10 Former Cheerleaders for Professional Sports Teams Who Became Famous
One really good thing about watching NBA, NFL and MLB games live is that you can get that close not only to the sports action, but to another kind of action as well: the dancing girls. Yes, cheerleaders have become as indispensable in professional sports as the players themselves. Without them, every single professional sports game would be nothing more than a sausagefest, and the guys, which make up the bulk of professional sports fans, wouldn’t like that very much, would they?
Almost every single pro sports team has its own group of cheerleaders. Over the years, a number of its members have gone on to become famous. Some of the ten listed below have become familiar faces, while some are outright household names.
1. Paula Abdul
She is without doubt the most successful former professional sports cheerleader of all time. Before she sold more than 50 million albums despite being not much of a singer, and sat as the mumbling and perpetually drunk/stoned judge of American Idol for eight seasons, she was a Laker Girl, and was even its head choreographer for years.
2. Teri Hatcher
If you’ve wondering where Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher got those moves she does in Tango and Cash, here’s your answer: She was a member of the San Francisco 49ers cheering squad. Before that, she shook her pom-poms for her high school, and was even named most likely to become a Solid Gold Dancer. She didn’t of course, but instead became a solid gold TV star.
3. Sarah Shahi
Amid a disappointing season, Sarah Shahi gave Dallas Cowboys fans something to cheer about. From 1999-2000, she was a member of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, arguably the best known of all NFL cheerleading squads. She appeared on the cover of the DCC’s calendar before moving to Hollywood, where she eventually became one of the most beautiful faces on television today. She starred in the now-defunct NBC drama series Life, and is currently playing the lead in Fairly Legal, a legal drama airing on the USA Network.
4. Charisma Carpenter
Before she made jaws drop as Sunnydale High’s resident shallow cheerleader Cordelia Chase in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charisma Carpenter was a cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers in 1991, just before she moved to Los Angeles to embark on a Hollywood career.
5. Trista Sutter
Trista Sutter holds some sort of record in the history of reality TV for starring in the first seasons of both The Bachelor and its companion show, The Bachelorette. Known as Trista Rehn then, she was one of the final two contestants of the former, while she was chosen as the star of the latter. In both shows, it was very apparent that she had one hot body, obviously honed by her stint as a Miami Heat Dancer. Her televised wedding to The Bachelorette winner Ryan Sutter drew more than 26 million viewers, one of the biggest audiences for a reality TV show.
6. Stacy Keibler
Pro wrestling fans have long worshipped Stacy Keibler for her unusually long legs. Pro football fans from Baltimore, however, have had first crack at those lovely gams as she pepped them up as a member of the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders.
7. Kiana Tom
Former Oakland Raiderette Kiana Tom became famous for her ESPN fitness series, Kiana’s Flex Appeal. She continued to build on her reputation as a fitness guru by starring in other ESPN produced shows Kiana's Too Fit 2 Quit, Summer Sizzle with Kiana & Hot Summer Nights with Kiana. She is also an actress, starring alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme in Universal Soldier: The Return.
8. Kristin Adams
Yet another Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader makes this list in the person of Kristin Adams née Holt. Her first shot at fame was in the first season of American Idol, where she was a semi-finalist. She later became a correspondent for the show, a job which would prove to be quite useful in her future endeavors. She blossomed into a good host, and G4 TV wasted no time in hiring her as host of Cheat!, a show where video game cheats and strategies are featured and discussed. She also currently co-hosts the USA Network show Character Fantasy.
9. Lisa Guerrero
Back when Los Angeles had two professional football teams, Lisa Guerrero was a cheerleader for the LA Rams, before the franchise moved to St. Louis. Currently one of the top sportscasters in the United States, she is most famous for her stint on The Best Damn Sports Show Period on Fox Sports. She’s also an actress, appearing in movies such as Batman Returns and Fire Down Below.
10. Bonnie-Jill Laflin
Bonnie-Jill Laflin was a cheerleader not just for one team of one sport, but for three different teams of two different sports. Before she became the NBA’s hottest, first ever and only female scout working for the Los Angeles Lakers front office, she was a cheerleader for the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco 49ersand the Dallas Cowboys. Aside from currently holding a top position in one of professional sports’ most legendary franchises, she is also an actress, model and soon-to-be reality star, with a reality show based on her successful career in the male-dominated world of professional sports.
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