For those that have followed my writings as a Titans blogger, you will be familiar with my tendency of combining bourbon and Skittles as a replacement for brewing tea. That's right, tea. Every now and again I attempt to predict the future of the Titans organization by reading tea leaves using the ancient art of Tasseography. The only problem is that I don't drink tea, but I do drink bourbon. And I like Skittles as well.
So tonight, instead of trying to predict the future through my new age absurd concoction, I will reflect on the recent past.
There is no right way to be a fan.
Often, fans visit sites such as MCM, or Titan Sized or Titans Report to vent. Some even feel compelled to call into the local radio shows and drop their two cents on the rest of the sports world followers as we sit in traffic driving to and from work.
Many remind the listeners or viewers that they are season ticket holders and have been for years. This of course adds weight to their opinion as to how the franchise should be run. Better yet is the radio caller that played high school or even college football and offers his resume as a sort of automatic vindication on their opinion.
Many fans of the Tennessee Titans spoke loud and clear with their attendance, or lack thereof, to this Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. Only a little more than half the seats entered the gate. By half time that number had dwindled by 50%. Once Ryan Fitzpatrick threw the pick 6 in the fourth quarter and the team went down by 17, the stadium became a ghost town.
It was cold. It was dark. It was a late game on a Sunday afternoon a week before Christmas. That's a hard sell even for a team that isn't looking at the 10th pick in next years draft.
But I will say this about the Titans loss to the Cardinals this last Sunday. I had a blast.
As a fan I went into this game without a higher agenda. For the first time ever I was able to take my wife to a game as she braved the cold for my sake. The lights and the excitement were as intoxicating as ever, even without a full house and at least the beer stayed cold on its own.
As the Titans received the ball with under 4 minutes left in the final quarter, I knew this was my last taste of live football until next August. That's a long off season regardless of the NFL's deliberate stretching of free agency and the draft.
What followed was some of the most electrifying play by the Titans since the Detroit game last year. In roaring fashion, the Titans scored 17 points in 3:02 to tie the game and send it to overtime. The offensive line held, the quarterback stood tall, the receivers made plays. It was beautiful.
Take from it what you will, but I am one that views themselves lucky to have an NFL franchise in their backyard. By all means you should voice your opinion with your empty seat if you feel the desire to do so. Fans have every right, if not an obligation, to make their voices heard however they can. I for one lost my voice trying to make 6,000 sound like 60,000.
So far the new face of ownership, Tommy Smith, has said all the right things in response to the fans grievances. He feels your frustration. He understands that you spend your hard earned money on tickets, parking, concessions, and jerseys. He has vowed that the fans voices will not fall on deaf ears and that he too wants to win. We'll see how things unfold from here.
There is not right way to be fan.
This article is not an attempt to say that those that did not go to the game aren't true fans. Or that those that want change don't support their team. Far from it. In reality it may be those fans feel it the most. It seems that the more you care the more frustrated you can become. The more jaded. The less hopeful.
This is merely a voice from the other side. The commentary whether via radio or internet from the fans is largely negative in times like these. As it should be. I would like to say this though, remember why you are a fan to begin with . To root. To cheer. To join the masses as a supporting cast behind a group "larger" than your self.
Enjoy it if you can while it's here. I did, and had a blast.