The Terrible Towel has become as synonymous with the NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers organization as anything, including the Lombardi Trophy. The word “iconic” is overused in today’s sports world, but the Terrible Towel epitomizes the adjective. It’s a constant from Steelers’ games gone by and remains a tradition carried out today.
Pittsburgh’s fan base is a proud group, and their blue-collar mentality personifies an NFL franchise that stands out amongst their contemporaries. When football fans think of the Pittsburgh Steelers, they think of Terry Bradshaw, “Mean” Joe Greene, Lynn Swann, Jerome Bettis, Ben Roethlisberger, Bill Cowher, and … the Terrible Towel.
How Did The Terrible Towel Begin?
Steelers radio announced Myron Cope came up with the idea behind the Terrible Towel during the 1975 playoffs. It became a catalyst for Pittsburgh, as the Steelers used the motivation to spearhead the franchise to a victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X.
The Terrible Towel has become a symbol players and fans identify with and take great pride in. Whether the games were in Three Rivers Stadium, the previous home of the Steelers, or their current digs, Acrisure Stadium, the rabid fan base waves them around. Subsequently, the packed house goes into a frenzy.
The Terrible Towel travels well, too. When Steelers fans enter enemy territory, the towel comes with them. Other NFL teams have attempted to duplicate the Terrible Towel by providing their respective franchise with a similar prop, but those versions are nothing like the original — at least in terms of notoriety.
Does the Terrible Towel Translate Off the Football Field?
Although the Terrible Towels are in full force during Steelers games, it has become beloved throughout the Pittsburgh area and beyond. When babies are born, it has become commonplace for medical personnel to wrap the baby in one.
Local bars and restaurants regularly hang the garment on their walls. Couples celebrate with it on their wedding day. The Terrible Towel has been around the globe and has even ventured into outer space. There are no limits to the distinguished yellow cloth.
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It has evolved to help with many causes and important dates as well. The Steelers have as much connection to the Super Bowl as any team in the league. There are different versions of the Terrible Towel commemorating Super Bowl titles.
National observances and holidays such as Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween have been honored with a version of the towel, too. Other versions include a camouflage edition and a pink version to recognize breast cancer awareness.
Which Famous Celebrities Have Donned The Terrible Towel?
There are many Pittsburgh fans sprinkled throughout Hollywood and various forms of entertainment.
Many celebrities have rocked the Terrible Towel, including former President Jimmy Carter, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, rapper Wiz Khalifa, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, singer Gavin Rossdale, actor Larry the Cable Guy, and actresses Alyssa Milano, Tamara Tunie, and Jane Seymour.
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