Hell hath no fury like Steelers fans, dissed.
One day after a Cardinals rally at Sky Harbor Airport, where Mayor Phil Gordon stomped on one of the Steelers' signature "Terrible Towels," the mayor's getting slammed on Pittsburgh talk radio -- and bombarded with nasty e-mails.
You can watch our original footage of the Cardinals' Super Bowl send-off rally here. Frankly, to us this looks like normal pre-game antics before the big game. Our correspondent, Jonathan McNamara, captured Gordon (in the photo above) just before the towel stomp.
But, apparently, some crybaby Steelers fans are claiming that, in his display of team spirit, the mayor was insensitive. And it wasn't just that he was rude to the meanest fans in professional football, he insulted disabled children.
As it turns out, the Terrible Towels flapped around by Steelers fans are actually a fundraiser gimmick for the Allegheny Valley School, which serves mentally disabled children. So by stomping on the towel yesterday, Pittsburgh talk radio claims, Gordon was actually stomping on the hopes and dreams of disabled kids!
Sad to say, this is no joke; Pittsburghers really are that whiny.
Scott Phelps, the mayor's spokesman, tells me that mayor's office has already received about two-dozen emails on the subject -- and, keep in mind, this didn't really hit the Pennsylvania airwaves until late last night, so more are probably on their way.
Here's an excerpt from one self-righteous super-fan:
"You should be ashamed of yourself. Do you have any idea what the Terrible Towel stands for? It is a source of income for a school for mentally challenged individuals that was the idea of the late great Myron Cope ... The proceeds of this towel help these people live as normal of a live [sic] as they can and keep them safe, healthy and comfortable for their time on this earth."
And then there's the guy who calls Gordon a "little, little man." Here's his attempt at shaming the mayor:
"Mayor I do not think you realize what you did by disgracing this towel. You insulted the STEELER NATION and what the Terrible Towel stands for. You see mayor this piece of cotton is more than a yellow towel. It is woven together thru blood,sweat and tears just like Pittsburgh Steeler fan's [sic] are interwoven."
We were happy to hear that the mayor's basically blowing off the whole faux-controversy. Here's the response that Phelps tells us Gordon's been using in reply to his Pennsylvania correspondents:
i am sorry as no intent was meant to disrespect the people or the team, rather have some fun to generate a lot of excitement. take care and don't feel too badly when the cardinals win.
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We heard a nasty rumor that the mayor actually killed his planned trip to the Super Bowl over the imbroglio, but it turns out that's not true. Yes, Phelps says, Gordon was planning to go, and now he's not. But don't blame the PC fans of Pittspuke for that one. Phelps says Gordon canceled yesterday before the Towel Incident even became news; he had a scheduling conflict. Not that we expect the little whiners in western PA to believe that one.
By the way, if you want to find out what kind of bozos Seelers fans really are, check out Martin Cizmar's upcoming story in New Times (online Wednesday night, on the street in Phoenix by Thursday morning). Cizmar's piece says Steelers fans are the crudest of all pro football fanatics, and urges Cardinals fans to get tough with them.
Looks like Mayor Phil's leading the way.