If the folks at Gorilla Gold were trying to help the Chargers by taking responsibility for the item that was confiscated last week during the Monday night game between San Diego and Denver, it likely won’t work. If the folks at Gorilla Gold were looking to help themselves gain publicity and/or notoriety, it likely will.
As explained by MDS, Gorilla Gold claims that the Chargers use their product, which “supplies a light tack, much like a tackified glove” and that “leaves no discernable residue on the surface of the ball.” The president of the company tells U-T San Diego that 70 percent of NFL teams have used the towel at some point.
That doesn’t make it permissible.
Rule 5, Section 4, Article 4(h) of the NFL rulebook prohibits “[a]dhesive or slippery substances on the body, equipment, or uniform of any player; provided, however, that players may wear gloves with a tackified surface if such tacky substance does not adhere to the football or otherwise cause handling problems for players.”
The fact that the towel creates an effect “like a tackified glove” means that it’s not a tackified glove, and thus not permitted to be used.
Besides, it’s not clear that the item taken by officials was a Gorilla Gold towel. On Monday, coach Norv Turner clumsily declined to identify the maker of the towel, saying that “[t]he towel is used to dry the balls, the gloves the players use and their arms.” Moreover, it’s still possible that something else entirely was being used by the Chargers.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the investigation expands to determine which teams have used and/or are still using Gorilla Gold.