A writer over at the popular site The Fanhouse, Clay Travis, who also has a radio show on an FM station in Nashville, published an article today called “The Terrible Towel is Terribly Stupid,” and Steeler Nation is well, aghast is really the only word to describe it.
Let’s also throw words like disgusted, enraged, frothing at the mouth, and blind with fury into the recipe of angst we’re cooking up here.
Clay writes things like, “Talk to any Steelers fan for more than three minutes and they’ll mention their stupid towel.”
How dare you insult the towel, they say, dabbing their eyes with the towel? Yep, the towel’s more important to Pittsburgh than the two other things that most characterize the city: 1. the three dirty rivers that surround the Steel City and 2. all the fans fleeing it for better places to live. (The reason people think there are so many Steeler fans in the country isn’t because there are so many, it’s because everyone leaves Pittsburgh the moment they have the opportunity to live anywhere else).
He goes on to insult Myron Cope, our city, our intelligence, our team, you, me … YOUR MOTHER.
Oh, no he di’int. [snap snap snap]
Girl, he did.
He bashed it all. He said:
The Terrible Towel means nothing. It’s the dumbest, most absurd symbol in all of professional sports. The only thing dumber than the Terrible Towel? People who take offense when the towel is disrespected. Seriously, there are people who do this.
It goes on and on like that.
So much so that by the time you reach the end of the article, you’re just frantically looking for a place to put your anger.
In the comments? In your blog? In your facebook status bar? In a post-it note stuck to a flaming bag of poop left on his doorstep in Nashville? On his face via a fist?
So of course the emails started to me. “Isn’t this disgusting?” “Doesn’t this make you ANGRY?”
WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO PUNCH HIM IN THE THROAT SO HARD YOU TEAR HIM A NEW MOUTH IN THE BACK OF HIS HEAD?
Aren’t you going to exhort your minions to rise up, take arms, and cut down this scourge upon our Nation of Steel?
In short … no.
I’m not going to rant and rave. I’m not going to tell people to leave comments. I’m not going to wage war on the advertisers of the site. I’m not going to tweet him or tell you to tweet him or tell Troysus to tweet him.
Because, Pittsburgh, listen to me. THAT IS WHAT HE WANTED.
That is why he wrote the article. It is so over the top with insults that this clearly isn’t a case of misinformation or even a case of a journalist writing with a bias. This blows bias out of the water.
The author didn’t write this for hate’s sake. He wrote this for hits’ sake.
Had he written it with an ounce of journalistic integrity, he’d have realized the proceeds from the sales of the towel go to a higher cause than the Steelers, and he’d have mentioned it. He’d have written an opinion piece that the towel is nothing special, and Steeler Nation would have shrugged, left a few nasty comments and moved on.
He went into this to get fans as pissed off as he could, so that they’d email it to all their friends all, “I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS GUY!”
Then they would email it to their friends and on to their friends and the next thing you know, Lamarr Woodley is on Twitter linking everyone to the article and the comments section is filled with pages and pages of angry, misspelled, cuss-riddled, name-calling, poorly thought out posts in defense of the towel.
Do you suppose the author is watching the hits climb up and up into the millions and millions and is saying to himself, “Aw. Shucks. I made a lot of people very angry and now I’ve got Lamarr Woodley mad at me. Boo hoo. Woe is me. I quit. I’m writing a retraction tomorrow and begging the forgiveness of Pittsburgh, its people, and its ex-pats, and then I’m going to find me an Ouija Board and pray to the Ghost of Myron Cope that he doesn’t decide to smite me with moobs and a fourth nipple come morning.”
That’s not what he’s doing at all.
He’s thrilled! This is what he wanted. He’s patting himself on the back and his bosses are telling him, “Well done! Your next article is going to be called, ‘Pat Tillman was an Asshole.'”
He wanted one thing and one thing only … viral hits, and he’s getting them.
He’s not worth your anger and he’s not worth your hastily typed-out retorts.
And he’s certainly not worth the hits.