How I Became A Fan Of…… The Tennessee Titans

I was born before the Tennessee Titans. Sure, the Houston Oilers existed, but as a small child whose only exposure to NFL was my Dad looking really tired on one Monday morning a year in February, a strange colourful TV show on Channel 4 and a weird PC game called ‘Monday Night Football,’ this didn’t mean a lot to me. Was I ready for some football? Not really….

But fate intervened, and Dad’s job saw him having to go over to the States on a regular basis, specifically Knoxville, Tennessee. On one occasion he returned with a weird shaped rugby ball and a program from a team called the ‘Tennessee Titans.’

Now Ok, I was aware of the game, I’d sit through the odd highlights show, and despite not really understanding what I was doing, ‘Monday Night Football’ was a weirdly addictive game. But having a connection to a team, even if it was as spurious as my Dad going to the area, gave me a bigger reason to be involved.

I had no idea that the team had just moved from Houston, I had no idea that they had just changed their name from the Oilers, all I knew was that the Tennessee Titans were my team.

They had a decent, American-sounding quarter back in Steve McNair (more on him later), and a quick, vaguely famous running back called Eddie George. And we seemed good! In the first season I followed them, my team, the Titans, made the superbowl, which was apparently the most important sporting event in the history of mankind. What happened there will go down in NFL folklore as one of the greatest finishes to a Superbowl as Kevin Dyson came up one yard short of the endzone on the final play of the game.

Watching that still hurts now, but in some ways it didn’t matter an end to a season like that, I was hooked! Over the following years sunday night’s involved sitting in front of the TV, ignoring homework and watching a double bill of games on Sky Sports, feeling full after Sunday Lunch. The Titans developed, new players came in, McNair and George left and Jeff Fisher’s tache got bigger. The Titans remained my team, and at the moment, are quite an exciting one, with the most exciting running back in the league, a new, top class reciever in Randy Moss and some young players on the defense causing havoc. It’s a fun time to be a Titans fan, and with Wembley games, more coverage on TV, and a decent UK support-base, an exciting time to be a football fan!

No post on my past with the Titans would be complete without a mention of Steve McNair. A true legend, and from all accounts, a thoroughly decent bloke who was tragically murdered last year, a loss that the franchise are still coming to terms with, and  the Titans 0-6 start last year cannot be divorced from it. The best tribute the guys can show would be for them to go out make franchise history in Dallas, at the Superbowl, this year.

So there it is, a loose connection between my Dad’s company, and a weird, stop-start spot has brought me to this point here today, it’s not the most exciting story, but it’s these weird link’s that draw us and in make sport so dam compelling.



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