Steelers to Bengals' Jeremy Hill: Careful with the curse of the Terrible Towel

ByJeremy Fowler ESPN logo
Monday, December 19, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Don't touch the Terrible Towel.

That was the message out of the Pittsburgh Steelers' locker room after Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill pretended to rip the famed black-and-gold towel after his 4-yard touchdown run Sunday.

The touchdown gave Cincinnati a 17-3 lead with 9:02 left in the second quarter, but the Steelers outscored the Bengals 21-3 the rest of the way to secure their fifth straight win.

"Anybody that's grabbed it has had something unfortunate happen," Steelers offensive guard Ramon Foster said. "I hate to say the towel is cursed when you disrespect it, but you can't do that. That's too early in the game to be doing that type of stuff. He's a pro. I'm sure his coaches would talk to him."

The Steelers seemed to take satisfaction in slowing Hill, who rushed for 44 yards on his first 14 carries but netted minus-1 yards on the six attempts after he found the towel on the ground and taunted Steelers fans with it. Pittsburgh's defense closed the gap on the Bengals' early-game rushing lanes.

Hill didn't say much about the celebration. He said nobody gave him the towel and that he didn't plan the celebration out.

"It was just laying there ... spur of the moment," Hill said.

Linebacker Ryan Shazier said Hill can have his "shenanigans" but that the Steelers aren't falling for the Bengals' "foolishness," which also included linebacker Vontaze Burfict jawing with Steelers players.

"[Hill] came back in the second half. I guess he didn't have any talk," Shazier said. "He thought he was going to come back and run us like he had been doing in the first half. We understand we had to stand up. Whenever he came our way, we just had to shut him down."

ESPN staff writer Katherine Terrell contributed to this report.

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