Why Do Football Players Wear Towels In Their Pants? (Real Reasons)

During a football game, you may see players from both teams wearing towels in their pants. Of course, the first question that will cross your mind is; why do football players wear towels in their pants and what could possibly be the use of the towels on the pitch?

One of the most popular answers to the above questions is that players use the towel to keep their hands dry. But there is more to the reasons behind wearing towels than what has been said about it.

Hence, we shall cover an in-depth detail of why football players wear towels during the game in this article. Before we proceed, let’s tell you what a towel is.

What are Football Towels?

Football towels are ordinary towels worn by players on the field to keep their hands dry. In the NFL, some towels match the colour of the football team’s uniform, making them blend in easily. A football towel can be worn by any player, but quarterbacks, running backs, and offensive linemen are the most likely to do so.

Reasons Why Football Players Wear Towels In Their Pants:

1. To Keep Hands Dry:

As earlier stated, one of the reasons NFL, College, and High School football players wear towel is to keep their hands dry during the game.

Sometimes they even use the towels to clean the ball if it’s muddy or to dry it when it is wet. There is no denying the fact that slippery hands make it difficult for players to catch the ball. Also, players find it hard to throw the ball with precision when the ball or their hands are wet.

Hence, the players will utilise the towels in their pants to dry their hands or clean the ball. While playing a football match in the snow and rain, the additional moisture in the atmosphere makes it difficult for players to hold the ball.

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In such a situation, it will be important for players to hold a towel that they could use to clean the ball and enhance their grip on it.

Since the game requires players to put in so much energy, the athletes are bound to break out in sweats. This could be discomforting for them during the game. Hence, it is vital that payers have a towel that they could use to wipe out their sweats as the match progresses.

2. Keep the Ball + Hands Clean:

Aside from a dry hand, the quarterbacks always want to keep the ball and their hands clean during the game. As earlier explained, playing a game in inclement weather can make the ball more slippery.

Welcome to the home of sports
Welcome to the home of sports

But having a towel at hand can help players to clean off the ball when it is wet. A quarterback might clean up their hands in addition to the ball to ensure they have a clean grip each time they toss the ball.

3. Style and Appearance are Critical:

One of the secondary reasons for wearing towels is because of aesthetics. Many teams tend to use or sell towels that match their uniform. This is because they want their team to look stylish while making their appearance during a game.

Of course, having a towel hover around the hip or sometimes near the crotch area has become the norm of NFL players. The outfit of teams usually seems out of place each time no member of the team is wearing a towel.

What Position Should Wear a Towel In Football?


A quarterback’s ability to maintain a good hold on the ball is crucial, which is why he is the most likely player on the field to be wearing a towel. He frequently wears it in front so that he may dry his hand before he takes a snap.

The quarterback has a lot of contact with the ball, whether it’s receiving it from the center, passing it to a running back, or chucking it to a wide receiver. He must make sure both his hands and the ball are clean at all times.

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Hence, having a towel on his hip can help him dry off his hands as well as clean off the ball if it gets muddy in the match.

Running Backs:

Running backs need to be prepared for passes and handoffs from the QB. Hence, they have to make sure their hands are dry at all times. Just a little moisture on their hands may lead to a mistake, which can cost their team the possession of the ball.

In that case, you will often see players in this position wiping their hands with a towel. 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:

Many wide receivers prefer to play with a towel on their backs. A towel can help clean off any dirt on their hands, in addition to their sticky football gloves for catching footballs.

After running specific routes, Wide Receivers can wipe off any moisture on their tinted visors or face mask, in addition to cleaning their hands.


The centers are the first to touch the ball, therefore it is essential that they have dry hands. Apart from dealing with sweat that may drip on the football just before a snap, the ball may also become muddy due to the ground.

In such cases, the centers will use their towel to clean the ball. Since the centers are the ones who transfer the ball to the QB, they must do so with precision.

Any mistake with the snap to the Quarterback may result in a fumble. This can give the other team the chance of bringing back the ball to the end zone for a touchdown. Hence, centers wear towels to keep their hands dry.

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By doing so, they will avoid the slightest possibility of errors as they snap the ball to the QB.

What Position Does Not Wear Towels?

During most games, you won’t see punters or kickers carrying towels on their hips. The reason they don’t wear towels on their hips is that the towel can get in the way of a kick.

You don’t want the towel’s mobility to interfere with the kickoff or field goal, especially during a windy football game.

When Do Football Players Dry Their Hands?

Players usually dry their hands during the game between players in the huddle. In some cases, you will see players drying their hands on the sideline.

It is actually more convenient for an athlete to dry his hand from the sideline with his team. Nonetheless, the players may be left with no option other than to dry their hands in the huddle.

Do Fans Wave Towels?

Yes, fans do wave towels. The Pittsburgh Steelers have the most recognizable fan towel-waving. Their Towels are bright yellow towels that fans wave in the stands as a show of support for their favourite club.

There are a variety of other groups who use the towels in their games, but the bright yellow towels are the most well-known. When the Steelers are on the road, fans will wave their towels in the air to show that they are Steelers fans.


With all being said, you can see for yourself that there are many reasons why football players wear towels in their pants. It is not primarily for aesthetic reasons, but first to keep their hands dry.

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