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Two days after various members of the Tennessee Titans defiled the Terrible Towel during a 17-point win over the Steelers, linebacker Keith Bulluck tried to downplay the significance of the incident during an appearance on Sirius NFL Radio.
And for good reason, given that the two teams could meet again, with a Super Bowl berth on the line.
Asked about the towel desecration by Adam Schein and John Riggins, hosts of The Sirius Blitz, Bulluck tried to explain that the apparent act of disrespect flowed from the Titans’ perception that they’re not respected.
“It was definitely no disrespect to the players on the Steelers or players from the past because the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Bulluck said, “they are one of the foundations of this league that we play in.  So it’s definitely not like that but it definitely is, look, we’re a team that, we don’t get a lot of respect.  We have the best record in football and we’ve been playing the same football all year round and people have been wondering, ‘How is this team doing it?’  In the playoffs they’re going to get to see. 
“We were just excited.  We were just happy.  And I don’t care who we play, if they come with 15,000 fans and we happen to be the victors that day, yeah, I’ll probably stomp their towels, too.”
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin also appeared on the show, and he was more concise about the situation.
“Really, I don’t have any thoughts or comments regarding that,” Tomlin said.  “It only becomes significant if we play them again.  So, ask me again if that should happen here this season.”
Translation?  If we play them again, the Steelers players will hear about it constantly.

Permalink 58 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, Tennessee Titans, Top Stories
  1. hesawinner says: Dec 23, 2008 10:29 PM

    Boy he’s really backpedaling on that one. “I’ll probably stomp their towels, too.” So nervous!

  2. FlyingElvis says: Dec 23, 2008 10:38 PM

    Ya the Steelers will definitely play harder in the playoffs if a team stepped on their towel. That REALLY ups the ante…

  3. CharrdWood says: Dec 23, 2008 10:38 PM

    How on Earth is that perceived as Bulluck being nervous?! Seems to me that he basically reiterated exactly what he said after the game. This stuff is ridiculous. It’s a RAG, people! If the Steelers players feel disrespected by the act, well…gee…how do they think those towels got onto the field? The overly represented (on the day) Steelers fans that had them THREW THEM DOWN TO THE FIELD. Or simply left them as they vacated early and actual Titans fans threw them down.
    Either way, it’s just silly.

  4. mvlonergan says: Dec 23, 2008 10:39 PM

    How about disrespecting the fact that Terrible Towel sales have raised millions of dollars for a school for children with physical and developmental disabilities? While it’s not as though they stomped on the American flag, it also wasn’t like tearing up a “Yankees Suck” t-shirt.

  5. terradawg says: Dec 23, 2008 10:46 PM

    Nervous? Really?
    “I’ll stomp their towels, too.” Yeah, terrified.

  6. terradawg says: Dec 23, 2008 10:47 PM
       /ˈtaʊəl, taʊl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [tou-uhl, toul] Show IPA Pronunciation
    noun, verb, -eled, -el⋅ing or (especially British) -elled, -el⋅ling.
    1. an absorbent cloth or paper for wiping and drying something wet, as one for the hands, face, or body after washing or bathing.
    –verb (used with object)
    2. to wipe or dry with a towel.
    3. throw in the towel, Informal. to concede defeat; give up; yield: He vowed he would never throw in the towel.
    dude, you disrespected my absorbent cloth!

  7. Mactator says: Dec 23, 2008 11:04 PM

    Yeah, when I saw that I said bad move! You DO NOT want to mess with the Steelers Defense. I hope they do meet again. I can see Troy Polamalu laying the smack out of someone. This games HAS TO HAPPEN!

  8. edgerules says: Dec 23, 2008 11:04 PM

    Well, when TJ Whosyourmama wiped his shoes with the Terrible Towel after the Steelers lost to the Bungles in Dec of 2005 and ultimately the division, well, I am sure Cowher used that to motivate his team when the two teams met again in the playoffs. I am not big on karma or anything like that because I believe that bad things just happen, but a one Carson Palmer got introduced to a one Kimo Von Oelhoffen and the rest is history. Palmer has not been the same QB, unfortunately,since. I am not saying something bad is going to happen to Kerry Collins or Lendale White, but as the saying goes, “you reap what you sow.” I don’t think Bullocks or White realize what the Towel means to the Burgh.

  9. maddogwhite says: Dec 23, 2008 11:06 PM

    Last time I checked the Tennessee Titans haven’t won anything. Ever. They were losers when they were in Houston and they’re losers in Tennessee. Their behavior after the game was befitting of their status. Buy tickets to the Super Bowl — it’s the only way you’re gonna get there.

  10. Nideak says: Dec 23, 2008 11:13 PM

    how, exactly, have the Titans been disrespected? When they were 10-0, people were talking about them going undefeated, despite the fact that their offense consists of Chris Johnson, the president of AARP, some *fat guy, and receivers you woundn’t have your fantasy team if you were playing in a 64 team league.
    *The fat guy in question is LenDale White, not Alge Crumpler.

  11. steeltown pride says: Dec 23, 2008 11:17 PM

    CharrdWood——— The towel is a symble of Pittsburgh , Today tomorrow and forever ….. Stepping on the towel the way they did , would be like Steeler fans pissin on the grave of Elvis ………….. Understand ?

  12. CharrdWood says: Dec 23, 2008 11:21 PM

    So, opposing teams should simply allow Steelers fans to “disrespect” the home team because the money raised from the sales of these dishrags goes to a good cause?! Correct me if I’m wrong–I’m certainly no Steelers fan–but isn’t the main purpose of them to support the (Steelers) team? And, if that’s in fact the case, isn’t waving them in opposition fans’ and teams’ faces an act of disrespect?! Especially on their homefield?!

  13. Bubby Brister says: Dec 23, 2008 11:30 PM

    Charrd maybe if actual Titans fans showed up to root on the home team that problem wouldn’t present itself.

  14. Hollywood Wags says: Dec 23, 2008 11:31 PM

    Myron Cope (January 23, 1929 – February 27, 2008)

  15. downsouth49er says: Dec 23, 2008 11:36 PM

    Personally I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but it’s more of the arrogance that comes along with it. The Titans are having some success this year and they have this attitude and swagger that they have a good running game and defense, and that no1 can beat them. There is no doubt in my mind that they feel they are in the super bowl already. The playoffs are a totally different atmosphere and some team is going to come to Tennessee in the divisional round, with an up-tempo game style and knock the titans off that pedestal, just as the Jets did. Up-tempo from the start of the game and never letting up. Just watch!

  16. BigT37205 says: Dec 23, 2008 11:38 PM

    Lendale White and Keith Bulluck didn’t steal any of the millions of dollars from the sales of Terrible Towels- in fact I bet sales skyrocket as a result of the stomping.
    If Steeler Nation doesn’t want the yellow rag to be disrespected, keep the damn things at Heinz Field.

  17. VonClausewitz says: Dec 23, 2008 11:42 PM

    To think the Steelers will need the “motivation” caused by someone stepping on a towel that their own supporters threw on the ground seems a bit ridiculous. Shuddering in my boots I am. Go Titans.

  18. wingnut says: Dec 23, 2008 11:46 PM

    LenWhale White.

  19. Titan in Toronto says: Dec 23, 2008 11:58 PM

    Yeah – I listened to that interview. There was not a hint of nerves when Bulluck spoke and I do believe it was John Riggins who totally agreed with his view. This thing has been way over blown. The Titans have nothing to apologize about, they did this in THEIR building – a totally different story if this was done in Pitt!

  20. TheAzzMan says: Dec 24, 2008 12:06 AM

    I have never seen such insecurity out of a winning football team in my life. The Steelers have played and lost to the Ravens numerous times over the years. This is considered possibly the most heated rivalry in the NFL right now. Did the Ravens run around like a bunch of school girls jumping on the terrible towel? No. During the few times that the Browns beat the Steelers, did they stomp on the towel? No. The Patriots knocked the Steelers off a few times during this decade in several big games, but never resorted to such childish tactics. The only dumb asses to do something that stupid was the Bengals. After that game the Steelers won 8 straight, knocked off the Bengals in the playoffs, and won the Super Bowl.
    The Titans clearly have a case of immaturity and deliriousness. This was week 16 of the regular season and they act like they won the Super Bowl and beat a team that had trash talked or done something horribly disrespectful to them all week. The Steelers and their fans didn’t do a damn thing to the Titans; the media was creating all the hype. If they don’t like Steelers fans coming into their house, then they should take it up with the fans selling tickets to the Steelers fans. It is pretty well known that Steelers fans travel well, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to them. Other teams don’t freak out because a fan bought a ticket and went to support their team.

  21. BuckFutter says: Dec 24, 2008 12:17 AM

    Blah blah blah, they were disrespectful to something important to our fans. Who gives a crap? Maybe your tradition of waving towels at opponents is disrespectful (especially in their home stadium). Remember when the Chargers were whining about the Patriots imitating Shawn Merriman’s sack dance? If you disrespect something that is disrespectful in the first place….doesn’t that make it super righteous, or something?

  22. superBROWNS 69 says: Dec 24, 2008 12:19 AM

    FlyingElvis says:
    FlyingElvis says:
    December 23rd, 2008 at 10:38 pm
    Ya the Steelers will definitely play harder in the playoffs if a team stepped on their towel. That REALLY ups the ante…
    oh yeah this totally makes sense because playing for a championship doesnt matter enough to NFL players but now that the Tits stomped their absorbant cloths we’re gonna see some real effort out of Pitt….. wtf??? genious comment.

  23. BuckFutter says: Dec 24, 2008 12:48 AM

    superBROWNS 69, I could be wrong, but I think he was being sarcastic in that post. But don’t feel too bad, it was REALLY hard to pick up on.

  24. superBROWNS 69 says: Dec 24, 2008 1:02 AM

    lol i honestly didnt notice that till now. and with how dumb a lot of ppl are that post on here, i thought he was serious and wasnt all that surprised that someone thought that.

  25. D22G says: Dec 24, 2008 1:48 AM

    Is this really news?

  26. CT Stiller says: Dec 24, 2008 1:49 AM

    Waving a towel is disrespecting to the home fans? Those people paid for their seats and they can celebrate however they want as long as it’s not smacking someone in the face. I’m really tired of fans using the “disrespect” card. Can I explain something to you fans? YOU DON’T GET RESPECT. YOU ARE A SPECTATOR, A NO ONE if you will in the world of sports. Stop crying about respect.
    I’m getting tired of players using it too, especially when it’s not warranted. The Titans weren’t favored because they’ve played a soft schedule and lost to two bad teams in the past few weeks. Bulluck is an idiot, always has been. Hell of a player though.

  27. CT Stiller says: Dec 24, 2008 1:53 AM

    “oh yeah this totally makes sense because playing for a championship doesnt matter enough to NFL players but now that the Tits stomped their absorbant cloths we’re gonna see some real effort out of Pitt….. wtf??? genious comment.”
    Wow you’re dumb. You just re-iterated his point and then insulted him.
    It’s “genius” by the way, genius.

  28. andyreid says: Dec 24, 2008 2:27 AM

    Nervous about what? They just got done giving the Steelers a golden shower. The Steelers offense is wretched. What are they supposed to be afraid of? Willie Parker running into the line and falling down? Ben’s quarterback rating in the Flacco range? Cut me a break.

  29. TheRebelMonk says: Dec 24, 2008 4:05 AM

    Not sure how Steelers fans paying good money to take seats in a team’s stadium and waving their towels is disrespectful…it’s no more disrespectful than wearing an opposing team’s jersey. I wouldn’t have a big issue with it if it were a towel thrown from the stands or something, but it wasn’t. It was something the Titans made prior to the game and brought with them for just this purpose. It seems juvenile then. I just wish it never happened, cause the Titans put us through the grinder and what people should be talking about is how great a game they played against a quality opponent, not some premeditated act that really has no place. I don’t understand why you would give the Steelers motivational tactics at all after thrumming them that badly. Let them think they don’t have what it takes in a potential rematch, not something to draw upon.
    That being said, Deebo wasn’t pleased by that act one bit…and I think it will show in a possible rematch.

  30. cincykid says: Dec 24, 2008 4:07 AM

    I wipe my ass with that filthy thing.

  31. al8085 says: Dec 24, 2008 5:23 AM

    The Steelers won’t get that far. They’ll lose in the first round.

  32. seahawks4life says: Dec 24, 2008 6:08 AM

    Who cares what the Steelers think about the Titans stomping on their cute little yellow towels? Maybe the Steelers should use those towels to wipe away the tears and re-focus on putting an offense on the field that actually stands a chance in the AFC playoffs.
    Only reason this is an article is because Florio is a Steeler fan, and his feelings are all hurt (like Tomlin’s) because those Titans were being big meanies after literally dominating the Steelers in every aspect of that 31-14 ass-whooping. And that’s what it was. The Titans totally dominated the Steelers and exposed them for what they are – a good defense with no real offense to win the big games. Face it Florio, the Steelers looked completely impotent in that game, they were totally outmatched and it was obvious to everyone watching.
    The Steelers won’t even make it past their first playoff game anyway (hence, they won’t even get to play the Titans again), so Tomlin’s comments come across as feeble and pointless. It’s like the black knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, laying on the ground with no arms or legs after being defeated in battle by Arthur, yelling at him to come back so he can bite off his legs. Dude, you already lost the fight. Screaming further threats and insults is just L-A-M-E!! Tomlin is embarrassing himself and his team by even commenting on the Titans.
    So all this talk about Tomlin motivating people, or Steelers players being all upset, well… your weak offense just got exposed so spare us the smack-talk, it sounds super-weak coming from a loser.
    And I also find it hilarious to read the typically idiotic smack-talk from Steeler fans on “LenWhale White”. Dudes, seriously… “LenWhale”, in case you weren’t watching the game, scored on your “great” defense. What does that say for the Steeler defense if LenWhale is such a fat incompetent blob?

  33. filbertkiwi71 says: Dec 24, 2008 6:50 AM

    I don’t think it will matter because I don’t think these teams will meet each other in the playoffs. I have a gut feeling that one of the teams that isn’t expected to do much in the playoffs will indeed make it to the Super Bowl.

  34. Jeremiah W says: Dec 24, 2008 7:03 AM

    Wait, you mean they are more mad they stomped on the towels than the QB? They stomped on the defense and they are offended by wiping the feet off on the towels? I think the ass kicking is motivation enough to play better next time to try and avoid it.

  35. TheTylerRose-BestEver says: Dec 24, 2008 7:14 AM

    I seriously doubt that anyone in the entire country not from Pissburgh cares at all about this story.
    Be competitive in the actual game, Steelers, and you wouldn’t have to worry about your wittle bitty rag. When a team has to resort to inventing motivation, they are doomed. I predict an early exit in the playoffs.

  36. 12thman says: Dec 24, 2008 7:22 AM

    I’d expect nothing less from a Browns fan.
    At the end of the day, it’s just a dumb fat guy stepping on a towel. If they meet again in the playoffs, this loss should motivate them more than a towel.

  37. buddywiser says: Dec 24, 2008 7:37 AM

    “They disrepected our towel!!!!”. PRICELESS!…..Souns like the only one shaking in their shoes is Steeler fan.

  38. buddywiser says: Dec 24, 2008 7:41 AM

    Steelers disrespected the Titans by laying down like little girls. How could the “Coach of the Year” let this happen?

  39. ScootyPuffJunior says: Dec 24, 2008 7:51 AM

    “And I don’t care who we play, if they come with 15,000 fans and we happen to be the victors that day, yeah, I’ll probably stomp their towels, too.”
    haha, awesome.

  40. steelerfan9598 says: Dec 24, 2008 7:53 AM

    Wen you say: No disrespect, BUT – you say something disrespectful
    When you say: NO offense, BUT – you say something offensive
    Of course they knew they were disrespecting the Steeler franchise and their fans. We’re not that stupid. As for complaining about the visiting fans infiltrating your stadium – sounds like someone is a little jealous.

  41. Sprint_DA says: Dec 24, 2008 7:54 AM

    If the Steelers and Titans meet again and this stomping of the towel makes the Steelers play harder than I think that says says about them:
    They are a lazy team who doesn’t give 100% every down.
    If, on the other hand, it makes them play dirtier like someone suggested with the Carson Palmer Kimo Von O thing, than they are simply a group of cheaters who know they can’t win with their level of play.
    The level of play was what let TEN stomp on the towel in the first place. If the Steelers had shown up they wouldn’t have been blown out of that game.
    And stomping on the towel is no different than taking a crap in one of those cheese hats, and I would definitely do that…in a heartbeat.

  42. steelerfan9598 says: Dec 24, 2008 7:55 AM

    One more thing: Has ‘nobody respects us’ become the most nauseating quote in all of sports or what? That has clearly passed ‘giving 110 percent’.

  43. Deadguy says: Dec 24, 2008 8:14 AM

    It’s not the Steelers will play harder… it’s just an extra motivational tool to make sure they do not lose focus. What’s that? They’re professionals and do not need that… well, I’d say we’re all human and shit like that is used to maintain that competitive edge.
    Many people think that this is all bunk… somehow though, we all keep hearing about “bulletin board” material and many fans/coaches/players cringe when someone gives a team anything extra to motivate themselves.
    No need to worry though Titan’s fans… they probably won’t even play each other again. Besides that, I’m sure the mighty Titans will once again mop the field with this lowly Steeler team. I mean… they were barely able to compete.
    I do have some advice for the Titans… you may want to remember that winning in week 15 pretty much means nothing during the Playoffs. Wouldn’t get those rings sized just yet.

  44. bored_of_seinfeld_jokes says: Dec 24, 2008 8:23 AM

    Why is it, every single year, some team has to invent the fact that they are disrespected. We heard it last year with the Giants, and it carried over into this season. I’m sure next year we’ll be hearing some 6-0 team crowing about how nobody has already crowned their asses and are therefore, disrespected. Is that what these guys need to motivate themselves, really?
    In any case, I couldn’t care less about the Steelers or the Titans, but the towel stomping was pretty classless. It wasn’t insulting to the Steelers, it is insulting to the fans who use the towel as a symbol of their support for their team. And even if they are there rooting for your opponent, it is their devotion to the sport that pays your bloated salary. So tell me again, who was disrespected?

  45. TheAzzMan says: Dec 24, 2008 8:41 AM

    Titans fans, you really need to get a grip. Regular season and postseason are two different ball games. In 2004 the Steelers beat the Patriots in the regular season pretty badly, only to turn around and get their asses handed to them in the AFC Championship Game at Pittsburgh. In 2005 the Colts embarrassed the Steelers on MNF, only for the Steelers to come out and thoroughly defeat, if not for that no-int Polamalu call, the Colts in their own building.
    The Titans thrived so well in the underdog role for this game. Well that’s not going to happen again. They can try to motivate themselves with the “me against the world” attitude all they want, but the fact is that won’t be the case come playoff time. If you believe that the only motivation for teams is playing for the next game, then you are dead wrong. There is motivation to win and motivation for revenge. It happens on every level of sports and competition. It may not seem possible when playing a game with the magnitude of the AFC Championship Game, but the hunger for revenge is something that cannot be denied in humans. The Steelers will be out for revenge for losing the way they did, and for the Titans’ show boating.

  46. south-fl-steel says: Dec 24, 2008 9:19 AM

    no one is mentioning this.
    can anyone actually post a picture of any titan player doing anything to a terrible towel? because every picture i’ve seen so far, the towel in question is just your run-of-the-mill yellow dishrag someone bouhgt at a flea market. i haven’t seen a actual terrible towel. and that befits the sorry ass titans, who as someone mentioned above, have never won sh!t. a bunch of fools “disrespecting” a fake towel.

  47. The Jimmy says: Dec 24, 2008 9:58 AM

    Maybe it’s just because I’m old (almost as old as Florio) but if you take the two individual teams out of it and look at the bigger issue, it’s a lack of class and sportsmanship in sports in general. Does anybody even teach that to kids anymore? If we ever did anything like that as kids our coaches would have reamed us and then our dads when we got home. What ever happened to winning with class? Now you not only have to win, you have to taunt people. It’s sad IMHO.

  48. happybunny says: Dec 24, 2008 10:05 AM

    It’s a freakin’ towel!
    It’s not like they went into the players’ houses and ransacked their linen closets.

  49. Pea Tear Griffin says: Dec 24, 2008 10:16 AM

    Did anyone notice how that was NOT an official Terrible Towel. It was just a yellow towel that said Terrible Towel on it. It was a phony.

  50. mrmagoo says: Dec 24, 2008 11:16 AM

    cincykid says:
    December 24th, 2008 at 4:07 am
    I wipe my ass with that filthy thing.
    You are a poet.
    Except for the obvious self loathing gay part that seeths out of most of your posts, I find you quite entertaining.

  51. south-fl-steel says: Dec 24, 2008 12:50 PM

    Pea Tear Griffin says:
    December 24th, 2008 at 10:16 am
    Did anyone notice how that was NOT an official Terrible Towel. It was just a yellow towel that said Terrible Towel on it. It was a phony.
    um…. yeah, ptg. i my whole rant a few comments before yours was covering that exact issue.

  52. wolverine21 says: Dec 24, 2008 12:54 PM


  53. Pea Tear Griffin says: Dec 24, 2008 2:19 PM

    I musta missed your post. But at least someone else took notice.

  54. The Jimmy says: Dec 24, 2008 3:01 PM

    Pea Tear Griffin says:
    December 24th, 2008 at 10:16 am
    Did anyone notice how that was NOT an official Terrible Towel. It was just a yellow towel that said Terrible Towel on it. It was a phony.
    So not only are they desecrating the towel, they’re bootleggers.

  55. Mr. Phantom says: Dec 25, 2008 11:09 PM

    What else do you expect from a classless, ignorant team and city? The NFL should have never put a team in a hillbilly, redneck state.

  56. pasteelergirl says: Dec 28, 2008 3:22 PM

    To Mr. Phantom:
    Well said Mr. Phantom, I believe that was just what Houston said when they were going to move them to TN! We are not all rednecks in Nashville, at least not those of us who are transplants!!
    To the rest of you who don’t understand! “The Terrible Towel is legend and loore and magic, much like Santa Claus and Rudolph!” It is not the American Flag but it is the “Steeler’s Flag” and Bullock’s stomping it was more of why the Titans are not respected, they continue to have a juvenile and thug mentality with no understanding of SPORTSMANSHIP!! The legend of The Terrible Towel claims bad luck will come to those who treat it badly. Prepare to loose in the playoffs Titans as those Steelers are the real deal!!!

  57. oHIoTitan says: Dec 30, 2008 8:45 PM

    steeler fans left their prescious towel behind. The same horrible towel they bought, where the profits went to the charity u brag about. So, these morons will again have to spend $5 on another horrible towel. Thus, more $ for said charity. How is this a problem?
    & maddogwhite- enjoy watchin Fisher & the boys hoist the Lombardi, while u & the rest of Steeler nation whine & bitch. Most annoying fans in leauge!! Worse than Browns fans.

  58. oHIoTitan says: Dec 30, 2008 8:51 PM

    Oh ya— Bill Cohwer yelling “We Dey” after taking out Palmer & beating the Bungals was very classy!! That was great sportsmanship from the leader of an entire organization. How convienantly forgoten by Steeler fans.
    BTW Cohwer, ur not their coach anymore. So quit ur obviously biased whinning on the postgame show, u giant chinned douche rocket. STFU!!!
    & Mr Phantom- u’ve obviously never been to Nashville, or met any real Titans fans. So u can STFU as well. Leave ur mom’s basement before u start commenting on other teams cities & fans.

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