Wisconsin towel maker in middle of Super Bowl matchup

Posted Jan. 25, 2011, at 12:06 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 25, 2011, at 8:35 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin towel maker is stuck smack-dab in the middle of the Green Bay Packers-Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl tilt.

McArthur Towel and Sports, a WinCraft company, has been producing officially licensed sports towels for years, including the Steeler fans’ beloved Terrible Towel, which the company began making in 1997. The hunk of yellow terrycloth has become Pittsburgh’s battle flag and gets waved by fans at home and away games.

But company’s president Gregg McArthur said he loves the Packers, and he’s working on a Super Bowl towel for the green and gold, too.

McArthur said he’s working on a new version of the “Titletown USA” towel, which the Baraboo-based company located about 135 miles southwest of Green Bay produced for the Packers’ 1997 Super Bowl appearance. He hoped to have a design and a name approved by the end of the day Monday.

“I love our Packers,” McArthur said. “We bleed green and gold in Baraboo. Right now we’re working closely with the Packers to put together a product that will basically compete with the Terrible Towel. We’ve got a towel war going here between the Terrible Towel and the Packer towel.”

The Packers defeated their archrival, the Chicago Bears, 21-14 on Sunday to advance to the Super Bowl on Feb. 6. The Steelers beat the New York Jets, 24-19, to advance to the championship game.

McArthur also will manufacture the so-called trophy towel, handed to members of the winning team on the field along with T-shirts and caps.

The company also makes products for NHL, NFL and NBA teams.

Injured Packers not in photo

GREEN BAY, Wis. — If linebacker Nick Barnett and tight end Jermichael Finley couldn’t play for the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl, they at least wanted to be included in the team photo.

Both players posted complaints on their Twitter accounts Tuesday after finding out players on injured reserve will not be in the team picture taken at the Super Bowl.

Barnett called it “sad,” and Finley said it was “not cool.”

“It was a team decision,” Packers spokesman Jeff Blumb said. “It was based primarily on the sheer number of players we have on injured reserve. Our primary goal in Dallas is to get the team ready to win a game.”

Green Bay now lists 16 players on IR. Injured players will join the team in the Dallas area late next week and will be on the sideline during the Feb. 6 game against Pittsburgh.

“They will be in our bench area on game day and part of our team,” Blumb said.

Both players softened their criticism later in the day.

“I was not trying to be a distraction nor was I downing the organization they have done so much for me,” Barnett wrote Tuesday afternoon.

Another potential concern for the injured players is the team photo takes place during Tuesday’s media day, and the Packers’ injured players aren’t scheduled to join the team until Thursday. If the team were to bring injured players to the Dallas area earlier in the week, the players would end up missing nearly a week of their injury rehabilitation.

“This next two weeks is about the unbelievable success of my teammates and last thing I want is to be (is a) distraction,” Finley wrote.

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