Note to anyone outside of the Steel City: Calling the “Terrible Towels” little will bring out some angry Pittsburgh folks, including those from the past.
In this case, legendary Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher had some fierce words for Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence regarding the famed NFL rally item.
What Sparked Bill Cowher’s Response to Trevor Lawrence?
To start, the third-year quarterback was asked during a Wednesday press conference if he knew any history behind the Steelers’ iconic rally merchandise.
“No, I know what they are. The little yellow towels they swing around,” Lawrence told the Jacksonville media with a smile.
However, the use of “little” brought out an awakened Steel City icon — the Super Bowl 40-winning head coach Cowher.
Now a CBS Sports NFL analyst, Cowher appeared on The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday to educate Lawrence on the Terrible Towel.
“Trevor Lawrence talked about those little gold towels he said this week. Little gold towels? Come on, Trevor, it’s not a little gold towel. It’s called a Terrible Towel,” Cowher said.
“And you’re going to be terrible because this towel is gonna make you terrible. That’s why it’s called a Terrible Towel.”
What Is the History Behind the Famed Terrible Towel?
How revered is the Terrible Towel?
Even the city website visitpittsburgh.com has the towel mentioned as part of its city’s visitor center. The towel’s history runs deep. It’s now nearing 50 years of being a fabric of Steelers games.
When did the towel become revered? It was all through an idea from Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope in 1975. He was looking for a new way to galvanize the team’s fan base ahead of their contest against the Baltimore Colts.
At his unique urging, he told the fans to go find a yellow dish towel for the game and wave them throughout the contest.
Sure enough, the fans brought out the towels and helped energize the Steelers in their 28-10 romp over the Colts.
MORE: PFN Life — Off-the-Field Content
The towels were never put away after that game. The item then made its first appearance at the “Big Game” when the team played in Super Bowl 10 in January 1976 against the Dallas Cowboys — a game the Steelers won 21-17.
Fans Pile on Lawrence for Towel Statement
Sure enough, Cowher had allies reacting to Lawrence’s towel remarks. One fan posted the popular Arthur meme, where the cartoon character clinches his fist.
*Trevor Lawrence calls them little towels*
Steelers fans: pic.twitter.com/hVZ4QTDanl
— Zach Schultz (@Schu1tzy) October 26, 2023
Even NFL network personality Rich Eisen on his Sirius XM radio show, had a strong quip for Lawrence.
“Excuse me? They’re yellow towels that are not appropriate for drying off after a shower. I understand, but they’re not little to these folks in Pittsburgh,” Eisen said Thursday.
Going back to Lawrence’s presser, he did mention how much he respected the Steelers’ history and prestige. Perhaps, though, it could’ve been him covering for calling the towels “little.”
The towels continue to remain a popular sight at Steelers’ home games. Following Lawrence’s words, it’s more than likely the towel will help occupy every seat at Acrisure Stadium on Sunday when Lawrence and the 5-2 Jacksonville Jaguars are in town.
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