Throwback Thursday – LenDale White disrespects Steelers Terrible Towel

Tennessee Titans running back LenDale White
Tennessee Titans running back LenDale White /

Steelers Terrible Towel is one of the most recognizable fan traditions in all of sports.

Invented by legendary broadcaster Myron Cope in the dynasty years of the 1970s, the towel gives Steelers fans a handy way to support their team while supporting a good cause: Cope donated the Towel’s trademark to the Allegheny Valley School, a support program for people with developmental disabilities.

The Towels also take up space in the air above the seats, allowing Pittsburgh fans’ takeover of opposing stadiums to look even more absolute. But not everyone is a fan.

The Black and Gold rolled through the 2008 season, sitting at 11-3 when they came to Nashville to play the Tennessee Titans. Pittsburgh lost  31-14, iced by a feckless defense on a Ben Roethlisberger interception that went all the way the other way for a pick-six:

It was at this moment that LenDale White infamously stomped on a (knockoff) Terrible Towel.

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Even after the Titans lost their final game of the season and were dumped from the playoffs in the divisional round as Pittsburgh won their sixth Super Bowl, this was not the end of White’s Towel disrespect. White said he’d do it again before the Steelers and Titans met to open the 2009 season:

"“If it happens to be there, I’m going to stomp all over that [pause], man,” the running back told reporters after practice Sunday. “If there’s a towel in the stands, I will stomp on it. I don’t care who gets mad. … If they throw a towel at me, I’m going to kick it and stomp all over it. If they don’t want their towel stomped on, keep it out my face.”"

Pittsburgh won that contest with the nation watching, 13-10.

Tennessee’s Towel fixation even lasted into 2013:

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It’ll be a diminished crowd, with only 10% of Nissan Stadium in Nashville allowed to be filled, and who knows if this will end up a casualty of the Titans’ COVID-19 outbreak, but I heard they were originally planning on letting about 4,000 Steelers fans into the game this week.