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From The Archives – Old School Charger Girls

I stumbled across this photo of the Charger Girls from Bolt Talk, a Chargers fan site message board. It shows the Charger Girls (or whatever they were called back then) in the early years of old Jack Murphy stadium, circa 1970.

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Love the white gloves. Thanks to PB Bolt for bringing this gem to our attention.

Photo credit unknown.

From The Archives – Raiderette Gretchen Stockdale

As a young lad, growing up in Los Angeles, I was a Rams fan.  They had good teams in the 70’s, but somehow found a way to lose to the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs…at least that’s how I remember it.

When I was in college (Go UCLA!), Al Davis and the Raiders packed their bags and moved from the Oakland Coliseum to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  The Raiders of the 80’s had some legendary and likable characters on that team like Lyle Alzado, Ted “The Mad Stork” Hendricks, erudite Todd Christensen, Howie Long, Matt Millen, Mr. Stickum Lester Hayes et al.

The Los Angeles Raiders were also known for the Raiderettes, Football’s Fabulous Females.  And let me tell you, those Los Angeles Raiderette squads had some very beautiful, talented and sexy girls.  Al Davis hadn’t quite lost his mind yet and he knew to win over Los Angelenos, he’d have to put a good product on the field AND on the sidelines.  I became a fan immediately and a season ticket holder a bit later.

One of the most beautiful and sexy Raiderettes of that era was Gretchen Stockdale, a former St. Louis Cardinals cheerleader who made the trek out west upon graduating from college.  In this edition of From The Archives, we focus on one of the most memorable Los Angeles Raiderettes.  Here are a few photographs of Gretchen spanning her 6 year career as a Raiderette.

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Beautiful, articulate and intelligent, Ms. Stockdale earned her law degree from Loyola Marymount Law School and is currently Vice President and General Counsel  for Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc.

From The Archives – Raiderette Michelle Budano

In this installment of From The Archives, we focus our attention on Raiderette Michelle Budano. Michelle and her sister Melissa were Raiderettes in the mid 1990’s when the Raiders played their games in the venerable Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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You can tell how old these photos are by the track on the field, a legacy from the 1984 Olympics and beyond.

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I mentioned in a previous From The Archives article that back in the day, the Raiderettes were very accessible and had their own following in the community.  Many of them were local models that made the Southern California Photo Days circuit and were regularly featured in magazines such as HotRodder and other such lifestyle magazines.  Many of us remember these girls from these events and if I recall correctly, one enterprising Raiderette sponsored her own photo day shoot with the Raiderettes…regretfully, I missed that one.

From The Archives – Charger Girl Danielle Ditonto

In this installment of From The Archives, I introduce one of my all time favorite Charger Girls, Danielle Ditonto. Photographically speaking, cheerleaders with great smiles always make for an interesting and compelling photograph and Danielle always had a smile on her face.

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This photo of Danielle shows her in the Charger Girl throwback uniform, worn when the Charger players wore their throwback uniforms.  I don’t think the Charger Girls ever wore uniforms like these officially and I was never a fan of this college style uniform.  But I included it here since they don’t wear these outfits anymore and we should have a visual record of such things.

And continuing our theme of beautiful and intelligent cheerleaders, Danielle Ditonto became an accountant after she hung up the pom poms.  Wow.  And I always thought accounting was boring.

From The Archives – USC Song Girl Erin Gielow

I have been photographing cheerleaders since my college days at UCLA.  Through the years, I have attended many USC vs UCLA football games and have had the honor to photograph several of these titanic struggles between the Good and the Evil. I have to say that USC has arguably the finest cheerleaders/dance team in college football.  Certainly the USC Song Girls are the most renown.  And in this installment of From The Archives, we take a look back to 1996 and 1998 and feature one of the most memorable USC Song Girls, Erin Gielow.

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Why was she so memorable?  Well, she had a certain flair and personality that shined through her dancing, a special quality that all exceptional cheerleaders possess.  She was one of those cheerleaders that just demanded your attention. (And yes, I know they are called Song Girls!)

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Beauty and brains.  I did a search on the internet before writing this article and discovered that Erin is currently employed as a lawyer, which reinforces the perception of cheerleaders as being very motivated and achievement oriented.

And on a footnote, unfortunately for Song Girl Erin…UCLA beat USC those two years that these photographs were taken.  GO BRUINS!

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From The Archives – Raiderette Kelly Morris

In this installment of From The Archives, I introduce my all time favorite Raiderette, Kelly Morris.  These photographs were taken in the mid 1990’s with my old film camera and a 300 2.8 super telephoto lens (you know those big white lenses, the sports photographers use to shoot football games).  Back in the “good ol’ days” before 9/11, you could take in pretty much any camera equipment that you wanted…at least that was the case at the Los Angeles Coliseum.  Though Raiders fans have a rather surly reputation, safety and security were never a problem in the Coliseum because of the number of uniformed LAPD officers that patrolled the sidelines.  In fact, the season ticket holders in the row in front of me, were LAPD.  So, I never felt unsafe at the Coliseum, though there was once incident where those off duty LAPD officers spotted a Raider fan with a handgun in his pants…he was promptly escorted out by the uniformed LAPD.

But enough of my Raider anecdotes and on to the photos of my all time favorite Raiderette Kelly Morris.

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The great thing about a Raiders home game was that the Raiderettes mingled with the fans before the game, signing autographs and posing for photos.  They were accessible, friendly, and very good looking.   You could really get up close and get to know them; it was a very close knit experience.  The Raiderettes and their fans were family.   Those were the days, back in the 90’s…it was a different time and place.