If you were included in the estimated 56% of the United States that watched Super Bowl XLV, you most likely saw a botched national anthem, a hard fought contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the victorious Green Bay Packers, and a bunch of commercials that you either loved or hated. Can you think of something you didn’t see?
No, not another wardrobe “malfunction.” Well, sort of, actually.
Cheerleaders. You didn’t see one single cheerleader. Don’t worry, you didn’t miss them while you ran to the fridge. There just weren’t any there at the big game in Big D. While some are sure to miss the beautiful dancing divas, others are glad they weren’t there.
“We will have a great game – we don’t need eye candy,” Steelers guard Trai Essex said in the days leading up to the game.
Pittsburgh teammate Antwaan Randle El, asked if he cared that there would be no cheer squads on the sidelines, quickly replied, “Yeah, I care – I’m glad they’re not here. They are a distraction. You want to focus on the game. If you happen to look at the [giant overhead screens], it’s “Oh, my Lord!’ Especially in Dallas. They not only have cheerleaders, they have go-go [-style dancers] hanging from poles” on fan-accessible levels of Cowboy Stadium.
It’s not like these teams made the decision to not bring cheerleaders this week, mind you. Both teams have not employed a “full-time” pep squad in approximately 20 years now.
Since the late 1980′s, the Packers have been using cheerleaders from the Green Bay campus of the University of Wisconsin, as well as another local college. These girls, dressed more moderately than most other squads in the NFL, are used only for home games at Lambeau Field.
Likewise, the Steelers use to have their own cheer crew dating back to 40 years ago. That was the last time however, since Pittsburgh gave their girls the ax in 1970.
Whether or not the absence of the girls made an effect on the game is impossible to tell. Apparently it did not effect Packers quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, who threw for 304 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions, respectively. As for the other offensive unit in the game, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made several mistakes that lead to turnovers and, more importantly, points for Green Bay.
As you probably already know, Green Bay won the game 31-25. Is it because the Packers still have some sort of a cheerleading squad? Highly doubtful. Even if both sidelines had 150 cheerleaders each on them, you still only would have seen them during a quick pan-over from a camera during a time out. Perhaps during a return from a commercial break, where the network covers up the entire screen with credit card, beer, or car company logos, and all you can see is some blond hair above it, and kneecaps kicking under it.
All we’re saying is that we didn’t even notice the cheerleader’s absence until we read articles about it the day after the game. So that should say something as to their importance. Football purists and modern casual fans will disagree on this point until the end of time. Feel free to throw in your two cents in the comments below.
- Green Bay Packers Win Super Bowl XLV Against Pittsburgh Steelers Final Score 31 to 25 (brainz.org)
- Green Bay schools close early to cheer Super Bowl win – Reuters (news.google.com)
- Green Bay Packers Hold Off Pittsburgh Steelers for Super Bowl XLV Win (bleacherreport.com)
- Factbox: Key facts on Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers(reuters.com)
- A Super Bowl oddity: No cheerleaders for Packers or Steelers – USA Today (news.google.com)