If any of the Ravens have any ideas Sunday about grabbing a Terrible Towel that falls from the seats at Heinz Field, wide receiver Mike Wallace has a message for them:
"Don't do it," said Wallace, who played his first four NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. "Bad karma. I don't know. It's been like that. It was like that when I got there. I can honestly say the people that I've seen doing it, it's been bad luck. It's superstition or whatever but don't do it, not this week anyway. This is not a regular-season game anymore. This is a playoff game. Maybe in a regular-season game you can try it, but not right now."
Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill drew the ire of the Steelers on Sunday when he scored a touchdown at Paul Brown Stadium and picked up a one of the yellow and black towels that was on the ground nearby. Hill mimicked tearing the towel in half.
At the time of the display, the Bengals had a 17-3 lead in the second quarter. The Steelers wound up winning, 24-20, and Hill had minus-1 yard rushing over his last six carries.
Asked on a conference call with Baltimore-area reporters Wednesday whether it's bad karma to mess with the Terrible Towels, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger joked, "I don't know. Give it a shot; we will see what happens."
Wallace didn't anticipate any Ravens would go that route anyway.
"I don't even think we have those types of guys," he said. "We're not worried about that. We just play football. A towel doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is the referee holding his hand up saying, 'Six [points].' The towels, we're not going to mess with that. I'm not. I wouldn't tell anybody else what to do, but I wouldn't do it."
Former Ravens running back Ray Rice ticked off some Steelers and their fans when he walked off the field following the Ravens' 20-13 victory at Pittsburgh in November 2012 with a Terrible Towel draped over his head.
Rice said later that he traded his gloves with a Steelers' fan for a Terrible Towel because he wanted one to put in his basement to "cherish the rivalry."