Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/25/11

27 of the 32 teams in the NFL have cheerleaders, the only teams that don’t are the Cleveland Browns, Pittsbrugh Steelers, Detroit Lions, New York Giants and my hometown Chicago Bears. The Green Bay Packers use college football cheerleaders, so I’m not sure which category to include them in.

The Bears did have cheerleaders, the “Honey Bears” from 1977 to 1986. They were canned in the season after the Super Bowl win. One site,  Chicago Honey Bears.net is starting a grassroots movement to bring them back.

An excerpt from the site (which provided the pics), describing their mission:

Management had said cheerleader ” have become passé” as a reason for dropping the Honey Bears. In 1986 nine of the 28 NFL teams didn’t have cheerleaders; today only six of the 32 teams don’t have cheerleaders. Apparently Passé has become the mainstay.

Our goal is to gather enough signatures to convince the Chicago Bears to bring back the Honey Bears. Honor the great George Halas and bring back a tradition he started. We don’t care who signs our petitions male, female, young, old, black, or white just as long as they are Chicago Bears fan interested in getting the Honey Bears dancing on the sideline during the home games again.

Yes, the official reason given for the Honeybear dismissal was that the team was going to be “Chicago Tough” no frills, no bells and whistles, just blue-collar machismo and all that meathead cliche ********.

Sounds dumb to me.

The other unofficial reason is that Virginia McCaskey thought them to be sexist and demeaning towards women. Okay that won I’ll give you. You can make a case and it seems like a legit reason. That’s another debate for another time and place. And it’s true that all the NFL teams which don’t have cheerleaders are those with old guard, family ownership. Old line franchises with more conservative leadership.

Are they right or wrong? Up to you, I don’t really feel like I have a dog in this fight, so I honestly don’t care that much. I just think it’s interesting that a movement to resurrect the Honey Bears has started.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio shows all across the world. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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