Original Packers Cheerleader gives history of "GO PACK GO"

Published 01/11 2012 04:41PM

Updated 01/12 2012 04:07PM

The Packers and Giants are two of only six NFL franchises without professional cheerleaders.


That wasn't always the case.


Mary Jane VanDuyse Sorgel is credited with starting one the most famous football chants.


"We had been practicing that and the day we were going to try it and the man handed me a microphone and said to me Mary you yell go pack go so the fans get the drift. And boy did they get the drift. I said it once and everybody was go pack go"


At the age of 79 this Golden Girl has not lost her glow.


Mary Jane's story with the Packers starts in 1951 when her baton twirling skills caught the team band director's eye.


Then in 1961 Coach Vince Lombardi asked Mary Jane to form a professional cheerleading group called The Golden Girls.


Sorgel explains "We did sideline cheers, we had bench cheers, routines for quarters and sometimes we would do it at half-time".


Mary Jane says cheer uniforms seen on sidelines today would not fly with the coach.


"I know Vince Lombardi and he just wouldn't go for that at all. He always wanted the girls to have longer skirts".


Her star shined even brighter off the field.

Mary Jane hosted a show right here on Channel Five called ask Curly Lambeau.

The Packers founder, player and coach was a close friend.

In fact Lambeau passed away at Mary Jane's house mowing the lawn.


"We were like a family" says Sorgel.


And like any family there are photos, thousands of them.


Mary Jane has decades of memorabilia on display including pom poms from the Ice Bowl.


"I didn't think it was that cold that day. I went out there zipping along and my baton was like an icicle". explains Sorgel.


"The girls were like warriors. It was time to leave the field and you couldn't get them off".


The squad hung up its pom poms in 1972.

Now in their golden years The Golden Girls still gather on occasion to stay in shape and cheer for their favorite team.

While they are not considered official cheerleaders, since the late 1980s, the Packers have incorporated performers from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and St. Norbert college at many home games.

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