It only took about a decade for the rally towel to become the Philadelphia sports giveaway of choice. Like all great Philadelphia ideas, it's a ripoff: In this case, we ripped off Pittsburgh and their famous yellow terrible towel. (Pittsburgh's terrible towel is a ripoff, too, of a regular towel.)
Philadelphia rally towels are white, not yellow, and every local sports team has given them away. The earliest towel I have is the Dec. 31, 2000, Eagles' Wild Card playoff win over Tampa Bay. (This was so long ago one of the heroes of that game was Mike Mamula.)
This season, the Sixers have been giving away rally towels like there's no tomorrow. The Flyers tend to save them for late in the playoffs — when they get that far. The Phillies must buy them in bulk: Some of the iconic images of their success the past few seasons have been fans waving rally towels during postseason victories. The Union had "Doopin' for the Cup" rally towels. I even have a rally towel from a Penn basketball game.
But the question, of course, is what to do with rally towels besides, well, rallying with them? As someone who's collected scores since 2000, I believe I can offer my expertise.
Dish towels. This would be the obvious usage, and you can celebrate old sports history while doing ever- annoying dish cleaning. Flyers rally towels won't work on cups, though.
Cubicle decor. Look: Don't hang rally towels on your bedroom wall. That's worse than posters. When you're an adult, you take down the posters and put up art. (This can be as simple as framed posters.) If I've learned anything about Philly sports fans from a lifetime of going to games, it's that most are incredibly tacky, so thumb-tack rally towels to your cube.
Cleanup after crying. We all thought the Phillies' 2008 World Series win would usher in a golden age of Philadelphia sports, but we've been without a championship ever since. Use your rally towels to wipe away your tears after the Eagles cough up another fourth-quarter lead.
High-concept clothing. Remember when designer Lizzy Gardiner wore a dress fashioned from American Express cards to the 1995 Oscars? (Probably not! Most people can't remember what happened last Tuesday.) Why not fashion a dress out of rally towels? I've seen a guy in a rally towel cape. A dress can't be that much harder! Your seamstress will enjoy the challenge (note: probably not).
Towel animals. "On cruise ships, towel animals are created for the patrons," says the Wikipedia entry for towels. Go make some towel animals, whatever they are.
Kitten toys. Cats will destroy these towels, so only use if it's a towel from an opposing team's stadium or a particularly crushing loss. No shortage of those, sad to say.