Monday, December 22, 2008

Terrible Towel Controversy!

So Lendale White and Keith Bulluck stomped on some Steeler "terrible towels" after the 31-14 win over the Steelers Sunday. This, like all stupid shit, has become a controversy and a way for sports writers to earn a paycheck discussing it. And as usual, these people have lost their minds.

Here's what coach Jeff Fisher says:

"Why would it be a big deal? That if we play [the Steelers] again, they'll play harder? I don't think so," Fisher told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. "They always play hard."
I didn't see it, only heard the broadcast, but from what I've gleaned from the scene, there were a ton of Steelers fans at LP Field waving these things like it was a home game. Whether this is a statement for bandwagon Titans fans who didn't think they had a chance and sold off their tickets, or a tremendous statement of the travel capabilities of the Steelers fans, I think if I were White or Bulluck, I'd be a bit pissed off about that sight as well.

Completely ludicrous are discussions like this (from the same ESPN article):

Three years ago, Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh wiped his shoes with a Terrible Towel after Cincinnati won 38-31 in Pittsburgh in early December to all but clinch the AFC North. When the teams met again a month later in Cincinnati, the Steelers -- motivated by Houshmandzadeh's shoe-wiping display -- won 31-17 for the first of their three conference road playoff wins that led to the Super Bowl.
Funny, the real story of that playoff game was that Carson Palmer was hurt on his very first pass of the game by Kimo von Oelhoffen, rendering the Bengals without their star quarterback. They played the game with Jon freaking Kitna. Love the parenthetical, "motivated by Houshmandzadeh's shoe-wiping display," as if this was THE reason for the game's end result. It's garbage, and this writer should be fired.

More notes from the inane (this from CNNSI):

Pittsburgh players and fans revere the Towel, and why go there against a team you might see again in the playoffs? For me, it falls under the heading of unwisely giving your opponent extra motivation. I promise you, if the Steelers and Titans do meet again, that footage will be run on a continuous loop in Pittsburgh.
And the effects on the Steelers will be akin to Prince Adam raising his sword and bellowing, "By the power of Grayskull!"

Folks, losing is motivation enough. And...and, even if we were to buy this 100% wholesale, I have to argue the whole "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" thing. Say the Steelers are so motivated that they just look like they're about to tear Titan heads off. I have a feeling this works both ways. I doubt the Titan players will be running into the Cumberland River screaming, "They're just too motivated! Holy shit, abandon ship!"

If the Steelers beat the Titans in the playoffs, and it's a big if that they even meet, it will have nothing to do with a towel, unless Kerry Collins' hands are too sweaty and the towel boy does a bad job.

In fact, here is a clip that makes more sense than this controversy:

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At 12/23/2008 10:25:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

Okay... seriously... if any Steelers player were to come out and say he felt disrespected when the Titans stomped on his team's yellow towel... that guy should be branded a sissy and forced to wear a tutu on the outside of his uniform for the remainder of all games played in his career. For real.

Offended over a freakin' towel? I call BS. Why can't teams just be motivated by the desire to win? Seemed to work alright for me when I was in Little League. Nobody pretended to wipe their butt with my batting glove, but I still hit that triple during the all-star game.

I promise that whatever those players are doing to each other on the bottom of those fumble recovery pile-ups is far more hurtful and damaging than seeing a towel get stomped on or having an opposing player guarantee a victory over you.


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