I hate to say I told you so, but...actually, I lie. I really don't mind at all saying I told you so.
Athletes, especially professional athletes, are superstitious.
The Tenessee Titans are winless since Dec. 21, 2008, in a slide that has even the most well-informed pundit completely bamboozled. On a team that returned 20-of-22 starters from their 13-3 season a year ago, any number of things have gone wrong to turn a preseason favorite into a winless cellar-dweller.
They even added talent on both sides of the ball that was supposed to help them get over the hump, all to no avail. Not only are they losing games—badly, to say the least—they are losing players left and right to injury.
Now, I'm not the first to make mention of the curse of the Terrible Towel—those with short memory spans will note that the Titans' losing streak began the week after LenDale White, Keith Bulluck, and other Titans stomped, kicked, spit on, and otherwise defaced the Pittsburgh Steelers' well-known fan symbol, and have to this point been completely unapologetic.
I was but one voice in a cacophony of voices, both serious and jesting, that pointed out the connection between The Stomp and The Slide.
It would seem, however, that attitudes are beginning to change, at least publicly.
At the urging of former player and teammate Brad Hopkins, long a fan favorite in Nashville, both Keith Bulluck and LenDale White magnanimously autographed a Myron Cope "Official Terrible Towel" and shipped it via overnight delivery to the Allegehany Valley School in Pittsburgh, the organization that benefits from the sale of the towels.
No word, of course, on whether it is the actual towel that was stomped, or a stand-in.
Either way, it is quite a gesture from both Bulluck and White, both of whom have downplayed their actions until this event.
According to Thom Abraham, who hosts a sports talk show with Hopkins on a Nashville radio station, Bulluck even asked how he could do more to contribute to the organization.
"The players were happy to do it, especially for the charity," Abraham was quoted as saying.
Said Hopkins, "We can't figure out what is wrong with this organization, so we figure it had to be the towel."
I told you so. There, I said it.
Realistically this is wishful thinking, of course, but at this point the Titans will likely take anything they can get—within reason—to turn this season around.
For example, Jeff Fisher made the expected announcement of the switch to Vince Young after Thursday's practice, citing that it was an "organizational decision" with the team being at 0-6.
"We wouldn't be having this conversation if we were 3-3," Fisher said.
Ironically, Jacksonville is the last team that Young started against before being booed by Nashville fans over interceptions, and sustaining an injury to his knee that got him pulled from action. Kerry Collins has started all but one game since then.
It is also ironic, or at least highly coincidental, that Bulluck and White decided to try and ward off The Curse on the same day that Young was announced as the starter.
So the question is this: If the Titans win this week, who gets the credit?
Vince Young for his stellar play in providing the spark the Titans have been looking for?
Or Keith Bulluck and LenDale White, for the acceptance of their misdeed and attempt to atone for it?
I ask you, Titans fans...how superstitious are you ?
Oh, yeah: I told you so.