SAM I Am: Terrible Titans Will Throw in Towel This Time

Paul LadewskiCorrespondent IISeptember 9, 2009

Pittsburgh Steelers fan hoists the terrible towel during play  against the Miami Dolphins during the NFL's 2006 opening game on September 7, 2006 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers won 28 - 17.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

The Steelers Answer Man sees all, knows all, shares all...

Yo, SAM:

The Steelers players and coaches said the Terrible Towel incident in the game against Tennessee last season was no big deal. I’m not so sure. Do you buy it?

Robert Tate

Have the Titans ever won a Super Bowl?

Oh, the Steelers won’t run faster or hit harder as a result of the juvenile behavior last December, but I expect their intensity levels to be a tick higher when the teams open the NFL season on Thursday evening.

It wasn’t that Keith Bulluck, Jevon Kearse and LenDale White wiped their feet and noses on a facsimile of the Terrible Towel that was so terrible. What the Terrible Towel represented made it unacceptable.

I don’t expect rival fans and players to treat the Myron Cope creation like the Shroud of Turin, but they should know that it has raised more than $2 million for people with mental and physical disorders. You shouldn’t mess with the Terrible Towel any more than you would Jerry Lewis’ hair at the March of Dimes Telethon.

At any rate, if the Steelers intend to put the children over their knees and paddle their butts, then it’s fine with me.

SAM You Are:

I’ve heard some Pittsburgh media say less-than-flattering things about Ben Roethlisberger lately. What’s up with that? Hasn’t the guy done enough in his career?

John Witman

Roethlisberger doesn’t suck up to the media, and that chaps a few of them, it seems. He’s only accessible on certain days while the season is in progress, but then again, so is Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, among others. Of course, these are some of the same media who bitch about the food at the complimentary buffet on game days.

Lately, I get the impression that Roethlisberger is tired of the same old criticism, and personally, I don’t blame him. All you hear about is his lousy quarterback rating in Super Bowl XL and how he holds onto the ball too long and likes to play the drama king...

Oh, by the way, he has won more games than any QB in his first five seasons in league history. If his last name were Brady or Manning, they would erect statues of the guy.

Dear SAM:

Of the player cuts made last week, which ones surprised you most?

George Gehrke

I wouldn’t consider any of them to be surprises, but the decision to take veteran defensive end Nick Eason over rookie Ra’Shon Harris was a curious one, to say the least.

Eason is a serviceable backup, but he’s also 29-years-old. In the preseason, the 22-year-old Harris showed that he can play at this level. If the sixth-round draft pick were cut, there was a risk that another team would claim him, which is what the Carolina Panthers did hours later.

Meanwhile, Eason isn’t likely to suit up each week. In that case, would it have made more sense to protect Harris, who has the greater upside of the two players?

My guess was that fullback Carey Davis and cornerback Anthony Madison would be on the roster, but I can’t say that it was a mistake to keep rookies Frank Summers and Joe Burnett, who have more potential and are less costly.

Steelers Answer Man,

Can you tell me the last time the Steelers had a kick returner, punter and placekicker as good as the ones they have now?

D. Letcher

It may be premature to call rookie Stefan Logan the next Dante Hall, but if the preseason is any indication, then he, placekicker Jeff Reed and punter Daniel Sepulveda can be as good as any threesome in modern Steelers history.

For all their long and glorious history, the Steelers haven’t exactly re-invented the kick and return games over the years. In the post-merger era, they have had one league leader in punt average (Harry Newsome, 1988) and one in kickoff return average (Rod Woodson, 1989). And Newsome should have an asterisk next to his name because six of his punts were blocked that season.

They have never had the league leader in punt return average or field-goal percentage.

It’s possible—if not likely—that Logan or Reed or Sepulveda or a combination thereof will challenge in those categories this season.


Who are your picks for this season?

Tom Morris

I like Michelle Beisner of NFL Network and Suzy Kolber of ESPN and Pam Oliver of Fox and... 

Oh, those picks. Sorry.

OK, here goes: The Steelers over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, the Philadelphia Eagles over the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game and the Stillers over the Iggles in the Arlen Spector Bowl, a.k.a. Super Bowl XLIV.


(Gotta gripe, question or observation? Need advice on any and all things Black and Gold? Chlax, Steelers World. Send your request to the Steelers Answer Man at, and help will arrive shortly.)


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