This article was originally published in August 6, 2007.
A few months ago, when the Chargers introduced their new football uniforms, I read that the Charger Girls were redesigning their uniforms to be consistent with the new color scheme. Now, I’m a conservative person by nature; I don’t like a lot of sudden, unexpected change. I like the fact that the sun rises in the morning, sets in the evening. I like the fact that the weather in California never changes…it’s always great. And I like the classic look of the Charger Girl uniform. So, I was a little apprehensive in reading that “the hottest dance team in the NFL” was getting a make over.
Now before we take a look the new Charger Girl uniform, lets take a look back at the history of the Charger Girl uniform. I have been going to Charger games since the mid-nineties and have snapped a few photos over that time. And as luck would turn out, I have seen four (now five) incarnations of the venerable Charger Girl uniform (and many incarnations of Charger football…not all of them good).
Exhibit 1 – mid to late 1990’s.
I took this photo of Charger Girl Shelby C. back when film cameras were made out of steel and Bill Clinton was in his first term in the White House. You can see many of the elements of the current Charger Girl uniform in this version. Notice how high on the waist the skirt rides and this was considered a bit risqué for the time.
Exhibit 2 – late 1990’s to early 2000’s
These photos of Charger Girl Lindsay O. and Ceci C. date back to the Y2K era and date field truncation computer errors. Although you can not see it in these photos, the Charger Girls still wore a little bootie that looked more like white high top sneakers. It wouldn’t be until the next version that the Charger Girls would adopt the white go-go boot.
Exhibit 3 – 2003 through 2004
I took these photos of Charger Girl Lori E. with my first digital SLR, the Canon EOS 1D. Although Lori E. looks great in the uniform, this version always struck me as being a little lacking in the “sizzle” department and the skirt just never hung properly. To complicate matters, a similar style was adopted by the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders. One improvement, though, was the adoption of the white go-go boot, which seemed to follow a general trend in NFL cheerleading circles.
Exhibit 4 – 2005 through 2006
Charger Girl Ashley W. looks fantastic in this version, a return to a more traditional uniform look. This version is simple, clean and elegant and with the right amount of sizzle. Notice how low on the hip the skirt sits…boy, how things have changed in ten years.
This last version of the venerable Charger Girl uniform is, by far, my favorite and as I said before, I don’t really like change, especially when it comes to perfection such as this. But, a little change may not be such a bad thing after all. This past Saturday, I attended the Chargers annual Fan Fest to check out the 2007 edition of the Charger Girls and to see the new uniform. I was hoping that the new uniform would only be a slight tinkering with the old uniform, because that one was a classic. To my great relief, Lisa Simmons has improved upon that winning design and added a few touches to keep things consistent with the new player’s uniform. I am quite pleased with the results, especially when you seen them on the new Charger Girls.
Exhibit 5 – 2007 to present
As you can see, the new Charger Girl uniforms look very similar to their previous version, adding a few color accents and enhancements to the lightning bolt. So, with much relief, I am happy to say the new uniforms are a big hit…especially when worn by this year’s group of beautiful and talented Charger Girls, the hottest dance team in the NFL.