Shutdown Corner - NFL

They start 'em young up in Pittsburgh.

A hospital in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., is wrapping each newborn in a Terrible Towel as part of a celebration of the Steelers playing in Super Bowl XLV.

St. Clair Hospital started the tradition when the Steelers last made it to the Super Bowl in 2008 and decided to continue this year. "They're born Steelers fans here in Pittsburgh," Sharon Johnson, a clinical supervisor at the hospital, told UpperSt.ClairPatch.

It's a cute idea and I'm sure all those Terrible Towels will be hanging proudly in those family's houses for years to come.

Can people opt out of this, though? Surely there's some family in Pittsburgh that either doesn't care about football, doesn't like the Steelers or doesn't want their newborn child blinded by the bright yellow color of that towel. And aren't babies supposed to be wrapped in soft material? The Terrible Towels are as gentle as washcloths at a Holiday Inn.

No matter. It's the team spirit that counts, as evidenced by four quotes from the piece in UpperSt.ClairPatch:

-- "She can choose her religion, but she can't choose what team she likes." -- Justin Eitel, father of a newborn daughter

-- "It's pretty awesome. I got a new baby and a new Terrible Towel. Couldn't ask for anything more." -- Joe Laffey, father of a newborn daughter

-- "I kept telling [my girlfriend] during the AFC Championship game, ‘Don't let your water break!' -- Laffey, again

-- "She worked hard and got it done, just like the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's a special time. You feel like you're a part of it." -- Dr. Paul Zubritzky, obstetrician at St. Clair, on a mother who wanted her son to be part of the celebration. It's not clear whether Dr. Zubritzky was talking about the birth or the football game.

Somewhat disappointingly, it appears that none of the newborns were named after anyone associated with the Steelers, past or present. I don't know why not. Franco, Myron and Mean Joe make for lovely names.

Thanks, Deadspin

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