why do football players wear towels

Why Do Football Players Wear Towels

Ever seen football players wear towels? In the NFL, you’ll see some players wearing towels in their pants. Not every player wears the towels. It leaves most fans wondering why a few players choose to wear towels.

This leads to my big question. Why do football players wear towels? Football players wear towels to keep their hands dry and improve their grip on the ball. 

A towel helps dry the hands and provides a firm grip on the ball. A decent grip is important for a good throw and catch of the ball.

Looking to learn more about football players and why they wear towels? Keep reading below.

What Are Football Towels?

Football towels are the small towels you see football players tuck into their pants. They are normal towels but of a small size to help keep the hands dry.

The towels are worn for a reason; keep the ball and hands dry for a better grip. It might seem a pretty simple thing, but that’s not the case.

In professional football, games are worn on small margins. Keeping your hands dry can make a big difference. Let’s see the different types of towels.

Football Hand Towels

Football towels are just normal towels that football players use to dry their hands on the field. Moisture is a likelihood when playing football. 

Even during sunny weather conditions, hands can get wet due to sweat. This requires a small towel tucked in your pants to dry. They are absorbent towels that will wipe away any sweat or moisture on the hands.

The grip is a big name in football. Wide receivers, running backs, and quarterbacks can significantly benefit from these towels.

NFL Football Towel

NFL towels are regular football towels with custom features matching the team kits and colors. Teams have customized football towels to match their kits.

It is a big thing in football where teams have made special towels for certain positions on the field.

NFL towels are allowed on the field, and any player can wear them. The only rule they have to follow is to avoid discarding them in the field and to wear only one towel.

What Positions Need Towels the Most?

Not every player on the field wears a football towel. Some positions require the towel more than others. In general, any football player can do with a towel. It’s pretty essential due to the nature of the game.

football player in white uniform wearing white towel in a match

However, some positions need it more than others. Let’s see some of these positions.

Wide Receivers

Wide receivers can have a towel on them. The towel is quite crucial to help dry and clean their sticky gloves. Most wear gloves to help with catching the ball.

They also need towels to wipe any dirt and moisture on the visors. This can significantly enhance vision and improve ball catching.


The quarterbacks need the towels the most to ensure a firm grip. The hands must be dry whenever they hold and throw the ball. Throwing from snap with pinpoint accuracy is not possible when you have wet hands.

You’ll see quarterbacks keep the towel on their hip in every game. This gives them easy access whenever they need to dry their hands. They can also use it to dry the ball and wipe away any dirt.

Running Backs

Running backs also receive hands-off and passes from quarterbacks. They require dry hands to ensure no ball slips. Running backs need to have their hands ready and dry in every game.

Occasionally, you will see them wiping their hands and even using a hand warmer. With dry hands, running backs are confident and can cover more ground.


Centers are also involved with the quick transfer of the ball to the quarterbacks. If their hands are wet, a mistake can happen, and they can drop the ball. Therefore, they also require a football towel to keep the hands dry.

Ball transfer is quite important. Any mistake during the transfer can lead to a change of possession in case of a fumble.

Where Is The Best Place To Wear A Towel In Football

Now that you know the positions that wear a football towel most, let’s see the best places to wear it. Different positions will wear the towel at different places for ease of access.

young football player wearing  pink towel

Wide Receivers

Wide receivers will wear their towels on the back, tucked into the pants. You’ll see the towel hanging from the pants on the back.


Quarterbacks tend to keep their towels on their hips. They tuck it on the hips to ensure easy access.

Running Backs

Running backs also tuck the towel in their pants on the back. This ensures easy access without hindering runs.


Centers will also wear towels on the back to ensure easy access. They must access the towel quickly and dry their hands before transferring to the quarterbacks.

What Position Does Not Wear Towels?

It’s worth noting that not every position requires a towel. Some positions like the punter or kicker don’t necessarily need a towel. First, they do most of their play with the foot.

Secondly, a towel can get in their way when punting or kicking the ball. During a windy day, a towel can be blown towards the ball, affecting their game.

Why Do Football Players Wear Towels In The Back?

Football players wear towels on the back to avoid the towel getting in the way of the run or ball catching. When players run with the ball or catch it, they don’t want something to affect them.

Furthermore, the towels are too long and can get into your legs and affect your run. Keeping the ball on the back also avoids interference with the ball for offensive players.

football player in white jersey wearing a towel

Sometimes players have to bend to catch balls thrown their way. When bending too low, the towel might interfere with the ability to catch the ball.

Does Tom Brady Use Towel During Games

Yes, Tom Brady wears football towels on every game. While playing for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady wore a football towel for every game. He also wears a towel while playing for Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tony made it a habit to wear a football towel in every game in the Super Bowl and playoffs.

Other Reasons To Wear A Towel In A Football Game

Players can wear towels to wipe dirt from the visors. There are also instances where fans have been seen carrying towels. The fans use such towels to cheer their players by waving them in the air.

Why Football Players Wear Towels FAQ

How Do I Make A Homemade Football Towel

You can make homemade football towels by stitching them and designing specific team names on them.

Why Do Fans Wave Towels At Football Games

Football fans can wave towels to cheer their players or celebrate an event. The Pittsburgh Steelers wave towels whenever a new Steeler fan is born. It’s a tradition that has been passed down generations.

Why do NFL players wear bum bags?

NFL players wear bum bags to keep their hands warm in cold weather. The bum bags are actually hand warmers with activated warm air.


Well, that wraps everything from me! Now you know a towel plays a crucial role in football. Football players wear towels to help dry their hands and ensure a firm grip on the ball. There is no major scientific reason for the towel apart from drying hands.

However, the simple act of keeping hands dry can make a big difference in professional football. Any mistake from a wet hand when throwing or catching the ball can cost your team.

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