Green Bay Packers Cheerleaders
Golden Girls Cheerleaders
Over the course of 57 years, the Green Bay Packers organization used a number of different cheerleading squads.
The girls supported the team from the sidelines of places such as Lambeau Field and City Stadium, and they were also involved in community work.
Given the dedicated nature of Packers fans, the teams cheerleaders are still fondly remembered, even though they are no longer around.
Green Bay Packers Cheerleaders History
The franchise started using cheerleaders in 1931, making them one of the first pro teams to do so. For several games during the season, cheerleaders from Green Bay East and Green Bay West high schools were invited to cheer the Packers on to victory.
In the 1950s, Packers coach Vince Lombardi approached Mary Jane Sorgel about putting together a professional squad to cheer for the team. We werent the Dallas Cowgirls, Sorgel once said in an interview. We were wholesome Midwest girls, because Vince Lombardi did not like real short skirts. He liked the girls to be more modest, so thats the way we were.
Introducing Green Bay Packers Cheerleading
The Packers first pro cheerleading squad was known as the Green Bay Packerettes, and they were active throughout the 1950s and up until 1961. In that year, the squad changed their name to the Golden Girls, a moniker lifted from running back Paul Hornungs nickname of The Golden Boy.
Golden Girls Cheerleaders
The Golden Girls lasted until 1972, and the first group was comprised of 16 girls from Sorgels dance studios. According to Sorgel, The girls I had on the field did more than just cheering. They did tumbling; I had some national baton twirling champions and dancers, and, of course, the pom girls. We were very colorful.
A multi-talented squad, The Golden Girls did routines in high-heeled boots and one-piece sequined swimsuits.
They also performed skits to entertain the crowd, as well as dancing, twirling and acrobatics. In 2007, the Golden Girls were honored with a permanent spot in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
Packerettes Cheerleaders – Green Bay Sideliners
Another name change came in 1977, when the Packerettes were changed to the Green Bay Sideliners. In 1986, each girl on the squad received a $10 check per game.
End of Professional Cheerleaders at Lambeau Field
In the late 80s, the Green Bay Packers cheerleaders were hovering on the brink of extinction. A television news poll was held to determine their fate, and fans seemed generally split over the issue, with 50% for and 50% against.
Following the 1986 season, Packers Vice-President of Administration, Bob Harlan, issued the following statement, In general terms, the poll disclosed there were as many fans who expressed opposition to the return of the cheerleaders as there were those in favor of restoring them. On that basis, we felt the appropriate decision at this time would be to continue without them.
Cheerleaders from the 1986 season received a letter from Bob Harlan. It informed them that the franchise would continue without cheerleaders, and the Sideliners never performed again.
A Return to College Cheerleaders
After getting rid of their professional squad, the Packers turned to college cheerleaders. Each year, coed squads from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and St. Norbert College take turns cheering at Packers games.