It’s Super Bowl Sunday 2011, but when the Green Bay Packers kickoff against 2009 NFL champs the Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in just over an hour there’ll be some very familiar — and often half-dressed — staples missing from the sidelines.
Today’s Super Bowl XLV will be the first in the game’s 45-year history sans cheerleaders.
The Packers and the Steelers are two of the six NFL teams that do not have pom-pom squads, according to FOX News. The Packers dissolved their cheerleading franchise in 1988 after market research indicated fans did not really care. Steelers bosses made the “organizational decision” to dissolve The Steelerettes in 1970.
Both NFL teams confirmed they would not be bringing stand-ins to Dallas for the big game.
“They aren’t necessary to a sporting event per se, but cheerleaders have always been a tradition in sports, and some of the teams have become icons in their own right, such as the Laker Girls and the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, which even had their own reality TV show,” says Jamie Beckman, a pop culture expert with SheKnows.com and a former competitive cheerleader.
“[The cheerleading squads] put in long and hard hours working to develop complicated, tumbling and stunt-filled routines that no average athlete could master without serious training. For those squads, cheerleading is definitely a sport any way you slice it,” she added. “For the dance teams, it’s the same thing: They’re professional dancers who work hard on their half-time routines to entertain the crowd. Not just anyone can make those teams.”
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