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Don't mess with the Terrible Towel -- just ask the Titans

Don't mess with the Terrible Towel.

Everyone scoffed at that idea last season after the Tennessee Titans beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-14 to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs and the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

On the sidelines, running back LenDale White and other Titans could be seen stomping on the Terrible Towel after the game. Defensive end Jevon Kearse pretended to blow his nose in the Towel.

Bad move.

The heinous acts cause an outcry in Pittsburgh and throughout Steeler Nation.

You don't mess with the Terrible Towel.


Everyone else laughed. It's just a towel, they said. The didn't believe in the magic of Myron Cope's creation.

Steelers fans knew better. They believed.

The Titans lost their final game of the regular season, but no one really paid too much attention to that as they finished with a 13-3 record. Plenty of NFL experts thought there would be a Steelers-Titans rematch in the AFC Championship Game.

Didn't play out that way.

The Titans lost to the Ravens 13-10 in the divisional round of the playoffs and were left wondering what happened to such a fantastic season, which should have included a trip to the Super Bowl.

We all know how the rest of the season played out.

The Steelers won their record sixth Lombardi Trophy, but that didn't stop the Titans from dissing the Terrible Towel.

The NFL gave us the should-have-been playoff rematch to start the 2009 season because the Titans couldn't hold up their end of the bargain. As the game approached, White kept talking.

"If there's a towel in the stands, I will stomp on it," he said. "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."

Sorry, LenDale, you didn't get your chance.

The Titans lost the opener in overtime and are still searching for their first win of a season that has quickly turned sour.

Their latest loss was an embarrassment, a record 59-0 drubbing by the New England Patriots on Sunday.

It was so bad, the Patriots totaled over 600 yards of offense, the Titans gave up 45 first-half points and coach Jeff Fisher was asked about his job security.

That makes the Titans 0-6 this season and 0-8 overall since White and Co. made fun of the Towel.

Their Tennessee Two-Step hasn't worked out the way they planned.

White, who scored 15 touchdowns last season, has rushed for just 148 yards and one touchdown in six games. Kearse has had just three tackles and a sack in his first four games and missed his last two games, which included a 31-9 loss to the Colts.

Today, everyone is scratching their heads wanting to know what the heck happened to cause the Titans to go from a 13-3 Super Bowl contender to one of the NFL's laughingstocks.

Here's a hint: Don't mess with the Terrible Towel.

We knew that a year ago.


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