Uh-oh. On the short list of things you DO NOT want to do in sports, it goes: 1. step on the foul line, 2. do the wave, 3. disrespect the Terrible Towel. Trust me on this one. I don’t know what it is about those stupid ass wash clothes, but they carry some weight and can pack a punch. Messing with the Terrible Towel is like messing with John Wick’s dog.
Don’t believe me?
December 21, 2008… The Titans were hosting the Steelers. The winner of the game would get a commanding lead on the best record in the AFC. I remember because I was there. So was Snoop Dogg, oddly enough. The Titans went on to dominate the game and won 31-14. Toward the end of the game, the Titans decided to stomp on a Terrible Towel they obtained from the stands. Not only did the Titans go on to lose their first playoff game in the Divisional Round against the Ravens (the Algae Crumpler fumble), but they then went on to lose their first six games of the following season. The Steelers have also won 7 of the last 9 against the Titans.
January 15, 1995… After the San Diego Chargers (RIP in peace) beat the Steelers in the AFC Championship game, several Chargers players were waving Terrible Towels, stomping on them, and being disrespectful. What happened next? The Chargers were handed one of the worst beatings in Super Bowl history, 49-26. They haven’t been to a Super Bowl since. Oh yeah, and they moved cities and now only have fake fans.
Still a coincidence?
December 4, 2005… The Bengals hit up the building formerly known as Heinz (RIP in peace) to play the Steelers with the AFC North crown up for grabs. The Bengals beat the ‘Lers 38-31 and after the game T.J. Houshmandzadeh shined his cleats with a Terrible Towel and threw it on the ground. You can probably guess what happens next. The Bengals went onto win the division, but in their first playoff game in 20 years, they faced the Dolphins. SIKE! They played the Steelers. On the first drive of the game, Carson Palmer tore his ACL. The Bengals obviously unraveled and there were even rumors of Chad Johnson getting in a fist fight with a coach at halftime. The Bengals obviously lost. And to add insult to (Carson Palmer’s) injury, the Steelers ended up winning the Lombardi that year.
If you still don’t believe me, I’ve got nothing left to prove my point. SIKE AGAIN!
Just before the Arizona Cardinals left for Super Bowl XLIII… the city held a pep rally at the airport. The good news: no player or coach disrespected the towel. The bad news: The Phoenix mayor pulled a “Cincinnati mayor” and jinxed his team, even after head coach Ken Whisnenhunt asked him not to, by pretending to blow his nose with a Terrible Towel. And well, the Cardinals went on to win the Super Bowl because Terrible Towel curses aren’t real… SIKE A THIRD TIME!
Look, you don’t have to like the Terrible Towel. I mean dammit, it’s right there in the name. It’s freakin’ terrible. But you should sure has hell respect the towel. It carries a more sure-fire curse than the Madden cover. It’s like teasing ghosts in horror movies. You know some ominous music is going to start playing and it’s not going to end well. Just don’t do it. It’s not hard. Because if you do, bad things will happen.
And if there’s anyone who knows how to deal with bad juju, it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers.