America’s Best (And Worst) Cheer Squad Team Names

“I feel more connected to my team and engaged in this sporting event for reasons totally unrelated to arousal!”

~American Males Watching Cheerleaders at a Sporting Event

Nothing celebrates the flower of American womanhood quite like cheerleading.  We take athletic, energetic, scantily clad women, and have them hypnotize predominantly male audiences at sporting events into learning how to spell team names.  We also decided to create a bitter, occasionally violent, rivalry between them and girl volleyball players, because hey, cat fight.  It’s a beautiful tradition that our nation embraces wholeheartedly, and it’s what separates us from the goddamn Europeans. However, the names of most of these teams are so embarrassing that those of us with a weak stomach for poorly misplaced puns sometimes question if it’s even worth it.  That’s why we’re here, with the help of some outside research from an intrepid AFFotD supporter who felt that “the people HAVE to know” to run down the best and worst of the Cheer Squad names in America.  Well, it’s more like the so-so and the worst.  Okay most of them are just plain awful.  Let’s move on and post some pictures of women not wearing a lot of clothing to skyrocket the page views for this sucker then, shall we?

America’s Best (And Worst) Cheer Squad Team Names

As you can see above, cheerleading is everywhere.  These lovely ladies are cheerleaders from the 2012 Olympics, apparently for beach volleyball, because if there’s one sport that needs attractive, toned women showing off their bodies to entertain spectators, it’s the one where Amazonian women in the peak of their athletic prowess jump around slamming balls for an hour while wearing bikinis.  In America, we know that cheerleading, much like bacon or that fourth beer of the night, makes everything better, as evident by the fact that every major sport (and most minor leagues of those sports) in this nation have their own cheer squads.  And, we cannot stress this enough, most of them have the most awful squad names.  So now it’s time for us to break it down, sport-by-sport, because…you’re totally not reading this right now, are you?  You’re just looking through all the pictures discretely trying to make sure no one else in your office is checking to see what you have up on your monitor?  Okay then.  Let’s just get on with it.


Effectively the best of the best when it comes to cheerleading, NFL squads are unconcerned with things like “dancing” and “class” and instead are America’s leading experts in thigh-high boots and exposing one’s midriff in the dead of winter.  Such is the mesmerizing power of a professional cheerleading squad—if you ever saw someone wearing next to nothing in 30 degree weather, you might say “Oh God, someone get that poor woman a coat” but when a troop of cheerleaders decide against wearing pants in weather cold enough to freeze their legs off, it’s something that “the football Gods applaud.”  Unfortunately, their squad names usually don’t match up their dedication to freezing their ass off for fifty bucks a game.

The Good:  The Buffalo Jills, The Cincinnati Ben-Gals, The Jets Flight Crew

new jersey cheer

America loves puns, as anyone who has ever walked by a pet store in a hip urban area can attest.  Cheerleading gives us ample opportunity to take a team name, and turn it into a female-based pun, and these three squads take that to heart.  First, you have the Buffalo Bills squad, the Buffalo Jills.  We can’t go on enough on how much we love this name, but then again given the depressing history of the Buffalo Bills franchise, we figured having a good squad name was the least that they could do.

The Cincinnati Ben-Gals made the news recently, but not for their admirable ability to put a hyphen in the middle of the Bengals name to turn it into the perfect cheerleading pun (hint, it involved getting arrested for sex with a minor).  Finally, we have the Jets Flight Crew, which isn’t so much a lady-pun as it is that last clue you needed to realize “Oh shit, they’re called the Jets because they’re right next to the airport.  I’ve lived in New York for seven years and I never figured that out until now.”

The So-Close: The Carolina TopCats, The Chicago Honey Bears, The Seattle SeaGals

Why would the female version of a Panther be a TopCat?  Is that supposed to be cute or sexy?  Because to us, it sounds like a character that belongs in the Tim Burton remake of Alice in Wonderland.  The Chicago Honey Bears tried, bless them, they really did try, but they ended up coming off as a bit creepy, which is no doubt part of the reason why they were disbanded after the Bears won Super Bowl XX, and why the Bears are one of the few teams currently without cheerleaders.  As for the Seattle SeaGals, our intrepid researcher who provided us with the information for the article sent us that name simply with the note of “No.”  We’re inclined to agree with her.

The You Weren’t Even Trying:  Too many to name

Listen, copywriters can be expensive.  We get it.  Hell, do you know how much we paid to finally come up with the name of “America Fun Fact of the Day”?  Well, nothing actually, our staff got drunk and when we woke up someone had scrawled those words on the fridge in sharpie, but the point remains—when you’re dealing with cheerleading teams, you might assume people won’t care what they’re named, since they’re too focused watching giant man-beasts smash into each other while improbably attractive women gyrate for your amusement.  Unfortunately, in what feels more like sabotage than anything else, we end up with teams that used to have great names and now have completely pointless, boring names.  Below is a the complete list.

The Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders, formerly the Falconettes. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, formerly the CowBelles. The Denver Broncos Cheerleaders, formerly the Pony Express. (That one was so majestic we’re actively upset that they changed the name.) The Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders, formerly the Vi-Queens (GET IT???). The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders, formerly the Liberty Belles. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders, formerly the SwashBucklers.

Of course, an honorable sad-ass mention to the Jacksonville ROAR, who are named the Jacksonville ROAR.  We’ll leave you alone with your thoughts on that one.

The You Have Lost Team Naming Privileges:  The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders (formerly the Dolfin Star Brites), The New Orleans Saintsations, The St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders (formerly the Embraceable Ewes)

Every once and a while you read or hear about something that so destroys your world outlook your brain has to disengage and view it as a fiction.  That Amanda Berry story was horrid when it came out, but each and every one of you made a mental note to take a step back so you didn’t have to deal with the weight of the moral implications that such a thing was allowed to exist in this world.  We’re not saying that these names are nearly as awful as women being kidnapped and held captive for 10 years by a Cleveland psychopath, we’re just saying that what the fuck is a Dofin?  Or a Star Brite?  Yeah, we get it, it used to be way more socially acceptable to do coke before work, and the squad has been the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders thankfully since 1983, but there was a period in this nation where a P.A. announcer had to say to thousands of people, “Put your hands together for your very own Dofin Star Brites!”  The shit is that?

The New Orleans Saintsations are empirical proof that as much as we love puns, they can be a double edged sword.  When a pun treats you right, it’s easy to love, and when it’s awful…well, you have to just look at that picture above and try to convince yourself they’re called anything other than the Saintsations, which sadly enough was an upgrade from their previous names, “the Bonnes Aimees” and “the Mam’selles”.  We’re pretty sure one of those names is French, and we’re so angry right now.

Finally, we’re left with the Rams Cheerleaders, who spent twenty years dancing under the moniker of “The Embraceable Ewes” which is just proof that St. Louis shouldn’t be trusted with nice things.  At this point, they might as well just dissolve the franchise and start over.  It’s the only way, really.


In an attempt to class up the joint and because valuable sideline cheer space has been taken up by Jack Nicholson in a folding chair, the NBA instead has Dance Teams.  These Dance Teams take the floor to entertain you during that obnoxious stretch during the last minute of a close game where a timeout is called after every fifteen seconds of play, and when they’re not moving in a synchronized fashion to the C&C Music Factory, they’re usually sitting cross legged at the ends of the court holding onto pompoms which they will insist is different than cheerleading because, you know, sitting.  Of course, calling them “Dance Teams” instead of “Cheer Squads” doesn’t do much to improve the quality of their names.

The Good:  The Detroit Automotion, The New Orleans Honeybees

new orleans honeybees

Before you say anything, the tops and shorts of that dance team up there say “Hornets” as in “The New Orleans Hornets” even though you initially read that as a completely different word while in the middle of a hilarious Freudian slip.  And while the Honeybees is an alright name for a squad cheering for the Hornets, it’s pretty telling how dry the well is with NBA names when the best we can come up with is that and a Detroit Automotion uses a word that our spell-check keeps angrily underlining.  It’s a bad sign that these are the cream of the crop (if you see a pun there we are so sorry and also you are gross) of the NBA dance team names, because it’s all downhill from here.

The I See What You Were Going For: The Brooklynettes, The Indiana Pacemates


We’ll give the Brooklynettes some time to improve their name since the Nets have only been a Brooklyn team for about a season at this point.  Yes, it is sort of cute that they melded “Brooklyn Nets” into a Rockettes kitsch direction, but one look at the outfits they wear during games can tell you that they’re apparently going less for “cute” and more for “trashy.”  Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacemates tried to go in a fun direction for the Indiana Pacers, but…seriously, the Pacemakers.  It’s right there.  How do you not go with that as your name?  Come on, Indiana, don’t make us do all the work for you.

The Stop, Please, No:  Too Many to Name.   

The vast majority of the NBA dance teams seem to operate under the assumption that women as a gender are unable to spell or discern what a pun is.  That’s why we have such teams as the Chicago Luvabulls, the Toronto Dance Pak, and the HEAT Dancers (we only included that third one because there is no reason why Heat should be capitalized there).  Those first two legitimately hurt our brains to type.  While “Luvabulls” is clearly an attempt to make the pun “love-a-bulls sounds like loveable” they decided to spell “love” like a fucking Care Bear popping ecstasy after finding out they failed their G.E.D.  And we can’t for the life of us figure out what a “pak” is, other than maybe a derogatory slur for a Pakistani individual, and even if that’s the case that doesn’t seem to have much in common with the Toronto Raptors.

The rest of this list isn’t much better.  The Charlotte Lady Cats would be an unoriginal name for a high school squad, and the same goes for the Clippers Spirit Dance Team.  The Rockets Power Dancers is the laziest space-related name of literally dozens of better ones out there (Sure, the “Rockettes” is probably trademarked, but the comets?  The Orbits?  Come on guys).  Then, there are the names that are the definition of missed opportunities—The Sacramento Kings have the “Kings Royal Court” instead of the Queens?  The Washington Wizards went with Wizard Girls over Witches?  Dammit NBA, this is why we can’t have nice things!

The rest of the major sports leagues aren’t so easy to compartmentalize, so it’s better to just muscle through these sports and give you more pictures that you feel strange about having open in your browser.


Many of you might not realize that hockey has its own version of cheerleaders, but that’s because your instincts to watch people crush into each other at dizzying speeds has been overrode by your instinct to avoid things invented in Canada.  Don’t let that slow you down though, because since America has made Canada our bitch in the sport since about 1993 it’s okay for you to like it, and to learn about ice crews, which takes the logic of “if you’re hot, you can’t get cold” and puts it to use by making scantily clad women skate around the ice with brooms and shovels to clear out shaved ice.

As far as the squad names, there’s only one that’s moderately acceptable (The Anaheim Power Players).  Calgary’s Big Country Ice Crew might have some sort of hidden meaning for Canadians?  If so, fuck off Canada stop trying to force your culture on us!  If it’s not…then we don’t get it.  The rest of them are forgettable, but the Atlanta Blue Crew and the Washington Red Rockers can fuck right off.


Wait a minute, baseball teams have cheerleaders?  When did this happen?  We know that we were about eight the last time we went to a baseball game sober, but normally alcohol makes you more likely to notice attractive women.  Obviously many teams haven’t adopted baseball cheer teams, but at this point why the fuck not?  When was the last time you sat down and watched an entire baseball game, uninterrupted, front to back?  It felt like it took forever didn’t it?  That’s why we use baseball as an excuse to day drink while we stare at the ESPN gamecast app on our smart phones when we go to games.  If someone said they were going to take the period between innings—you know, that five minute gap where nothing of interest happens that occurs literally 17 times a game—and put some dancing girls on the field to distract you, that’s a win for America, baseball spectators, and at least a dozen of kids going to their first baseball game while mired in the throes of puberty.

The team names are about as good as you’d expect from a subset of cheerleaders that most people wouldn’t realize exists.  The only decent name in the whole league is the Florida Marlins Mermaids. That makes sense. The Philadelphia Phillies’ Ball Girls almost works? But mostly sounds dirty. The Angels Strike Force is a fine, generic baseball cheer name, but they started with The Angels and made it less girly from there. Arizona’s Diamondbacks are cheered by the Rally-Backs, so they kept the least feminine part of the name.

The NBA D-League

Did you think we were done? So did we, then we stumbled over the Fort Wayne Madame Ants and knew there was more work to be done. See, the team, the Mad Ants, is named for Mad Anthony Wayne, who you might remember as fucking batman, and also John Wayne, which makes sense since Fort Wayne was named after Anthony Wayne.  Now, their attempt to name the group after Anthony Wayne led to them being called “Madame Ants” because we’re guessing it was the 1980’s and cocaine makes you feel fucking alive.  We also found that The Springfield Armor is repped by the Springfield Armorettes, which seems excessively stupid, until you realize that they’re the development team for the Brooklyn Nets. Then it seems stupid and derivative.

Minor League Baseball

And further down the rabbit hole we go.  The Schaumburg Flyers are cheered by the FireFlys, which is the kind of girly twist we should all be aiming for. Salt Lake’s Bees are cheered by the Honeybees, which, well, they tried.  The Quebec Capitales have named their squad La Team, which is French for “We could give a shit about cheerleading” though it might also mean “Oh God we just pretended to translate French, we’re sad now, time to move on to our final category.”

Other Footballs

You might think that lesser footballs, like arena and indoor, which are effectively the same thing, would have lesser cheerleaders. And you’d be right.  The only decent name in any of these leagues belong to the team cheering The Lincoln Haymakers:  The Lincoln Knockouts. That might be the best name in this whole damn roundup.  However, to balance that out, The Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz (terrible name) are cheered by the Dawgz (so they’re unattractive?), the Milwaukee Iron is repped by the Platinum (are they even trying?), and the San Jose SaberCats are cheered by the SaberKittens (which is at least moderately respectable, but come on, they’ve got nothing on the knockouts).

Anyway, we’re gonna end this with a picture of some cheerleaders wearing American flag colors because we’re so pandering right now.

american flag cheerleaders


One response to “America’s Best (And Worst) Cheer Squad Team Names

  1. Pingback: The History of The Indoor Football League | affotd

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