Monday, May 3, 2010

My new digs

Greetings, yinzers and non-yinzers alike!

Welcome to Respect the Towel, the site that used to be

So why did I change the name of my site? Well, to be honest, I never liked the name "" Whenever I told people the name of my site, I always had to say the name then immediately spell it so they wouldn't think it was just "" It was very cumbersome in terms of name recognition.

When I launched three years ago today, the name was an acknowledgement of my Rhode Island roots, and the Boston accent that came with it. Even though I had learned to pronounce my "r"s by the time I moved to New York, my girlfriend at the time seemed to think I still had the accent. And I wanted a name that conveyed that fact that I was a Steelers fan from New England, so the name seemed like a good idea at the time. Well, live and learn.

So why Respect the Towel?

For starters, I am the proud owner of a Terrible Towel, which is the official flag of Steelers Nation. I bought mine the day after the Steelers won the 1995 AFC championship game. The Internet was still kind of a new-fangled thing back then. So I called 1-800-TEAMTUF on my touch-tone phone, and waited on hold for at least an hour. It made me appreciate having a Terrible Towel that much more.

Of course, "Respect the Towel" is a little bit of a nod to "The Sopranos," which I still watch on DVD when I'm not watching the first quarter and a half of the Steelers' 2009 season opener (before Troy Polamalu got hurt) on NFL Game Rewind.

We all know what happened to Ralph Cifaretto when he didn't respect the Bing. And we all know what happened when the Tennessee Titans didn't Respect the Towel when they beat the Steelers late in the 2008 season. The Steelers never lost again, and went on to win Super Bowl XLIII.

It's too bad the inventor of the Terrible Towel, Myron Cope, didn't get to see the Steelers' sixth championship. He died on Feb. 27, 2008. Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers, like me a Steelers fan from New England,
honored Cope after his death by waving the Terrible Towel after Weekend Update.

I don't quite have the same following as a Steelers blogger that Meyers does as a comedian. Not yet, anyway.

With the transition from Steelahs to Respect the Towel, I'm joining many of my fellow Steelers bloggers on the Blogger platform. And before you ask, the answer is yes, if all my fellow Steelers bloggers were going to jump off the Fort Pitt Bridge, I probably would, too.

You could call me a lemming for moving over to Blogger, but the fact is it's free. It would have costed me the price of a Steelers ticket to renew my site design apparatus for another year over at, and that doesn't even count the $25 a month I was paying for the traffic analyzer. I studied that traffic analyzer like a crazy old geezer panning for gold. More than 30 unique visitors was a good day for me, so the traffic analyzer didn't make a lot of sense.

The disadvantage is that Respect the Towel is a subdomain. That means that if you just type, it won't come up. You have to type That might make the site harder to find on search engines. But I know that won't be a problem because I have dozens of loyal readers who will spread the word about my new site (pretty please?).

Hopefully the new site name will be more recognizable and therefore increase traffic. A lot of thought went into the new name. Here are some of the other site names I considered:

Steelers State of Mind: I was going to go with this name. It was certainly fitting considering how I eat, drink, sleep and breathe Steelers. It also would have been a subtle reference to the fact that I live in New York, and a timely one considering Jay-Z's song "Empire State of Mind." But I did a Google search for "Steelers State of Mind," and got "Steel City State of Mind," a Pittsburgh version of Jay-Z's song. That kind of took away from the originality of the site name, and I also didn't want people searching the Internet looking for the song, and being disappointed to find my little old site. But I did come very close to choosing this name. As a matter of fact, I did claim the URL and put Steelers State of Mind up on the Internet. But I took it down after a few days. Sort of like Joey Galloway in a Steelers uniform, if you blinked, you missed it.

At the Confluence: It sends chills down my spine to hear a golden-throated announcer say the words "at the confluence," because it means the Steelers are on TV. I saw, however, that there's an established Penguins blog that uses the word "confluence." So I didn't want to step on any toes.

The Black and Gold Pages: While this would have been a witty play on words (you know, The Yellow Pages), there would have been two problems with this one. First, I would have had to decide whether to use the word "and," " 'n'," or just an ampersand, and no matter which one I used, some people would have typed it in wrong. Also, black and gold can include the Pirates and Penguins, too. While I will make references on occasion to the Pirates and Penguins, this is just a Steelers blog.

'Burger Joint: This was the headline in The Boston Globe when the Steelers beat the Patriots 33-10 at Gillette Stadium in 2008, the year they won their sixth Super Bowl. Thanks to my father, I was able to attend that game with him and witness in person the Steelers' transformation from a good team to a championship-caliber team. The name " 'Burgher Joint," however, would have implied an all-encompassing Pittsburgh blog, and maybe even a foodie blog. So it was a no-go.

The Whole Bottle of Ketchup: This would have been in deference to the shrine that is Heinz Field, and it would have highlighted my effort to bring you the most thorough Steelers blog possible. But to be quite honest, the older I get, the less my stomach can handle ketchup. So this one was out.

The Hypocycloid: Hypocycloid is that shape that appears three times in the Steelers' logo, one red, one yellow and one blue. But if I thought spelling "Steelahs" was a pain in the ass ...

Bapty's Steelers Blog: A lot of my friends call me "Bapty." My last name, Batista, is frequently bastardized into Baptista. The guy who coined the "Bapty" moniker, if I ever get married, will be the best man at my wedding. He just doesn't know it yet. And he won't find out here because if he reads this, the devil might need to wear a jacket. I didn't choose this name because it just sounds a little too homespun, like it's put together by some bachelor slob in his late 30s living in a basement apartment. Uh, wait a minute ...

The Yellow Seats (or The Gold Seats or The Golden Seats): I think the yellow seats at Heinz Field are so cool, but while I think this would have been a good use of synecdoche (sorry), it sort of implied that I actually go to Heinz Field. I've only gone once. Maybe I'll go this season. It was a 10-hour drive from Rhode Island, but only a seven-hour drive from New York. We'll see.

So what do you think? Did I choose the right name? It's OK to post comments, you know.

That's it for now. I'm looking forward to my fourth year as a Steelers blogger. Just 131 days until kickoff.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your new site. I like the layout. I've posted a link to you on my blog. Keep up the good work.