Photo of the Day – September 16

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A Houston Texans Cheerleader

2014 Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders

The Titans have posted individual profiles for this year’s team of cheerleaders. Click here to learn more about the ladies on the team!

NFL.com: 2014 Cheerleaders – Week 2

Click here for week 2 photos on NFL.com!

Cincinnati Ben-Gals Calendar Release Party

Hotter than hot! The Cincinnati Ben-Gals released their 2014-15 Calendar last week, and it was quite the event.

[Cincinnati Ben-Gals]

Trenton (NJ) Freedom Xtreme Dance Team Auditions are Next Month

[Trenton Freedom Xtreme Dance Team]

Photo of the Day – September 15

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Melissa of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders in 2012

Bills cheerleaders replaced by drumline

With no Jills to lead cheers, the job of drumming up fan excitement falls to the Stampede:
There will be no cheerleading squad doing the ‘Shout’ dance at the Ralph on Sunday. Instead, Bills fans will follow the beat of a 20-member percussion group, the Stampede

By Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich
Buffalo News
September 12, 2014

Something will be missing from the Bills home opener on Sunday.

But there also will be something new.

The Jills are gone.

Welcome the Stampede Drum Line, 20 percussionists who are about to become part of game days this season at The Ralph.

The 35-woman cheerleading squad was suspended earlier this year, after five former Jills pressed suit in April against two management companies and the Bills organization for back wages.

Unlike the Jills, who had been on the sidelines since Daryle Lamonica was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 1967, the Stampede drummers will be stationed in the grandstand, where seven rows of seats that have been removed to accommodate them and their instruments.

“Everybody loves rhythm, and that’s what we are,” said Jack Gaylord Jr., the Stampede manager. “Our members are professional drummers with snare drums, bass drums, tenor drums.”

And if you think beating the drum is an easy task, not so. Gaylord is the longtime promoter of Drums Along the Waterfront, an annual showcase for top-rated drum corps from around the country.

“They will be wearing microphones, performing on cue from game-day operations high above the stadium,” Gaylord said. “Everything must be coordinated with the scoreboard, the music and commercials.”

Tailgating fans will experience the beat of the Stampede in stadium parking lots as half the drum line – 10 percussionists – visits lots on the stadium side of Abbott Road.

The other half will appear in the redesigned concourse behind the Bills Store between Gates 4 and 5 to welcome fans into the stadium.

The Stampede also will welcome the players on the field, lining the tunnel much as the Jills previously had done.

The drummers’ uniforms consist of Bills game jerseys that carry the name “Stampede” and the numbers of Wall of Fame players, worn with knee-length shorts. As the season progresses, the drummers will turn to sweatpants.

The decision to hire the Stampede was made after the drum line performed to rave reviews during the last game of the 2013 season, said Marc Honan, chief marketing officer for the Bills.

“The reviews from the performance were even beyond our expectations,” Honan said. “Right now, we’ve contracted them for game days in the 2014 season.”

The Stampede members will be paid for their performances, Gaylord said.

When asked if Stampede would be compensated by the Bills, Honan declined to comment.

The Bills are not the only National Football League team to offer drum line entertainment.

The 27-member PurrCussion drum line for the Carolina Panthers shares the field with the Topcats cheerleaders.

The New York Jets drum line, the Aviators, wear khaki jumpsuits when they perform at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder was established in 2004 and invites guest rock drummers to join performances. This season’s guest drummer lineup includes Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche, Alan White of YES and Matt Cameron from Soundgarden.

The Bills also won’t be the only NFL team without cheerleaders. Six other teams do not have cheerleading squads: the Chicago Bears, the Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers, the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The absence of the cheerleaders disappoints many former Jills.

Omarlla Roulhac was a member of Jills for 13 seasons, from 2000 to 2013 – longer than any other Jill. When she retired at the end of the 2013 season, she was preparing to get married.

This year, Roulhac and her husband, Cordell Roulhac, have season tickets and already have attended two home preseason games. It was the first time the newly retired cheerleader watched a game from the stands.

“When the first game came and there were no cheerleaders, I just felt empty,” she said. “It wasn’t that full game-day experience. There were no cheerleaders doing the ‘Shout’ dance. It was very sad.”

Since the inception of the Buffalo Jills, more than 600 women have at one time another raised pompoms on the sidelines. Prior to the creation of the Jills – from 1960 to 1967 – cheerleaders from Buffalo State College led cheers for many of the games.

The absence of the Jills affects more than the squad and fans who attend home games. There will be no Jills calendar. No Junior Jills program, either. Junior Jills, who range in age from 5 to 17, are taught how to cheer and to dance by professional cheerleaders with the goal of performing on the field in the annual Kids Day preseason game.

“We’ve cheered together and know what it’s like to be on the field and have 80,000 people screaming,” Roulhac said. “We’re at each other’s weddings and in each other’s weddings. We hang out all the time.”

Recently, Jills alumni met for brunch, and talk among the women drifted toward the future, and whether the new owner will bring the cheerleaders back.

“We just kind of hope that things will settle themselves out so that there will be Jills again,” Roulhac said.

Meanwhile, the Stampede’s manager is keeping an upbeat attitude.

“As far as the Jills go, at the game last year we were right there with the Jills down in the tunnel area,” Gaylord said. “The Jills were doing their thing and we were doing ours. We can coexist peacefully on the field.”

A look back at the Jills

Decades of Bills cheerleaders
Buffalo News

This season marks the first since 1967 that the Buffalo Jills won’t entertain Bills fans during games. From The News’ archives, here are a sampling of photos from more than 50 years of Bills cheerleaders.

Play the slideshow

2014 Patriots Cheerleaders

The Pats website has been updated with new profile photos. Click here to go there now.

Photo of the Day – September 12

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Tennessee Titans Cheerleader Whitney last October