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Why No Cheerleaders at the Super Bowl 2011? Here is the Reason!

By Sunny Chanel |

My young daughter, she does not get the whole football thing. It just doesn’t make sense to her. The only enjoyment she finds in watching any amount of an NFL match up are the wacky mascots and watching the “really pretty” cheerleaders.  We don’t promote “cheerleader-ness” in our home, but the girl knows what she likes, and she likes a shouting gal with pom poms.  So she will end up being quite disappointed this Sunday when mom and dad are watching the Super Bowl and there is nary a shiny pom pom is sight. Why? Because the NFL has decided not to include cheerleaders into the Sunday Super Bowl program for the first time in it’s 45-year history. What’s the reason for this, you may wonder? The reason is simple. Neither the Green Bay Packers nor the Pittsburgh Steelers currently has a cheerleading squad.  The Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders offered their services to do their rah rah rah thing, but since they are not affiliated with either of the teams actually playing in the Super Bowl, they weren’t allowed to cheer. The head cheerleader said, “The NFL just won’t let us. They’ve covered up every star, every Dallas Cowboys logo, so we’ll be performing outside before the game.”

But there was a time when the Steelers and the Packers had cheerleaders. The Green Bay Packers had a squad called the the Packerettes, Golden Girls, or the Sideliners, depending on who you talked to, who disbanded back in 1988. In the recent past they have brought in college-level cheerleaders to entertain at the home games and at past Super Bowl appearances, but not this time.

Long ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers had their own squad called the “Steelerettes.” They formed back in 1961 but were sacked just eight years later in 1969 by the Rooney family, who owns the team. The family, as well as some of the players, feel that the “eye candy” takes away from watching the game itself. Pittsburgh wide receiver Antwaan Randle El recently said about cheerleaders, “They are a distraction. You want to focus on the game. If you happen to look, it’s ‘Oh, my Lord!’ Especially in Dallas — they not only have cheerleaders, they have go-go dancers hanging from poles.”

Will you — or your cheerleading little girls — miss the cheerleaders at this year’s Super Bowl? Or do you think cheerleaders, an American tradition, sends the wrong message to young girls?

Photo: Silver and Blue Report

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About Sunny Chanel

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Sunny Chanel

Since 2007 Sunny Chanel has written thousands of pieces for Babble. She currently writes for Babble's celebrity, moms, and Disney voices sections and has her own blog aptly named Sunny Chanel. You can find Sunny on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sunny's latest posts →

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14 thoughts on “Why No Cheerleaders at the Super Bowl 2011? Here is the Reason!

  1. Cindy says:

    I agree. These are not cheerleaders. They are plastic looking fake boobed stripper dancers.
    Actually, the teams are good enough that their people cheer because of the football talent, not because some bimbos are dancing around half naked.
    Its time to get rid of them. They are embarrasing to women.

    Can you imagine what would happen if almost naked men swung their testicles around to get people to cheer? Thats really what it looks like to intellegent women. ITs 2011.

    If your daughter is excited watching them, then you are not a great role model as a mother. Maybe you can teach her to use her brain instead of gyrating around to get attention…

  2. TJR says:

    Neither team had cheerleaders going in to the game, and that is totally valid for those franchises. However, what is NOT o.k. and frankly a little odd, are some of the comments being made by corporations (check Twitter #superbowl and note the “sponsored” tweets from @VisaNFL), they have an effectual “sorry charlie” to all NFL cheerleaders post about not being in the Superbowl today.
    That is not even necessary, and for a corporation, definitely not a smart move. Let us remember a few things, first, that many World leaders were cheerleaders, even Presidents (male) AND that even Fergie who is performing today at the Half time show was one. Most football cheerleaders know as much, if not more about the game going on today than the average viewer I can guarantee you that…and cheerleading as some other unbalanced articles have unfortunately written, is about a lot more than just “sis boom bah” (who even says that?) one thing (of many) that I learned from cheerleading competitively for 10 years is doing what you love no matter what other people think of you or what you’re doing!!! A very valuable life lesson and interesting, because I’m certain 90% of the guys on that field, the franchise owners and the performers at the half time show were told they were crazy to ever think they would be where they are now, how what they’re doing isn’t “practical” “world-changing” or “necessary” and yet that’s celebrated and they’re doing it anyway!

  3. TJR says:

    P.S. so obviously, (there are male and female cheerleaders…President Bush) especially competitvely but as far as NFL cheerleaders, what message do they send to little girls…a better one than a lot of other “industries” we could say the same thing about actors, singers, dancers, and performers of all kinds. How about asking our little girls how they feel about Mom or Dad losing their job because of high powered financialy industry professionals who took a ton of money and ran??? It falls to parents, what does being a football player say to our young boys? You’re not valid or cool unless you play a game that will most likely take your knees, and might even paralyze or kill you? It’s no different.
    Thanks for including the quote from the player, keeps it balanced :D

  4. commonoperation says:

    I’m from Pittsburgh. I worked at Heinz field for two weeks doing random stuff with Landmark. (This included pat downs, which were not fun at all.) I noticed that some of the dudes had more fun jobs that included standing around and bullshiting and running money in big carts from here to there. Their job required going on the feild though. Which, posed as a problem for me. I wasn’t allowed to conduct that job as a female because, with the exception of female reporters, I was told, women were not allowed on the field for the whole “distraction reason”-thank’s to the Rooney’s. The fact that I look like a teenage boy only adds a little bit of comic relief to this story. Needless to say, I was disgusted and quit soon thereafter. Haven’t worn a Steeler’s shirt since.

  5. chester kaczynski says:

    Yeah, Right! Cheerleaders devalue women. Maybe, maybe not. But, then, what does LIL’ WAYNE do? Exude common household values? I don’t think so. I’m turning off the TV and playing scrabble during the half time rather than stomach the likes of Lil’ Wayne.

  6. Brittany says:

    “Cindy” is one ignorant piece of work. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have never spotted a “stripper pole” on an NFL football field during a game or any other time for that matter; nor have I ever seen one of the NFL cheerleaders strip down and get naked. These girls are not “bimbos” and most of them have or are in the progress of receiving college educations–more education that you will most likely ever be able to absorb, Cindy. Just because these girls have suggestive moves in their routines and have racier outfits does not make them “bimbos”. I’ve seen more suggestive outfits and moves on Dancing With the Stars, but I bet according to your skewed standards those girls aren’t “bimbos”, right? Dancing has been seen as an art form for years and that it exactly what these girls are doing. They’re not only exercising their right to dance, but their right to be strong, confident women and I don’t think that’s anything to look down on. To assume that these girls are bimbos just because they are attractive, good dancers, and wear outfits that are apparently too racy just because they don’t cover the abdomen is to say that every person who wears a cowboy hat and listens to country music is an unintelligent hick, or that every man who puts on a business suit is smart and successful. I would venture to assert that any woman who has a problem with these girls obviously has an issue with her own self confidence and is most likely jealous that they could never achieve such an accomplishment. Contrary to popular belief, NFL cheerleaders aren’t even making that much money, so they’re doing what they love because they love to do it and are happy with it’s self-fulfilling effects. The fact that you want to take a stab at the author’s status as a mother just because her daughter looks up to these girls is a whole different story. Cheerleaders are not bimbos. I was a cheerleader for 10 years, recently received my bachelor’s in political science at UCLA and am now working on my law degree at Stanford. In addition, I have always been driven, true to myself, and have upheld morals, including the fact that I was a virgin until I was 21 when I decided to share that with a man I had been dating for a several months and who I was deeply in love with. I’m not saying that every cheerleader is like me, but I’m not saying every cheerleader isn’t. People are going to be who they are going to be, regardless of what they enjoy doing. This is the same reason there are bishops who decide to play with little boys or doctors who end up cheating on their wives or cops that end up murdering people. What you do does not dictate what or who a person is. These girls love to dance, and are damn good at it. Putting others down for achieving a position that is sought out by many, especially when it is not at all effecting you personally, only shows that you’re too close-minded to be able to recognize their efforts and feel the need to be negative towards them for no apparent reason. I’m sorry that no one ever thought you were attractive enough or fit enough to be a cheerleader, but that doesn’t mean you have to hate on them for it.

  7. Brevertin says:

    I think cheerleaders are useless. Sure, some cheerleaders went on to do great things, but not as cheerleaders. They add little to nothing to the football experience.

  8. William says:

    Cindy, you’re probably ugly, fat and have no talent. That’s usually the case when another woman bashes cheerleaders. Some of the cheerleaders I’ve known over the years are extremely smart and work hard at what they do. I knew one that had a big corporate job making big bucks during the week and was still an NFL cheerleader on the weekends where she only made like 50 bucks a game. In high school, I remember most of the cheerleaders had a higher GPA than I did, and most of them were honor students. So, get off your high horse Cindy and hit the treadmill.

  9. TC says:

    People cheering for the team on the sidelines is fantastic. The fact that they wear less and less clothing every year sends a terrible message to our young females and males. We all know that. So, how about they put some more clothes on and cheer for the team? If anyone thinks that they need to wear next to nothing, go to a strip show. This is a football game.

  10. Zeke deNomme says:

    I am a male and was a cheerleader in college; I agree with the Rooney’s but only to a degree… flamboyant attractive females can be a distraction in any scenario. The kind of “cheerleaders” that could be least distracting and most effective would come from an audition that identifies the candidate’s interest and dedication to the team. The goal would not be to select a dance team of distractingly attractive actresses but a capable group of enthusiastic men and women that can actually lead the fans in team cheers like well known pop songs. The Flamboyance comes from their brightly colored androgenous uniforms. With these “leaders” disbursed in small groups along the sideline the fans have an easily located focal point to be guided through chants, cheers, and taunts designed to match specific events if the game. a badge of being a truly participatory fan then becomes your knowledge of the channeled-mob-violence cheers. This conservative basis would not prevent Playboy or Playgirl from finding an occasional ideal physique promotion another level of fan base that still sells tickets…and isn’t the bottom line still the bottom line?

  11. L hill says:

    We didn’t even notice there were no cheerleaders so good for the teams. We watched “Football” and that is what we came to watch!

  12. Kelly says:

    If allowing your daughter to enjoy cheerleaders performing at a football game is being a bad role model for your daughter then I’d like to know what message we’re sending our daughters when the NFL allows Ben Roethlisberger to play in the game when he is suspected of sexual assault not once but twice? He sat out 4 games then the events were swept under the rug and he was lauded for the rest of the season all the way to the Super Bowl. I’m much more concerned about that message than I am concerned about cheerleaders.

  13. erm says:

    I bet it’s really hard to kick in those tiny pants…. I’d be afraid of the so called “wardrope malfunction”… oh well. I think it’s lame to claim that men cannot handle themselves when they see women and that cheerleaders would be a distraction. I do however think the lack of clothes and suggestive camera shots of cheerleaders whenthey are present do a disservice to women and to cheerleaders as a group. They maybe be talented, but no one cares…. so, I’m okw ith not seeing women objectified during the suber bowl this year.

  14. Jenna says:

    I didn’t even notice the lack of cheer leaders until you mentioned it, neither did my husband, our roommate, or any of our kids. That says to me two things, first that they’re not needed (we still managed plenty of cheering and were entertained), and also that they’re not the distraction from the rest of the game that people are claiming them to be.
    Which led me to my third conclusion, that even though I’m not big into the whole idea of cheerleaders, I really don’t care.

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