Why Football Players Wear Towels

By Alex Mercer

February 1, 2019

Football players can often be seen wearing a towel hanging from their hips. They wear a towel on their hip for many reasons.

Football players wear towels on their hips because it helps keep their hands or forearms dry throughout the game. Football players are likely to sweat because of the heavy equipment, so staying dry is important, especially for the quarterback.

In this article, we will show you the different positions that wear towels and why they wear towels.

Staying Dry With A Towel

As we wrote about in our “How to spat an ankle” post, sometimes players wear a spat strictly for the look, not necessarily for ankle support. The same goes for why players wear tape on the back of their arms.

Weather can play a major factor in a football game. Rain or snow can cause the ball to slip out a running back’s hands, cause a faulty grip with the quarterback, or even an incomplete pass with the wide receiver.

Players must eliminate Mother Nature’s elements by staying dry and efficient.

Here are the positions that wear towels to stay dry during a football game.


The quarterback position is the most likely position to be wearing a towel. They will be handling the football from the center, exchanging the ball to the running back, or through the air to a wide receiver.

The quarterback’s hands must stay dry throughout this whole process. As shown above, quarterbacks will often keep the towel on the front right or front left side of their hip. This is so the player can easily wipe his hand off before taking a snap.

One important note a quarterback should take is NOT to wipe their hands before every pass play. This is a tendency that is picked up on film or even in person. The QB should wipe his hands every play or every so often.


The center is the first person to touch the ball. The center’s hands must be dry. The center/quarterback exchange is often muffed because the center’s hands are sweaty, which then makes the ball feel like it’s greased up.

Not only are the center’s hands sweaty, but often, when they go into a 3-point stance, their face sweat and arm sweat will drip on the ball. This is why having a dry towel handy at all times to wipe the sweat off is almost mandated for a center.

Also, on a rainy day, mud will accumulate on the center’s hands. Having a towel available to wipe the mud off is important to delivering a clean snap to the quarterback.

Running Back

Ball security is job security. The famous quote muttered by Bill Belichick. Ensuring that the ball is secured by the 5 points of contact in the open field and through contact could be the difference between winning and losing games.

A running back should always have a towel to dry off their hands, as well as their forearms and biceps. Believe it or not, sweaty biceps and forearms are a large cause of balls being stripped by defenders. Ensuring a type of grip and that all points are secured is where the towel is best used.

Wide Receivers

Wide receivers typically wear gloves, which prevent the hands from getting sweaty. Wide receivers wear towels similar to running backs to keep the biceps and forearms dry.

Wide receivers often hit the ground diving for low and high thrown balls. Having a towel tucked into the pants is great to dry the hands before each snap.

See Our Complete List Of Helpful Football Articles Here

Towels To Wear During A Football Game

All towels are not treated equally. Most players want the towel to keep the hand dry, and they also want it to look good. Below are our picks for the best wearable towel

Under Armour Towel

under armour towel for football

The Under Armour towel is great for many reasons. First, the quality of the towel is top-notch, and the fabric is soft. Second, the towel style goes well with Under Armour branded jerseys, cleats, gloves, etc.

Last, and in our opinion, the best, is how it can fit right onto your belt loop!

Nike Football Towel

nike towel for football

Last is the Nike football towel. Nike consistently makes quality products; similar to UA, the towel sits perfectly on a belt loop! For the teams with Nike jerseys, this is a great way to match your team’s logo and look good from head to toe!

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

The best place to have the towel is tucked into your pants. However, where you have your towel depends on your position.

Center: Typically on the front or side of the hip. We want to limit the inference between the ball and the quarterback on the exchange.

Quarterback: The quarterback should have a towel on his throwing side hip. If he doesn’t wish to wear a towel, having one on the center’s back hip may prove valuable. This technique is great for younger players, forcing them to wipe their hands before taking a center snap.

Running back: Either hip will work for the running back. It’s key not to have the towel tucked in so far that a defender can make a tackle from pulling on it. Have it close enough that it will come loose immediately if the defender grabs it.

Wide Receiver: Like a running back, having a loose towel is great for wiping sweat, but which side you wear it on is completely up to the player.

Other Reasons To Wear A Towel In A Football Game

Cosmetic reasons are also why football players wear towels in their waistbands.

What are the cosmetic reasons? Cosmetic reasons are essentially trying to make yourself look good. Creating an ensemble of looking good and upping the “swag.”

Players will buy custom towels or cut a sports towel in half to make it fit their look. Wearing a towel proves no downside other than it being tucked in too tight, and players can tackle you by it.

custom get hyped football towel

We live in a good time when websites have powerful tools where players can create their custom towels and have them shipped to them. As pictured above, I created a custom towel from customink.com and slapped it on the “Get Hyped” name.

This site also allows custom images and different colors to be custom-made. It’s cool technology to be able to alter every minute detail. If you were to create your towel, I would put your logo, name, or number in the left half of the towel; that way, you can fold it over.

Folded towels look better and are easier to tuck into the pants than a standard towel stuffed into the pants.

Related Q & A

How Do I Make A Homemade Football Towel?

Cut the towel into a small 10×18” shape. Take the towel and then fold it over once, and tuck it into your pants. Players may also buy a 5×18 and use it without any fold-over. Use this option if you’re on a tight budget. If you have some money to spend, I recommend searching for custom-made towels online. The material is a lot slicker, and it is a bit flashier.

How Do I Wash My Football Towel?

Wash your football towel in a manner similar to how you would wash a bath towel. Be sure to wash your towel after every week it’s used. Towels look best when white and glow from the football field lights.

Why Do Fans Wave Towels At Football Games?

It’s become part of the tradition at many colleges to swing either white towels or white t-shirts around in a circle. It creates a whirling effect and catches opponents’ eyes, seeing thousands of crazy fans spinning their towels.

Why Do Players With Gloves Wear Towels?

Players with gloves wear towels to make their overall uniform look better. If not for cosmetic reasons, players will often wear towels with gloves on to have something to wipe off.

When players block other opponents, the sweat will get on their gloves. The towels help dry the gloves off between each play.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

Our work has been featured on platforms like Mashable.com, SVG.com, and XXL.com.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}