What is Towelgate? Towelgate is what I and many others are calling what happened to Bears punter Trenton Gill. If you didn’t watch the game, Gill was penalized for wiping the field down with a towel before a field goal try. He was called for unsportsmanlike conduct and moved the Bears out of field goal range. Fortunately, it didn’t end up costing the Bears the game, but it was very puzzling, especially since no one seemed to know the rule.
From what people on social media have found in the official NFL rulebook, the rule states that you can’t throw the towel onto the field and leave it, which is what Gill did. However, while Gill was given a 15-yard penalty, the rulebook clearly states that it should be a warning the first time, followed by a 5-yard penalty if done a second time. Another rule in the rulebook makes it illegal to clear snow from the field with a towel or any other object, but there was water on the field, and barely any at that point.
It was a very confusing call and created a commotion on social media. The positive is that it didn’t affect the Bears’ comeback efforts, and the mistake won’t happen again. Hopefully, this helped those who were confused about the whole thing.