At 53 years of age, MLB first baseman Rafael Palmeiro believes he has what it takes to make a comeback, despite that fact that he has been out of MLB for more than 12 years.
“There’s no doubt in my mind I can do it,” Palmeiro told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. “I’ve taken care of myself really well. I’ve been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played.”
The four-time All-Star is originally from Cuba and in his heyday, was one of the most consistent hitters in the whole of baseball. In a career that spanned over two decades, Palmeiro played for both the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. But it was his time with the Chicago Cubs that really set him apart.
With 569 homes runs to his name, the All-Star won three consecutive Golden Glove Awards and even won Silver Slugger Awards, one in 1998 and the other in 1999. The truth is that Palmeiro still believes in his abilities.
What makes his self-belief even more profound is that he previously ended his career after testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol in 2005. He received a 10-day suspension that “basically destroyed” him. However, he admits that he didn’t realize the substances were performance-enhancing.
“Maybe 12 years later, I can prove to the whole world that I didn’t need anything to have a good career,” Palmeiro said. “Maybe 12 years later, if I can come back and prove I don’t need anything as an older player with an older body, then people might think, ‘OK, maybe he didn’t do anything intentionally.'”
It is still unclear though whether Palmeiro could actually return to his coveted first base position. One thing is for sure though, it would be an incredible story. Palmeiro thinks that it would be his biggest achievement if he could return to play at baseball’s highest level.
Ah, the NFL: beloved by Americans all over the country for the great entertainment value it offers. Sure, most of that entertainment revolves around throwing the football, and the male athletes who put in all the hard work to make a good game. Even so, one can’t deny a certain other aspect of the game that everyone enjoys: cheerleading squads! Based on fan outreach, community interaction, and of course, performance ability, here’s some of the best cheerleading squads in the NFL, in no particular ranked order.
San Francisco 49ers
They may be called the Gold Rush squad, but the cheerleaders for the San Francisco 49ers don’t actually wear much gold. Well, the team color and motif can’t line up all the time, can it? Either way, this cheerleader team of 31 gals always steps up the mood at their team’s games.
Like a lot of teams, they tend to make appearances at public events when they can, have a junior cheerleading team, and try to meet and greet fans as much as possible during games, under the right circumstances. In other words, all the makings of a team that should be on this list.
We feel that we had to mention this cheerleading squad because they have something interesting that very few other teams do: they offer cheerleader packages for events. As in, you can pay a certain amount of money to book a certain number of cheerleaders for a certain amount of time.
It’s an interesting way to interact with the community that few other teams use (if any). And of course, the only reason they can ask people to pay for such packages is because those cheerleaders are good enough at what they do to be valued in such a manner, so that speaks for itself.
Let’s be honest, the Arizona Cardinals aren’t the most popular team in the NFL. But that makes it even more impressive when their illustrious cheerleading team can bring the hype to every game. The team is actually a bit smaller than some others at 24 members, too.
But even with a smaller roster, they reach out to the community and lead a junior cheer squad. Albeit from a pretty safe distance considering the current state of the country. But that too is another credit to their squad, since safety should always place before entertainment.
Just like their team, the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleading team is a force to be reckoned with and always gives their all at every single game.
It’s kind of odd that few other NFL teams do this: are the Eagles trying to say that their cheerleaders are more attractive than all of the others? Well, we’re not allowed to pick sides, but we’re not going to say they’re wrong either. The Eagles cheerleaders are full of energy and passion!
Las Vegas Raiders
Despite another somewhat silly and needless label of “Raiderettes” as opposed to just “Raiders Cheerleading Squad”, this squad has done a fine job of placing themselves at the forefront of cheerleading in the NFL ever since they were established in 1961. Of course, back then they were actually from Oakland.
They’ve also been billed as “Football’s Fabulous Females,” which is a title you surely can’t earn without being pretty darn amazing at what they do. Far be it from us to say otherwise. It’s pretty hard to bring all that pep and sass while wearing almost all black!
What’s interesting about the Dolphins cheerleader squad is the fact that it’s big: like, really big. While it fluctuates from time to time, the Dolphins cheerleader squad generally sits around 41 members or so, making it twice as large as some other squads in the NFL.
Size isn’t everything, but having more cheerleaders means bigger performances, more community outreach, and a lot more advertisement for the team as a whole. As they say, quantity has a quality all its own: not that the individual cheerleaders on this squad aren’t amazing in their own right!
Well, surely we all knew this was coming. The cheerleaders for the Cowboys are perhaps the most renowned in the league, with the largest number of off the field appearances and some of the biggest sponsors around. Even their website lets you learn about every roster of Cowboys cheerleaders ever, dating all the way back to 1961.
One could argue that the cheerleading squad gets more recognition because the football team itself is often in the limelight, but in a way, that just means these talented ladies face even more pressure to adhere to excellence in all of their performances. The attractive uniforms probably help, too.
With so many cheerleader squads in the NFL, each squad really has to find a way to make themselves unique and noticeable. The Houston Texans do that by making some unique offerings to the fans: they’re one of the only teams that provides computer backgrounds and screensavers of each girl.
On top of that, they’re one of the only teams that lets fans see them in the gym as they share workout advice. It’s a different type of community outreach, but the fact that they do something unique compared to the other teams is worth noting.
Speaking of doing things that set you apart from everyone else, the Indianapolis Colts have one of the most extensive picture libraries of their cheerleader squad.
We’ve little doubt that this setup has earned a lot of revenue for the team over the years, as the Colts have plenty of fans who are willing to spend some money to get such things. The Indianapolis Colts know what they are about, and they aren’t afraid to admit to it.
This cheerleading squad, known as the Seattle Sea Gals, has had to bring the hype for a team with fluctuating performance. Sure, the Seahawks have upped their game in recent years, but there was a time when they were less noteworthy, so this cheerleader squad deserves respect for cheering them on.
Also, they get to wear that sailor looking outfit that a lot of people really like, so that’s a plus for them as well. They can be pretty exhilarating on the field, which is of course one of the biggest things to consider when judging the value of a cheerleader squad.
New Orleans Saints
We’ll admit, the name “Saintsations” is… kind of silly. But that doesn’t have an impact on how well these girls perform on the field. They bring the same spirit and energy of New Orleans itself to all of their performances. Of course, it’s probably easier to get the crowd going when your team is fairly competent.
Seriously though, “Saintsations?” Wouldn’t it have been easier to thematically label themselves as the angels or something? Maybe we’re being a little too judgmental, since it is just personal preference. As long as they’re good at what they do, we suppose.
Dubbed the Buffalo Jills, this is one of the cheerleader squads that sells an annual swimsuit calendar, and have been since 2000. What can we say, it’s a pretty solid way of gaining revenue and keeping fans invested. More importantly, the Jills have many other distinctions.
They’re the first group to form a cheerleader’s union in the NFL, and they are the first cheerleader team to perform internationally. Needless to say, those two distinctions guarantees them a place on this list! Can’t ignore credentials like that!
New England Patriots
These cheerleader gals have quite the reputation. For one, they release a swimsuit calendar annually, which is something that, as you may imagine, garners quite a bit of attention from the team’s fans. But beyond that, they even have the distinction of training Chinese dancers for the 2008 Olympics. Quite an honor!
Unfortunately, they don’t have that co-ed distinction, but then again, very few cheerleader squads do. They still bring the hype for one of the most famous and popular football teams in the NFL, so it’s clearly not doing them any harm on that front!
Unlike some other squads, the cheerleaders for the Baltimore Ravens actually do have some male names on the roster. The girls do the dance, the guys do the stunts. They’re actually one of the very few co-ed squads around in the NFL, and they shine all the more for it.
Speaking of co-ed, while the Ravens cheerleaders also have a junior program, unlike many of their contemporaries, young boys are actually permitted to be a part of it. For that reason alone, we feel they deserve some bonus points as far as fan interaction is concerned.
Kansas City Chiefs
This squad was actually co-ed when it was first formed in 1971, but like most of the sport in general, male cheerleaders were ultimately phased out, at which point this squad was officially dubbed “The Chiefettes.” There was a brief stint in which male cheerleaders returned to the squad, but it didn’t pan out.
The Chiefettes do all sorts of stunts and shows at country fairs, military bases, trade shows, and more. On top of that, they also have an age divided junior cheerleading setup for girls of nearly all minor ages to participate in. Community outreach? Check!
New York Jets
See, now here’s a cheerleader squad that picked out a clever name related to their football team. Cheering for the New York Jets, they call themselves the Flight Crew. Aside from a clever name, this team of beautiful women constantly brings energy and excitement to the arena.
It’s unfortunate that the Jets aren’t a consistent NFL powerhouse year to year, but even if that’s the case, nothing stops the Flight Crew from getting out there and ensuring that their fans have a great time both on and off the field.
The “Falconettes” as they’re called, are one of those rather large cheerleader squads in the NFL. With roughly 40 members at any one point in time, they certainly have an edge over some of the smaller squads in the NFL. Of course, that advantage is even greater when each of those many members is a very good performer.
Rain or shine, great game or bad, the Falconettes always manage to bring some energy to the arena, which is a testament to just how good of a cheerleading squad they really are: pumping up fans in less than ideal situations is a tough job!
The Tennessee Titans
Full of mad moves and charismatic personalities, the premier spirit squad of the Titans is a particularly beloved group of cheerleaders in the NFL, along with the mascot, T-Rac. Originally, they were called the Derrick Dolls, but that changed when the Titans shifted their home location.
Well-known for bringing a ton of energy and cheer to both corporate and charity events, these girls have been the face of the Titans in a very large number of settings. Part of that is because they’re pretty, but don’t ignore their skills and commitment!
San Diego Chargers
One thing that is notable about this cheerleader squad is the fact that they were established, relatively speaking, much later than many squads were. Whereas many squads were formed all the way back in 1960 or 61, the Chargers squad was formed in 1990.
But having a few less decades of field experience hasn’t stopped these girls from being a source of energy and pride for the San Diego Chargers and their fans. Whether it’s a home game or an away one, they always bring their A game.
Whether you think “The Roar” is a cool name or not, it does make a fair deal of sense for the cheerleaders that handle all the hype and cheering for the Jaguars. Aside from being a group of talented and attractive women, they can be requested for appearances at all sorts of events, including charity.
Nothing can stop these determined ladies from working out on the field: somehow, they manage to make any uniform look good. Maybe it’s just the energy they tackle everything with that makes that a reality.