Photos: NFL cheerleaders lead holiday cheers

Photos: NFL cheerleaders lead holiday cheers

Credit: Taylor Wiley / KHOU.com

The Houston Texans cheerleaders got into the holiday spirit, sporting Santa-inspired outfits at Sunday's game at Reliant. (December 18, 2011)

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KHOU.com

Posted on December 25, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 16 at 2:33 PM

HOUSTON -- Of the 32 National Football League franchises, 26 have cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are a popular attraction that can help a team garner additional media coverage, increased fan support and boost the team's overall image.

The Baltimore Colts were the first team in the NFL to have cheerleaders in 1954.

There are currently six NFL teams without cheerleaders -- the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  When the Packers and Steelers faced off in Super Bowl XLV earlier this year, it was the first time in Super Bowl history that the game was without cheerleaders.

The Houston Texans cheerleaders got into the holiday spirit, sporting Santa-inspired outfits for their December 18, 2011 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Houston.

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