Manufacturer provides possible smoking gun in Towelgate

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.

53 responses to “Manufacturer provides possible smoking gun in Towelgate

  1. And you put a Terrible Towel photo in this story for what reason? Judging by the photo, I thought it was another Steelers story, when it has nothing to do with them.

  2. I think this is deserving of at least a year suspension for the head coaches of the teams that were using the towels.

  3. “[t]he towel is used to dry the balls, the gloves the players use and their arms.”

    What’s clumsy about that? He describes what the towels are used for – drying balls, hands and arms.

  4. We use Gorilla Gold in our flag football league. It’s more tacky than sticky, sort of in the way receiver gloves are tacky (though with some stick, making it impossible to throw, so no good for a QB.) It’s not much different in dry weather, but it makes a huge difference in the rain. Like the water isn’t even there.

    Unfortunately, all the other teams are going to know about it now.

  5. Would players wearing “tackified gloves” already that use the towel to further “tackify” the already legal gloves be in compliance with the rules?

  6. “Don’t forget to bring a towel!”

    But seriously, they shouldn’t be allowed to use gloves, either.

  7. This makes no sense. So you can wear tacky gloves, but you can’t wipe your bare hands with something that had the exact same property as the before mentioned tacky gloves? How in the world does that make sense? I guess it’s right up there with “we’ll test for HGH” but then never mentioning it again. Makes no sense.

  8. Not to get into semantics with Mr. Lawyer, but the rule says “with a tackified surface.” So, is this illegal, since technically the towel is tackifying the glove? Does it also specify HOW the surface has to be tackified (ie by manufacturer, towel, etc)?

  9. Chargers’ HC and GM are gonna be gone after this season anyway. No big deal.

    Best thing to do is take $18 million of the Chargers’ cap space and give it to the Redskins. 😉

  10. So what they’re saying is 70% if NFL teams have cheated using these towels.

    “hereisalwaysnextyear says:
    Oct 23, 2012 8:26 PM
    This makes no sense. So you can wear tacky gloves, but you can’t wipe your bare hands with something that had the exact same property as the before mentioned tacky gloves? How in the world does that make sense? I guess it’s right up there with “we’ll test for HGH” but then never mentioning it again. Makes no sense.”

    The difference would be that the towel leaves some of the tacky substance on the ball or hands that could effect for instance how the quarterback throws the ball because its not releasing properly

  11. sounds like a nutrional supplement manafacture who didn’t know that their additional “natural” ingredient was actually a steroid.

  12. Yeah, suspend the head coach for a year. Suspend the GM and assistant coach for 6 games. Take away draft picks and fine the team 500 grand. Don’t try to defend yourselves, we know you’re guilty.

  13. This comment is worth repeating…


    Suspend all the players, the Head Coach, the trainer, the GM and make them forfeit 2 second round draft picks…

  14. I love how fans now deem that infraction should involve “a year suspension for all those involved”.


  15. Gorilla Gold does not affect the ball at all. It is permissible in competitive softball, so why not pro football? Nothing to see here. Lester Hayes says its no big deal.

  16. So….

    Once again, why is there a picture of John Goodman holding a Terrible Towel and how does it fit the post?


    Just another attempt for a Steelers advertisement to get slipped in.

    Got it.

  17. All these posts show absolutely no respect for the Chargers. And they deserve exactley what they get. The owners continue to try and sell a bad product.

  18. The folks at Gorilla Gold would like to take this opportunity to make you aware of their larger, unflaked, resin “chunks”, which can be taken orally or smoked in a pipe. For medicinal purposes only, of course.

  19. @greatminnesotasportsmind

    I guess I’m the only person who thought your .4 joke was hilarious. Good stuff

  20. The radio interview link on the Gorilla Gold web page is very interesting. They sought and received NCAA approval for use in softball but apparently did not seek or receive permission for NFL (also not specifically rejected either) Remind anyone of the “pre-approval” process for drugs like Adderal ?

    Also the owner states that the Gorilla Gold towel used to be allowed in NCAA football but “they changed the rules” so the towels used need to be moisture absorbent and Gorilla Gold is not (per their owner). So it is NOT allowed in NCAA football now.

    Also if the towel is not “moisture absorbent” the idea that the Chargers are using it to dry footballs rings false.

    It all SEEMS at least an attempt to gain a prohibited competitive advantage. If it was so widespread why would the line judge be suspicious and confiscate the towel ??

  21. absolutsaints says:
    Oct 23, 2012 8:35 PM
    Suspend all the players, the Head Coach, the trainer, the GM and make them forfeit 2 second round draft picks…
    I agree 100%. You know as long as they were told to stop for 2 years and didn’t. Good try though.

  22. Ha that’s hilarious. When I played in college last year, we used those towels from Gorilla Gold. It really just makes your gloves kindof gritty so they don’t become slippery from sweat and rain or whatever. So that’s really all it does, which isn’t against the rules. A ton of teams use that or something similar.

  23. Quick – someone call John Mara. He’ll quickly dispense justice against teams who face unsubstantiated accusations of wrongdoing just like he did against the Redskins and the Cowboys. Oh – wait. I forgot. The Chargers aren’t in the same division as the New York Giants and it won’t benefit the G-Men if the league penalizes San Diego. Okay. Never mind. The Chargers are in the clear.

  24. Speaking of Wallace. When he finally caught the TD pass, this last game the camera zoomed in on him using his left arm p[ointing to the sky. I couldn’t understand exactly what I was seeing, someone needs to really look at this, but there was a red Vaseline grease all over the inside portion of his elbow. I would love to see this frame one more time, because I swear that’s what I saw. Red Stickum. Or something like it. It was plain as day. Something was there.

  25. Hell, even “The Sticky Towel Scandal” would be better due to it’s subtle sexual connotation. Please, ANYTHING but Towelgate.

  26. People of the media, stop adding the word “gate” to the end of every supposed scandal!!!! Odds are that 50% of people alive today have no clue what that is in reference to anyway.

  27. Towelgate, like Spygate and Salarycapgate, actually gave the Chargers an unfair advantage over the other teams, therefore, I’m guessing the NFLs response will be something close to a yawn. It will be nothing like their sanctions were for Bountygate, which DID NOT create an unfair advantage for a team. That said, Chargers fan, there’s no reason for any accusations to be true or for any penalties to make sense. The NFL has you in their sights and there is nothing you can do about it. All you can do is hope Rogerboy isn’t going to try to make an example of you. Enjoy the ride and smile because he’s coming for everyone but the New York teams e and at least you know what he’s got on you.

  28. Put an asterisk beside the teams win column.

    Eventually we’ll go throw a recordbook and try to find a team/athlete without the * beside their name.

    Sad to say but our reaction probably won’t be wow that guy did clean…it will be he probably didn’t get caught.

  29. buflo66 says:
    Oct 23, 2012 10:48 PM
    If Stick’em was banned, why are tackified gloves legal? It is a farce. Sticky gloves should not be legal. It is worse than Stick’em…

    There is a big differnce. Stick’em is transfered to the ball, making the ball sticky. Tacky gloves are like golf club grips. They don’t transfer anything to your hands or golf bag.

  30. What is the NFL going to do when they find out the Giants have been using this for YEARS. Tyree said it has been an age old trick the Giants have passed on to the new kids on the block.

    Who knows this might be the next bounty gate. Sucks that the Giants are going to get tangled in this.

  31. Whether it makes a player’s hands/gloves sticky or “gritty” as one poster called it, the very fact that these towels leave behind a residue of any kind making it easier to catch the ball and thus an unfair advantage is a clear cut violation of NFL rules. It’s telling that these towels aren’t NFL approved.

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