Now I’m Ready to Hate

Thursday, January 29th, 2009, 7:29 pm

Three days to the Super Bowl and I’ve had it with the hype. Two weeks is perhaps enough time for Hines Ward’s MCL to heal but it’s too much time for the chattering classes to talk the game up. A month ago the Arizona Cardinals were the worst team to ever make the NFL playoffs, so horrible the system needed to be changed to keep teams like them out. Now the Cardinals are described as an unstoppable offensive juggernaut with possibly the greatest wide receiver in league history.

Fortunately the NFL doesn’t use the same idiotic system as D-I college football and the teams actually have to win on the field instead of letting a computer decide. Arizona deserves to be the Super Bowl and, heck, I was rooting for them in every game they played. It’s a nice story, the worst franchise in the league making the Super Bowl. The ties between the Steelers and Cardinals are strong–Whisenhunt and Grimm each might’ve been the guy to replace Bill Cowher, and Morey, Haggans, even Jerame Tuman play for the Cards now. Good on ’em. While I of course want the Steelers to win, so far I hadn’t been able to muster the proper level of hatred for the team they gotta beat.

Until today, that is.

First of all, ESPN ran a great story by Greg Garber about the history of the Terrible Towel and how it became the symbol of Steeler Nation. It was just a goofy gimmick invented by Myron Cope in 1975 that caught on to the point where parents swaddle their newborns in Terrible Towels and people want Terrible Towels draped over their caskets. The money raised by sales of Terrible Towels goes to the Allegheny Valley School, which helps kids with autism and other developmental issues. I may seem silly that a hank of yellow cloth could conjure such emotion, but it does. I’m still livid that I forgot to bring my Terrible Towel to the bridge dedication when I was in Vietnam. Wanted to get a picture, instead I brought it 9,000 miles and left it in the hotel.

And so, perhaps you can imagine my anger, my rage, my most righteous goddam FURY when I read (and saw) that the mayor of Phoenix, a pissant named Phil Gordon (no, not THAT Phil Gordon), desecrated a Terrible Towel at the rally held when the Cardinals left for Tampa. Gordon blew his nose with a Terrible Towel before throwing it to the ground. The Cardinal mascot (some work-release mope sentenced to dressing up like a giant songbird) then wiped his armpits with it. All the while the Cardinal fans were shouting “Burn it!”

Don’t these assholes know ANYTHING? You do not mess with the Terrible Towel. Ask T.J. Houshmandzadeh how well shining his shoes with a Terrible Towel went. Or Derrick Mason stomping on one. Or Keith Bullock and LenDale While, who did a two-step on a Terrible Towel after the Titans beat the Steelers in the next-to-last game of the regular season. Last we saw Bullock he was throwing metal retaining gates around after they got bounced by the Ravens. LenDale White, just canvas all-you-can eat buffets.

But still, Gordon lost his mind and fricking went there. Of course, being a politician, and realizing that he’d shit the bed, Gordon backpedaled faster than Lawrence Timmons dropping into coverage. Gordon released a statement that said the following:

At no time did anyone intend, in any way, to offend the Steelers organization and their fans, supporters and traditions.

Are you shitting me? You blow your nose on the symbol of the Steelers and their fans and IT WASN’T MEANT TO OFFEND? You’re that stupid, that gutless? Guess what, jagoff? I’m goddam OFFENDED. I would’ve had some respect for Gordon had he come out and said, “Yeah, I did it, and our team is gonna do worse to the Steelers on Sunday. Now get out my face”. THAT would’ve taken courage. But no, in front of a gaggle of bandwagoneers who probably didn’t know their team colors two weeks ago, Gordon feels free to talk some shit. Then the blowback hits and that fast Gordon tucks tail and runs for cover.

Well guess what, Mr. Mayor? You take take your apology and stick it up your ass. Nor will I apologize for reveling in the absurd mass hysteria and mass hatred his stupid actions will whip up. Raymond James Stadium is gonna be about 85% Steeler fans, if not more. Mayor Gordon, and the Cardinals, and their fans, are gonna be seeing a lot of the Terrible Towel on Sunday. Let’s hope, as Myron Cope said when he introduced it back in 1975, that the Terrible Towel is poised to strike.

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One Response to “Now I’m Ready to Hate”

  1. BG Says:

    This is the best linen-related outrage I’ve read today. Good work.

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