In which I don’t write the obvious rant

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.”

And this:

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.

And on.

And on.

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.





68 Comments


  1. G-Man
    January 26, 2011 9:43 pm

    I saw his article earlier today, linked from the banner page on AOL-dot-com. I got mad chiefly because I thought “he must be a Flyers or Capitals fan.” Never thought about him doing it for hits.



  2. Beatrice
    January 26, 2011 9:54 pm

    You are so right.



  3. Dana
    January 26, 2011 9:55 pm

    It’s really cool of him to call merchandise that raises money for the Allegheny Valley School stupid.



  4. bucdaddy
    January 26, 2011 9:56 pm

    The Terrible Towel is NOT stupid.

    Kinda dumb, maybe, but NOT stupid.

    Getting all agitated and stabby about what some nitwit on a sports blog writes, however …



  5. Aileen
    January 26, 2011 10:00 pm

    How do you refute ignorance? This guy is the sports equivalent of a Klansman or those evil bastards in Kansas who go to the funerals of servicemen and women with these vile signs that say that God hates them.

    The true beauty of the towel, its legacy, is what it provides to the residents of the Allegheny Valley School.



  6. Caitlin
    January 26, 2011 10:17 pm

    Is it redundant to reply with “That’s Church”? In the truest sense of the phrase.



  7. BeauJacques
    January 26, 2011 11:15 pm

    Because I don’t want him to register “hits” on his site, I’ll speak to this preening shit-eater here!

    Fuck off and die Clay, you inbred, child-molesting, smegma cloud!!

    Oh, and the authorities have been notified regarding the kiddie porn on your hard drive!!



  8. Mike Frazer
    January 26, 2011 11:21 pm

    I welcome Mr. Travis’ comments, and for one simple reason: every time someone disrespects the towel, good things abound for the Steelers. Please, PLEASE disrespect it more. Invite your friends to do so. Have some Packers’ players write guest posts about how absurd our towel is. We take great pride in our towel, our city and our team.

    The article is absolutely ridiculous in its claims. Three dirty rivers? Of course they are, one of them comes from Ohio. People fled the city in droves? Once, yes. But now Pittsburgh, like my current home of Raleigh, NC, is having a resurgence based around the medical and high-tech industries. In fact, I have told my wife many times that if we ever leave here, the ONLY place I will move to is The Burgh.

    Clay Travis, thank you. Thank you for proving that Pittsburgh is classier than wherever it is you are from. For showing that even a bunch of rednecks who stand up and wave a yellow dish towel around are more sophisticated and more intelligent than you are. I, a senior software engineer with an IQ of 152, stood in my living room and twirled one of my MANY towels from several seconds before each play until at LEAST when the play ended. I did it for EVERY SINGLE PLAY. Didn’t miss even one. I waved my towel for most of a 3 1/2-hour stretch, until well after I thought I might have torn my rotator cuff again. In my living room. Where no one else could see me. And when it was all said and done, and Jets fans cried into their sleeves, I joined millions the world over WAVING MY “STUPID TOWEL” IN MY DRIVEWAY WITH AN IRON CITY BEER IN MY HAND — AND I AM DAMNED PROUD OF IT!

    Disrespect us, our city, our team and our towel, Mr. Travis. You’ll see what happens. And if you have forgotten, go talk to T.J. Houshmanzadeh and Keith Bullock, to name a few people who have regretted it. I’ll try to see you on Super Bowl Sunday, but it may be hard through all the black and gold ticker tape in the air.



  9. AngryMongo
    January 26, 2011 11:22 pm

    He’s a cotton headed ninny muggins…

    The only hits he deserves is the helmet to helmet kind from all of Steeler Nation amalgamated into the form of James Harrison. No flag. No penalty. No fine. No pulse. D-E-A-D.

    In the words of Castiel…

    “Assbutt!”



  10. L-A
    January 26, 2011 11:25 pm

    Right on, sister. And Mike Frazer, I wanna hug ya :-)



  11. Pa-Pop
    January 26, 2011 11:40 pm

    Sage advice, Virginia.



  12. Meghan
    January 26, 2011 11:53 pm

    I respectfully disagree. I hope all the hate mail he gets from Pittsburgh fans crashes his stupid website! hahahhaaa My niece has autism & I can’t stand by & say nothing. So I just sent him a link to the school’s website. Let him reflect on that when he puts his loser Tennessee Titans expansion team sucks head on his pillow tonight!



  13. Pensgirl
    January 27, 2011 12:30 am

    No rant is necessary anyway. All one has to say in return is, hello, you live in NASHVILLE.

    (I mean, does anyone even know that city exists?)



  14. Cassie
    January 27, 2011 4:19 am

    I just find it sad that he picked Pittsburgh of all places to pick on. Being formerly from Minnesota, don’t they realize that Green Bay fans wear CHEESE on their heads?

    And what, pray tell, does that raise money for?



  15. Craig
    January 27, 2011 5:14 am

    The curse continues, they never should have done that to The Towel. I’ll be in Nashville soon, where did I put those Post-It notes? ;)



  16. Jack
    January 27, 2011 6:44 am

    Jealousy comes in all shapes and sizes. And articles apparently too.



  17. Amanda
    January 27, 2011 8:27 am

    The article was also one of two opinion pieces, the other making fun of the cheese head thing the Packers have going for them (and in support of the superiority of the towel). I admit, I read both and chuckled. Tease away. It may seem strange to an outsider but it is our tradition. And I wouldn’t be caught dead with a cheese hat on.



  18. Butcher's Dog
    January 27, 2011 8:56 am

    Um…Mike Frazier…the river flows INTO Ohio, it doesn’t come from it. Just sayin’. If it came from Ohio it would be flammable, not dirty. Also, this kind of thing(critical piece) is where sports talk radio callers go when they learn to type. Again, just sayin’.



  19. AngryMongo
    January 27, 2011 9:02 am

    @Butcher’s Dog Haven’t you ever seen John Madden do the telestrator thing with the rivers? All the rivers flow into the point and drain into the fountain..



  20. POLITICALPARTYPOOPER
    January 27, 2011 9:11 am

    Hi Ginny! Actually, there is something dumber than the terrible towel. It’s called a cheesehead, and it’s better known nationwide than any towel. Actually something of a legend.

    As you know, I live in Wisconsin, where the Packers and God are one. So now we start the REAL trash talking. Couple of questions…
    1. What stadium is called the football mecca?
    2. What is the name of Titletown and what does it mean?
    3. Who’s the best team in football?

    The Steelers are a good team, but their players and fans are going to be inundated in a sea of green, gold, and cheese on Sunday, February 6, 2011. You’ll need the Hubble telescope to even see a terrible towel amidst all the cheeseheads. If this game were in Lambeau field, the only colors in the stands would be Green, Gold, and blaze orange!

    By the way, how ironic and fitting is it that the first NFC team to play a Super Bowl in Dallas is the Green Bay Packers? I can’t tell you how many Dallas fans I’ve had conversation with who are almost sobbing over that fact, especially since their owner blew the bank on trying to buy a super bowl team so he could win it in Dallas. Behold! The Ice Bowl Champion cometh!

    The Packers are truly America’s team. Even in Philadelphia, there are sports bars dedicated to them. Philadelphia!

    Now, you might be asking yourselves, how did Pittsburgh become so unfortunate as to have to face the Packers in the Super Bowl. The answer?

    You guys have a good team. Sadly, you just happen to be rooting for the wrong one this time.

    If it weren’t for Ben Rothlesberger, I’d actually watch Steeler’s games, because I like the rest of your team. But I can’t stand watching a quarterback who belongs in jail receiving any attention whatsoever.

    Oh yes…you better believe I just played the Ben-card! It might be the only thing that separates the two teams, and I’ll beat that horse long after it’s dead if that brings the Lombardi trophy BACK WHERE IT BELONGS.

    Maybe if u visit sometime, I’ll take you up to Lambeau field so you can see it.

    ;)



  21. Mike Frazer
    January 27, 2011 9:14 am

    Pardon my sense of direction. How’s this for a fix:

    “Dirty river? Of course, we use one of them to send our waste to Cincinnati. They built their stadium from it.”

    Admittedly, I haven’t been to The ‘Burgh in at least two decades and didn’t actually grow up there, I grew up in Somerset County. But my pride for the “home city” still runs deep, even if the home city is 80 miles away.

    I figured it would be better to vent my spleen here rather than be baited into his plan over at The Fanhouse. Smarter, too. I think.



  22. Cindy T.
    January 27, 2011 9:39 am

    Clay who? Nuff said.



  23. Me
    January 27, 2011 10:00 am

    I don’t know, I for one, would want LaMar Woodley was mad at me. He has some pretty big friends too.

    And Pooper —

    1. What stadium is called the football mecca?
    According to our new Bahamian friends, that would be Heinz Field.

    2. What is the name of Titletown and what does it mean?
    Detroit — those Red Wings have won a bunch of Stanley Cups.

    3. Who’s the best team in football?
    Da Stillers, of course…

    :)

    Looking forward to a great game. I have the utmost respect for the Packers. Great team and great fans. They’re going down. But a great team nonetheless.



  24. Maggie K
    January 27, 2011 10:03 am

    Amen, it was blatantly obvious.



  25. #1 WI Steeler Fan
    January 27, 2011 10:16 am

    So we will rant and rave here on your site- if that is okay. IF the TT was such a stupid idea, how come so many other teams copied the idea? This guy doesn’t have any horse in the race, yet feels obligated to insult and infuriate all the good and decent citizens of Steeler Nation. Jealousy certainly is a bitch, isn’t it?



  26. BeauJacques
    January 27, 2011 10:17 am

    First of all, what kind of pansy-ass name is “Clay?”

    Second, Nashville is a shithole in the state that gave us Al Gore.

    Third, as an avid kayaker I can tell you that ‘Clay’ is a clueless,
    queefy, twat who’s never been near our rivers (unlike the open sewer which flows thru his ghetto) because I paddle them and they are great!

    Unlike shitbag ;Clay’ (a lawyer BTW, need we say more?) I have proof!

    Voila:

    http://twitpic.com/3tv1zs
    http://twitpic.com/3tv3ta
    http://twitpic.com/3tv2p7
    http://twitpic.com/3tv9rs



  27. CrashJK
    January 27, 2011 10:26 am

    Perhaps he should start a campaign to clean up the sh$t that Nashville sells as “music” these days…start with pop tart Taylor Swift and the hundreds of cloned, autotuned, all fluff no substance “country” acts….geesh…how about those Titans and Predators, huh ?….awesome…ain’t they.



  28. Magnus Patris
    January 27, 2011 10:35 am

    I’m amazed that Ginny doesn’t just shut the comments off sometimes.



  29. FireMom
    January 27, 2011 10:36 am

    True facts. He basically trolled Pittsburgh.

    And what do you do with a troll? You read it aloud to your husband, make some jokes that will last for a few weeks until you have completely forgotten TEH STUPID that is this particular troll and ignore the snot out of said troll. If you reply, the troll is thereby fed and is made stronger. None of that is necessary.

    I like your un-obvious rant. Good job.



  30. AngryMongo
    January 27, 2011 10:43 am

    obvious troll is obvious.



  31. Christina
    January 27, 2011 11:01 am

    I think Ginny hit the nail and that is reason enough to go not and read the article myself (besides I do not care enough about what the guy writes to spend my time on it).

    I am also with Jack: Jealousy comes in all shapes and sizes.

    That is obviously true.

    About Steeler Nation being so spread out because they escape the city:

    The Steelers Facebook page has at the moment 1,605,415 fans. Pittsburgh is @Wikipedia listed with 313,000 citizens. ‘Nuff said!

    The Terrible Towel is a strong tradition. It might be strange for people not involved, but … we don’t care ;)

    GO STEELERS!

    10 more days until the Bowl that is Super.



  32. bluzdude
    January 27, 2011 11:19 am

    Yeah, the towel idea was so stupid, it’s been copied, at one time or another, by every other team in the league.

    Ginny’s right. Dude’s just looking for a reaction. Don’t give him one.



  33. Pa-pop
    January 27, 2011 11:31 am

    To elaborate on Christina’s point (#30), here’s the current score on Facebook:

    Steelers: 1,606,352
    Packers: 867,359

    Of course, this might be because there are more cows than computers in Wisconsin.



  34. YinzerInExile
    January 27, 2011 11:34 am

    A-freaking-men.

    You know, I like to talk some good shit before a football game and nothing about the team is sacred but FOR THE LOVE, people of the intarwebz (trolls loosely included), just stop with the bringing of the cities into the fray. Seriously. Stop. Nothing says one’s stupid is showing quite like disparaging another city simply because it is not your own. Every so often, someone comes up with a clever new quip about a rival fanbase and I admittedly giggle, but by and large it’s just the same schlock re-packaged. It is old. It is tired. It marks you as the creativity-sucking dearth of wit that you are.



  35. Magnus Patris
    January 27, 2011 11:51 am

    #33 YinzerInExile Amen.



  36. BeauJacques
    January 27, 2011 12:17 pm

    3 Most Frequent Lies Told in Nashville:

    1) The trailer’s paid for.

    2) I didn’t know she was my cousin.

    3) I was just helping that pig over the fence.



  37. Steelerscansuckit
    January 27, 2011 12:17 pm

    I love the Clay article! Spot on!!! There is absolutely NOTHING special about this city. it pretty much sucks.



  38. bucdaddy
    January 27, 2011 12:32 pm

    Uh-oh …

    *Puts on asbestos underwear*

    It’s gonna get hot in here …



  39. Burgh_In_DC
    January 27, 2011 12:51 pm

    Also happen to agree with Clay from Nashville. I mean seriously, no way a team from proud tennessee
    http://tinyurl.com/4oq6cw8
    would ever imitate
    http://tinyurl.com/5v2ktbe
    anything like a dumb
    http://tinyurl.com/4rva422
    towel
    http://tinyurl.com/66ybewa
    let alone anything that is less unique or iconic to the tennessee region
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/sioncampus/02/25/baseball.top.prospects/cc_tennfans.jpg



  40. unsatisfied
    January 27, 2011 1:08 pm

    WTAE is presently doing a story about this with the headline of “terrible towel under attack”.

    stop it.

    stop it all.

    please.

    for the love of myron.



  41. burgher-licious
    January 27, 2011 1:20 pm

    May the large Karma boomerang find him and strike him down.



  42. Jaime
    January 27, 2011 1:22 pm

    He’s green with envy that the Steelers are in the Superbowl.



  43. empirechick
    January 27, 2011 1:41 pm

    Burgh_In_DC FTW!



  44. Coco
    January 27, 2011 1:52 pm

    I am not a football fan. I have no opinion on the Terrible Towel other than thinking vaguely that it is a fond ritual and a nice way to donate to charity for fans. However, my opinion on this article is…BRAVO. Way to defuse an attention seeking half-wit who wants hits on his website.



  45. JennyMoon
    January 27, 2011 1:58 pm

    BeauJacques takes cuss words to a new level. I’m writing them down for future use.



  46. inBrookline
    January 27, 2011 2:01 pm

    What’s sad is that I really enjoy Clay’s writing. He has written for CBS Sportsline and Deadspin in the past and has some really quality work under his belt. I always admired his opinion and interesting look at things. I am really blown away that things have gotten so bad for him that he had to sink to the level of writing a hate-piece to generate some hits. I never would have anticipated that he of all people would churn out something so hack. I truly feel bad for him because he’s always been way above this type of laziness.



  47. shmiller
    January 27, 2011 2:17 pm

    Thanks, Ginny.

    I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, and overreact to things, and knee-jerk react to everything, and all sorts of other cliches, so naturally I was spewing for spittle as a I hurled insults at my screen just reading your SUMMARY of this so-called journalistic rant. Then, in a moment of ephiphany, “oh, yeah! That’s what he’s up to, sly little dog.”

    I’m an English teacher for Cripes’ sake. I teach kids to read propaganda and bias for a living for the Love of God. But I guess I’m so blinded by my love for mah Stillers that momentarily went apeshit. Thanks for the reality check.

    Spread the love and wisdom, sister. Spread it.



  48. PensFan024
    January 27, 2011 2:30 pm

    @POLITICALPARTYPOOPER

    Wow. Where to begin?

    1. What stadium is called the football mecca?

    Well that depends on who your favorite team is you dolt. Do you really think the fans of the other 31 teams call Lambeau Field football mecca? If so you are quite in the wrong. You see when someone refers to something as “Mecca” it is because the feel the need to make a pilgrimage to the place. I doubt many people outside of Packers fans would feel the need to see Lambeau Field. You better be careful, your homer is showing.

    2. What is the name of Titletown and what does it mean?

    Really? You’re gonna hang your hat on some stupid contest ESPN held (BTW Pittsburgh came in 2nd). The reason no one outside of Green Bay talks about all of your NFL championships from before the merger is because they are not considered great achievements. Winning a bunch of titles is in a fledgling 12 team league is not impressive. It’s just not. Your homer is showing again.

    3. Who’s the best team in football?

    That’s why they play this game called the Super Bowl. You know, the one that the Steelers have won more than any other team in history.

    You are aware that Pittsburgh is widely regarded as the most well traveled team right? So I just don’t understand why you think the Packers fans will outnumber the Steelers fans unless of course your just showing your ignorance of the facts. And please don’t pretend like the Packs rivalry with the Cowboys surpasses that of the Steelers. Do you know what will make the Dallas fans madder than seeing the Packers represent the NFC in their stadium? Seeing the Steelers win it there.

    “The Packers are truly America’s team. Even in Philadelphia, there are sports bars dedicated to them. Philadelphia!”

    That is just laughable. There are two teams that can lay claim to and fight over that moniker. That would be Dallas and Pittsburgh. Please just stop making shit up to make yourself feel better. But, just for fun check out this site:

    http://www.post-gazette.com/steelernation/steelerbars_list.asp#Pennsylvania

    You’ll notice there are 9 Steelers bars in Philly. NINE! And could you please tell me why a sports bar in Philly is a big deal. Maybe it’s because you aren’t used to seeing a Packers bar in EVERY town you go to. Maybe the next time your in Beijing or Rome, or Moscow you can take a stroll down to the local Steelers bar. What a joke it is that you think the Pack is Americas Team.

    “But I can’t stand watching a quarterback who belongs in jail receiving any attention whatsoever.”

    Considering absolutely no charges have even been brought against him that is really just a pathetic attempt at trash talk. But I guess that’s really not a surprise once you get to that point in your strange little rant. But, beating that horse is certainly not going to bring the Lombardi trophy back to Green Bay. Unfortunately for you that is just not in the cards this year.

    Just out of curiosity, how many ex-Steeler coaches does it take to get the Packers to a Super Bowl. Let’s count: One…Two…THHHHHREE. To bad for the Packers that the students (Capers, Greene, and Perry) have not become the master (Lebeau).

    Maybe next year since the Steelers will have won the Super Bowl 7 times they can give the trophy a more relevant name. I’m thinking maybe the Rooney Trophy.



  49. Butcher's Dog
    January 27, 2011 2:35 pm

    @Pooper: What do you call a 400-pound Packers fan? Anorexic.

    BeauJacques is at the top of my personal list of people I’d most like to have with me as I enter a dark alley. Seriously. He’s also, sadly, at the very bottom of my list of people I’d most want with me as I enter a biker bar. The exact same qualities (at least as evidenced in this blog) earn him both distinctions.



  50. Jim
    January 27, 2011 2:42 pm

    To borrow a line from the great James Michener, he’s a miserable little cork in the asshole of progress, and there’s a shitstorm comin!