Why Do Football Players Wear Towels?

Why Football Players Wear a Towel

When watching a football game, you may see players wearing towels in their pants. You may wonder what purpose these towels have and why not all NFL players wear them. Here is the breakdown of why football players wear towels during games.


What are Football Towels?

Football towels are regular towels that players wear on the field to help keep their hands dry. In the NFL in the United States, you will see some of the towels match the football team’s color, so they blend in well with the uniform. Any player can wear a football towel, but you will generally find QBs, running backs, and lineman use them.


Keep Hands Dry

One reason why NFL players, College, and High School players wear towels is to keep their hands dry when playing. Playing a football game in the rain and snow will create additional moisture, making holding on to the ball difficult. Besides the weather elements, having a towel to wipe the sweat off your forearm and hands is vital.


Having absorbent hand towels can help pick up that extra moisture on your hand. Especially for the running back, QBs, and wide receiver positions, you need to make sure you don’t fumble or drop the ball when it comes your way. It may seem like a small thing to worry about, but the big mistakes generally happen from small plays.


Keep the Ball + Hands Clean

Besides keeping your hands dry when playing, QBs also want to keep the ball and their hands clean. Playing a game in harsh conditions can make the football more slippery, so having a towel to clean off the ball is critical. In addition to cleaning off the ball, a QB can clean off their hands to make sure they have a clean grip each time to throw the ball.


Style and Appearance are Critical

Football is one of the few sports (like the NBA) where you can customize your appearance in a game. One way to look stylish on the field is to utilize a football towel with your uniform. Many teams offer towels that match their colors, so your towel will go hand in hand with your outfit.


Where Is The Best Place (Position) To Wear a Towel In Football?



QBs typically wear towels on their hip to ensure they have a dry grip when throwing the football. From playing games under extreme heat to games in the snow, QBs need to have a dry grip. Having a towel on their hip can dry off their hands/clean off the ball if it gets muddy during a game.


Running Backs

Running backs need to be ready for handoffs and passes from the QB, so they need to have dry hands at all times. Any additional moisture on their hands can result in a mistake, so you will see players routinely wipe their hands. In addition to wiping their hands, you will see running backs use a towel and handwarmer routinely to keep their hands ready for the game.


Wide Receivers

Plenty of wide receivers choose to wear a towel when playing the game. In addition to their sticky football gloves to catch footballs, a towel can help clean off any dirt on their hands. In addition to cleaning off the dirt on their hands, Wide Receivers can also wipe off any moisture on their tinted visors or face mask after running specific routes.



Centers wear a towel because they are the ones who transfer the ball to the quarterback. Any mistake with the snap to the QB can result in a fumble, leading to the other team bringing it back to the end zone for a touchdown. Due to the importance of this transfer, you will see centers wear towels.


What Position Does Not Wear Towels?

Typically speaking, you won’t find punters or kickers wearing towels on their hip during games. The reason you won’t see them wearing towels on their hip is that the towel can interfere with a kick. Especially during a windy football game, you don’t want the towel’s movement to interfere with the kickoff or field goal.


When Do Football Players Dry Their Hands?

During a football game, you will see players dry their hands in between players in the huddle. In addition to drying their hands in the huddle, you will see players drying off their hands on the sideline with their football team.


Tom Brady Uses a Towel During Games

The list of players wearing towels is extensive, but one player stands out from the rest and that is Tom Brady. Tom Brady, who was on the New England Patriots and now on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, would typically wear a towel when playing. Especially during the playoffs and SuperBowl, Tom Brady would make it a habit of wearing a towel during games.


What About Fans Waving Towels?

The most recognizable fan towel-waving comes from the Pittsburgh Steelers fans. The Terrible Towels are bright yellow towels that the fans wave in the stands to root on their team. There are plenty of other groups that incorporate the towels in their game, but the bright yellow towels are most recognizable. When the Steelers are on the road, you will see what fans are Steelers fans by waving their towels in the air.

Conclusion about Football Towels

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why American Football Players choose to wear a towel during a game. One reason is to make sure they can keep their hands dry while another is for the look. While it may seem like everyone else on the field also wears a towel in their pants, some position players don’t like a kicker or punter.


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