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Rant

Just once, I aspire to cover a playoff game where fans do not wave towels. Not to sound like Andy Rooney here, ranting about how things used to be, but why does every team feel the need to issue its fans rally towels upon entrance? Fans get them in Philadelphia. Fans get them in Milwaukee. Fans get them here at U.S. Cellular.

Cheap imitations, they are.

In my first years as a sportswriter, I got the know the late Myron Cope, the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers broadcaster and the inventor of the Terrible Towel. The Terrible Towel works for one reason: It's original. Once, I had the opportunity to watch a Steelers-Colts game on television with the already-retired Cope. When he saw the fans in Indy's RCA Dome waving, of course, white towels, he dismissed them as "dust rags."

And he's right. Sameness undoes the colorful spirit of sports. Cheering should be vibrant, original, based in tradition. Just personally, I don't want every stadium to resemble a windblow Bed Bath & Beyond. Enough with the towels! Enough! Enough! Enough! I'm sure Andy Rooney agrees with me, by the way. I was trying to reach him for comment, but he doesn't own a phone.

By Chico Harlan  |  October 5, 2008; 2:26 PM ET
 
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Comments

Now, white hankies, that's different. They even had a song to go with it.
Of course, we'll be waving goodbye to Ozzie with them, this time, but still.

Posted by: ce | October 5, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, waving bobbleheads doesn't really make it. Just doesn't have the same effect, somehow.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

My friends called the towels passed out to Indian and Rockies fans last year "crying towels." Other than the Steelers (Weren't they yellow and not white?) and the Twins' Homer Hankies in the late 80s nd early 90s, does anyone remember a Super Bowl or World Series champion embracing these things?

Posted by: PTBNL | October 5, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Hear hear! The other stupid thing about the towels is that they actually have the effect of *quieting* the home crowd, which is not what you want as the home team. It's kind of hard to clap your hands when you're waving a towel.

Now, as far as noisemakers are concerned, don't get me started on the thunderstix. Those things should be outlawed.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | October 5, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to A Few Minutes with Chico Harlan. Next week we will address Astro Turf and the Designated Hitter...


I don't mind the towels so much. Thunderstix, however, are an abomination.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 5, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Bring back the Green Weenie?

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 5, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Towels are better than those boom whacker things they used in Anaheim a few years ago . . .

Posted by: Philly Phan in Phairfax | October 5, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Thunderstix. That's what they were called. Yes. Those things are lousy.

Posted by: Philly Phan in Phairfax | October 5, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I *did* like the Rally Monkey, though. I know. But still.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 5, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Chico, where would your reasoning lead us? The wave would have stayed in the Mexican soccer stadium where a festive crowd invented it; your Steeler's new mascot, Steely MacBeam, couldn't follow the careers he represents to China, where we've sent them; and we could only sing Sweet Caroline at Fenway!

Posted by: flynnie | October 5, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Caroline should only be sung at Fenway.

Posted by: DR | October 5, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Chico's far too used to the napping Nats audience. Wha? There's a game going on? zzzzz

Posted by: Chris | October 6, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Can anybody tell me what inning we're in?

Posted by: Miller High Life deliveryman | October 6, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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