Is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Terrible Towel actually a terrible towel? We tested it

Apologies to Myron Cope.

Her serious side eye says everything you need to know about this test.

Her serious side eye says everything you need to know about this test.

COLIN DEPPEN / THE INCLINE
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I’ve never given much thought to the towels in my life, and there have been many: The embroidered bamboo bath set I bought my mother for Christmas and somehow never saw again; The bleach-stained and biologically diverse samples found hanging in the bathrooms of Airbnbs; The ancient and threadbare heirlooms that burst forth, Jack-in-the-Box-like, from my kitchen drawers at home.

All are towels and all absorb water to some extent … at least presumably, Mom.

But what makes a towel bad or good anyway? Bad or good relative to what? How could you determine if Pittsburgh’s ubiquitous Terrible Towel is in fact a terrible towel? Apologies to Myron Cope.

I could almost hear Cope’s disembodied voice urging me on, telling me that, same as with the search for life on Mars, the answer was simple: “Follow the water. Double Yoi!”

Suddenly I knew what I had to do.

I was ready, and with a bag of donated Terrible Towels in hand, I got to work — but not without first googling the phrase “Double Yoi!