That fucking Trophy Towel!

February 2, 2009

WAS Sunday night’s Super Bowl appearance the beginning of a drought for the Steelers?

Sure, the same team is going to be in place for awhile but Goddamn it, I believe in a jinx! I am extremely cynical by nature but I do have exceptions. For instance, you can’t be on a road trip and talk about certain what ifs; like flat tires or mechanical troubles.

And you cannot front on the Terrible Towel. It has taken on a life of its own like the Zuni hunting fetish from Trilogy of Terror.

Over the past several years any opponent desicrating it has fallen out of the playoffs with quite a few examples in the 2008 season alone. The Ravens wideout Derrick Mason stomped the towel and his crew went on to lose all three games against the Steelers this season; culminated with a physical ass-wiping in the AFC title game. Who can forget LenDale White and Keith Bullock of the Tennessee Tuxedos stomping it with muddied cleats in week 17? The number one seed became the monkey gone to heaven, losing their first post-season game.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and the Cardinals mascot Big Red who chose to ignore the Fates. The bird wiped his armpits with the towel and Mayor Phil blew his nose into it. He then threw it on the ground and smeared it with his foot.

What should have been the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history turned into a play for the ages that featured, not the red birds; instead a Holmes reception in the corner of the end zone with seconds left in the game to lead the Steelers to the title.

A few weeks prior to the Big Dance, the League announced its plan to produce a Trophy Towel. More schwag to milk fans of the victorious team. Granted, the Terrible Towel began as a radio gimmick. But it’s our Goddamn gimmick! Somehow it assumed the spirit, spit and spite of Myron Cope. Other teams have tried to appropriate it – like the Colts and I seem to remember the Jacksonville Jagoffs. But who the fuck wants to wave a teal towel? The Fire Island Marines?

I know – it is only a towel. But it’s our towel. The Pack has wedges of cheese that they put on their heads; the Browns have dog masks and Milk Bones. And the Raiders have ankle monitors. You don’t see the NFL coping any of that stuff.

When Roethlisberger stepped on to the set of the NFL Network post game panel, my heart sank. He had a fucking ‘trophy towel’ slung over his shoulder. This is where the superstitious part of my mind began to spin up; the part of me that won’t walk under a ladder; the part that gets freaked out when a black cat runs across my path. With all of the talk of the Cope curse and even Steeler players critical of the Trophy Towel, why would you put that thing on your shoulder for an interview? Why would you even touch it? The appropriate response would have been to throw it to the fans; get as far away as possible – like it had leprosy.

I realize that this is the more irrational shit that runs through my head and hopefully I am wrong and this will be forgotten like the Disney World commercials but I cannot help taking the Steeler players open handling of this dark-hearted greed tchotchkie as a bad sign and a jinx. I am going on record now so that the witch doctor or feng shi master who will know how to remedy my presumed curse can start sacrificing the kittens to lift it sooner than later.

If the Steelers are beset with a string of bad luck through injury or missed opportunity; if they don’t see the post season for a long time – it’s because of that fucking Trophy Towel!


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