When the Titans, err Oilers, made the decision in the mid-90’s to come to Nashville, there were some happy people and yes, some not so happy ones. I happened to know plenty on both sides and the ones that had grown up in Nashville, were against it.
I was working at a trucking company at the time and worked with a guy from Pittsburgh who had moved to Nashville a few years earlier. “I will tell you, having a pro football team in the city would be amazing,” he told me as he went to vote yes on bringing the team from Houston to town. “It is hard to comprehend now but you will look back and realize how great it is to grow up with a football team. Even though I can’t stand the Oilers.”
As we stand here now, 25 and a half years later, the Titans have united Nashville in just about every single way. Yes, there were some really bad seasons where we could have fielded eleven players and done just as good, or bad, as the team. Every franchise goes through that, some it seems like forever, ahem, Cleveland.
On Sunday, January 9th, 2022, for a moment, we were all one. Social media was nothing but praise and cheers for the Two-Tone Blue, as some affectionately call them. I was seeing people tweet and post who are as far apart politically as you can possibly imagine. And, they were liking each other’s tweets and Facebook posts.
I will never forget going with my mom to the Hermitage Walmart in January of 2000 when the Titans beat Jacksonville to go the Super Bowl. She just had to have a sweatshirt saying Titans and every person east of Nashville was in the store that day. For a moment, we were all one.
Two years ago, I was covering the team as they made it to the AFC championship and seeing Titans fans take over a very popular bar in downtown Kansas City. All ages, black and white, male and female, in that bar having the time of their lives supporting their favorite team.
I said it last year as well when the team made the playoffs going through the crazy covid season of 2020 and seeing everyone come together, once again on social media. For awhile, there were no political posts, no put downs and just people feeling good about their football team.
Now the team awaits who they will play in the playoffs and stand only three wins away from winning the Super Bowl. I know they came close 22 years ago and this city almost lost it’s ever-loving mind. My old co-worker was correct about how it would all be once they got here and got going.
Watch out bachelorette parties and pedal taverns if they do win the greatest trophy in sports. This city might fall into the Cumberland River from the celebration.