The League

Brandon Benson
Packers Blogger

Brandon Benson

Brandon Benson is the lead blogger at Acme Packing Company.

Don't Pack It in

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My favorite team has long since abandoned their official cheerleaders. The Green Bay Packers disbanded their squad in 1988, although the squads from St. Norbert College and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay perform during home games. Many years of sold out games and a decades-long waiting list for season tickets at Lambeau Field is proof that fans are buying tickets to watch the game and not the official cheerleaders. Maybe the bitter cold in Green Bay is enough to discourage cheerleaders, although that didn't stop the Bikini Girls from catching national attention during the 2007 playoffs. Packer fans still like to watch cheerleaders, and other scantily clad girls, but overall the team has done just fine without official ones. Other teams could probably do without them too. As the NFL continues to expand their fan base, it might help them to do away with a part of the game that might not appeal to some of these prospective fans.

Despite all that, I hope the day never comes that cheerleaders aren't on NFL sidelines. I admit that I always watch the gratuitous shot of a cheerleader as the network comes back from a commercial break. I admit to lingering over the cheerleader pictures posted on many NFL websites, and watching glimpses of various cheerleader tryouts on the NFL Network. For me, cheerleaders and the NFL are forever intertwined. A year before I became a devoted fan of the Green Bay Packers, I watched the classic Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders TV movie starring Jane Seymour and Bucky Dent. It might reflect poorly on my parents that they let their 8 year old son watch a show with so many cheerleaders and so much bad acting, but it also made me believe that the cheerleaders were just as important to the NFL as the players.

My opinion has changed since my early formative years. I realize that cheerleaders aren't as important as they seemed to me back in 1979. Now I watch the NFL for the game itself. On my website devoted to the Green Bay Packers, Acme Packing Company.com, you won't find a single post with the latest cheerleader picture or video. That's not my style. But part of me will always remember that in my personal NFL chronology, I was aware of the cheerleaders before I understood anything else about the game. And I hope they never leave it.

By Brandon Benson  |  September 2, 2009; 8:35 AM ET  | Category:  Brett Favre , Cheerleaders , Green Bay Packers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Cheer For What? | Next: Are We Serious Here?

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As a football fan, when my young daughter is sitting next to me, I hate watching her watch the cheerleaders. It'd be one thing if the cheerleaders were actually a team that accomplished something in competitions. However as side-line candy -I want my daughter to think more of women than that. It's hard to ask girls to identify with women in some ways but then not as sexual objects.

Posted by: Peg__Jo | September 3, 2009 12:22 PM

Maybe this should be like the Kansas-Missouri act.

Teams south of the Mason-Dixon line get to keep their cheerleaders, and west coast teams get to choose for themselves.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | September 3, 2009 3:15 PM

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