered for the Redskins.
10 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are the most famous squad in all of pro football.
The Cowboy’s cheerleaders have been around since the team's creation in 1960. However, back in those days, they were referred to as “CowBelles and Beaux,” and the group was made up of local high school students. In 1969 their name was changed to The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and all male members were removed from the sqaud. By the time 1972 rolled around the squad was made up entirely of adult females, who were selected based on a combination of athletic ability and appearance.
By 1977 the cheerleaders had archived national notoriety for their beauty and were appearing in popular magazines and television shows. In 2006 they were the subject of the reality show Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. Television personality Kristin Holt, NBA scout Bonnie-Jill Laflin, and actress Sarah Shai are just a few of their notable alumni.
9 San Francisco Gold Rush
The San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush Cheerleaders were founded back in 1979. Prior to formally becoming the Gold Rush Cheerleaders, they were known as The Niner Nuggets in the early 1970s. What made the Nuggets unique was the fact that, unlike other squads that focused on dance-like routines, the nuggets were a singing cheerleading squad. In fact, they were the only singing squad in the league at the time.
These days, a group of 32 pro dancers makes up the cheerleading unit, which has been featured on television shows like MTV Extra!,Entertainment Tonight, and The Leeza Show.
A list of famous 49ers cheerleaders would include actress Teri Hatcher, television personality Bonnie-Jill Laflin (who was also a Cowboys Cheerleader), and Survivor: Cagayan contestant Morgan McLeod.
8 Oakland Raiderettes
The Oakland Raiderettes were established in 1961. However, since the Raiders relocated to Los Angles from 1982 to 1995 and the squad, for obvious reasons, decided to change their name to the Los Angles Raiderettes. The squad calls themselves “Football's Fabulous Females.”
The Raiderettes who are currently coached by Jeanette Thompson, are some of the best looking females one can expect to find on a professional football field.
The Oakland based Cheerleading team has a long and impressive list of well-known alumni. Model Erica Arana, MADtv cast member Anjelah Johnson, and TV fitness instructor Kiana Tom are just a few famous Raiderettes that folks may have heard of. There are also several former Playboy models including Danielle Gamba and Patty Brenton who have previously cheered for the Raiders.
7 Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders
The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have been around since 1966. They were originally known as the Dolphin Dolls, before changing their name to Dolphin Starbrites in 1978. In 1984 they decided to simply go by the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, which is the name they use today.
Like other squads, the girls from Miami have their own swimsuit calendar and also travel to entertain the United States armed forces during the offseason. However, one thing that makes them unique is the fact that they send alumni every year to the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is a professional cricket league.
The Dolphin’s cheer squad’s famous alumni include; National Geographic and History Channel host Mireya Mayor, Univision reporter Pamela Silva Conde, and The Amazing Race contestant Jamie Faith Edmonson.
6 Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders
The Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders got started back in 1961.They changed their name to the Chiefettes in 1971, before going back to the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders (their current name) in 1986. It was originally a co-ed squad but eventually switched to an all-female group in the early 1970s. A Cheerleader named Susie used to ride a horse named “Warpaint” onto the field prior to every game, but the tradition ended in 1989. However, “Warpaint” would return for the Chiefs 50th-anniversary celebration in 2009.
The Chiefs cheerleaders do appearances for the US military and have a fairly large junior cheerleading program as well.
Their famous alumni include a man named Krazy George Henderson; a member of a national championship-winning judo team and the man who invented the wave. MMA fighter Rachel Wray was also a cheerleader for the team.
5 Denver Broncos Cheerleaders
The Bronco Belles, the team’s first cheerleading squad, debuted back in 1971. They would go on to be known as the Pony Express before disbanding in 1980. After being sidelined for roughly 13 years, the Broncos organization decided to bring cheerleaders back in 1993, this time calling them the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders.
The squad is known for their unique Western-style uniforms which include leather chaps. They also have an extensive junior cheer leading program. Moreover, the team claims to commit 1,000 hours a year at various charity events in the state of Colorado.
CBS Sports Network’s Laura Gardner, ESPN reporter Michelle Beisner, and former Miss Colorado (2001) Katee Donald are all former Broncos Cheerleaders. Ex-Broncos Quarterback Jake Plummer is married to a former cheerleader, Kollette Klassen.
4 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders
Having previously been the St. Louis and Phoenix Cardinals Cheerleaders, the team pretty much goes by whatever city the franchise they represent is currently playing for. The squad was originally established in 1964 back when they played in St. Louis.
A few select members of the squad make up what is known as the “Cardinals Show Team.” The show team does appearances at various events and performs songs by groups like the Beach Boys.
Hooters calendar girl Sarah Coggins and Miss Arizona (2004) Danielle Demski are both former Cardinal cheerleaders. However, the most famous Cardinal Cheerleading alum is Phyllis Smith, who played the role of Phyllis on the hit television show The Office. Smith cheered for the team back when they were the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1970s.
3 Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders
The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading squad has been around, in one form or another, since 1948. They started out as the Eaglettes before becoming the Liberty Belles. It was during the 1980s that the squad officially became known as The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders, and began to resemble the unit they put on the field today.
Barbara Zaun is the coach (or squad director) and a former Miss America title holder. She worked with girls during their appearance at Super Bowl XXXIX back in 2005. They also have a team calendar, which unlike some other team, can be purchased on Android and iOS.
Despite having roots dating back to the late 1940s, the Eagles don’t have many famous alumni. Adult film star Beverly Hubscher is their most famous former member.
2 Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders
The Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders have been around since the franchise's inception in 1998. They have the unique distinction of being the National Football League’s only co-ed squad.
With 48 members the Raven’s have one of the largest squads in the league. The team also has a “Lil Ravens” summer program for kids; it is the only NFL summer cheerleading program that boys can participate in. Much like many of the other squads in the league, the Ravens' cheer team does promotional appearances and has their own swimsuit calendar.
Being one of the newer teams in the league, the Ravens don’t have a ton of famous ex-cheerleaders. However, former WWE star (and George Clooney's ex) Stacy Keibler was once a proud member of the organization.
1 Carolina Topcats
The Carolina Top Cats came into the league with the Carolina Panthers in 1995. They currently perform for the Carolina faithful at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A couple of the Top Cats made headlines back in 2005 for a drunken incident that took place in Tampa, Florida. The two allegedly engaged in lewd acts with each other at the bar. Moreover, one the drunk girls (who was also under the legal drinking age) also allegedly hit a patron in the face. One of the cheerleaders was charged with battery. However, both girls were kicked off the squad for violating the Top Cats' code of conduct.
Kimberly Coon, a NASCAR spokeswoman and contestant on Season 15 of The Bachelor is the most famous Top Cat thus far.