The Other Chargers Team


Published:

It’s minutes before kickoff. The team huddles close, forming a tight circle in the locker room. Over the din of cheering fans outside, someone leads the team in quiet prayer. Then, after one last rallying speech, the blue-and-gold bunch exits the locker room to make their way onto the field. But not before one last pregame ritual: Each team­mate taps the “Ramp D” sign—twice—en route to the gridiron. 

But it’s not the blue-and-gold you think: Charger Girls director Lisa Simmons describes the moments before her team of 28 cheerleaders takes to the field for every home game. When your squad bills itself as “the NFL’s hottest dance team,” the expectations are big.

Forty women were on the Chargers’ first cheerleading squad—called the Chargettes—in 1961. The squad enjoyed support from fans and team ownership until owner Eugene Klein eliminated them in 1978 after “several distracting issues, including, but not limited to, posing for Playboy,” says Chargers spokesman Bill Johnston.

The Spanos family formed a new squad—the Charger Girls—in 1990 with an em­phasis on dance and community service. Simmons says the team makes 300 community appearances each year and supports a variety of charitable efforts.

“It’s a part-time job but a full-time commitment,” she says. “We have teachers, interior designers, nursing students, a doctor—this is an elite group of women who are talented, classy, intelligent and beautiful on the inside and out.”

Eat your heart out, Dallas.

More »Related Stories

The Great Neighborhood Challenge

Win $5,000 for your neighborhood project!

From the Publisher

Filner Redux?

7 Rad Hotel Pools in SoCal

Who needs the beach? If you love the swanky hotel pool scene—or just a nice outdoor setting sans sand—get in on this action.

Most Popular

  1. Secret San Diego
    Psst! You didn’t hear it from us, but this town has all kinds of "hidden gems" (yes, we said it). And we’re not talking ghost stories at the Hotel Del.
  2. FIRST LOOK: Bottega Americano
    With Bottega Americano opening this weekend, Downtown gets its first gourmet food hall
  3. FIRST LOOK: Fairweather
    Anthony Schmidt tackles "sunny" vacation drinks at Downtown's new patio bar
  4. INCOMING: Duke's
    Iconic Top of the Cove restaurant location gets new life
  5. Wake Up And Smell the Coffee
    As American coffee culture moves past the nonfat vanilla lattes toward a more elevated brew, San Diego is right on trend
  6. The Ivy League
    Under star chef Richard Blais, Juniper & Ivy is in an elite class

Promotions

Best of Ensenada 2013

Where to eat, drink, sleep & play

Hawaii: Island Fresh

A handy guide to Hawaii's farmers markets

Connect With Us: