Surely by now everyone must admit that there is a negative national media conspiracy against the Titans. And apparently this conspiracy extends to Titans coaches.
Does anyone remember the Leon Sandcastle commercials? Leon was concocted by the NFL Network and it's effort to bring more publicity to 2013 draft. Or at least that is what they want us to believe.
I’ve heard hundreds of stories from former players and to a man each were offended by the Sandcastle commercials. These gridiron greats didn’t complain about their NFL pension or bodily injuries or concussions. They were upset that the NFL Network and Deion Sanders neglected to publicly cite coach Jerry Gray as being the inspiration for the Leon Sandcastle character; undoubtedly because of coach Gray’s Oilers/Titans ties.
Most people are unaware that back in the day, the NFL used to be a clean cut and button down league. Every player was expected to exude a certain wholesomeness, a boy next door image. Before the merger of the AFL and the NFL, the players were required to “stay in their place” and Jerry changed all of that. Jerry Gray was a trailblazer. He single handedly liberated the NFL.
Jerry was the first person in the NFL to sport a HUGE thick afro and mustache. Some former players recalled that Jerry’s fro would stick out from the ear hole and the back of his helmet and when he took his helmet off, you could see the helmet’s imprint in his hair.
Other former players reminisced about Jerry’s playing style. Jerry was Deion before Deion was Deion. Jerry was the original corner back with the blazing speed and great ball skills. Jerry wore the number 21 jersey first and... Jerry was among the first in the league to talk to the media in a very high octave while referring to himself in the third person.
Coach Gray drove a sky blue 1979 Grand Prix that the ladies just absolutely loved and speaking of the ladies....well.... sorry folks but this is a PG posting. But while most of the players in Jerry’s era spent their money like drunken sailors, Jerry spent his money wisely by invested in priceless art. Immediately after Jerry signed his rookie contract, he purchased an impressive collection of velvet panther art and black Jesus paintings. And to this very day, coach Gray still has a life sized snowball throwing polar bear statue at his home that he proudly displays in his vestibule.
So to coach Gray, congratulations to you for being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. And to the NFL Network and the rest of the national media in general: Give some love to the Tennessee Titans.
And to paraphrase a meme from the 1970’s: Don’t Hate Us Because We’re Beautiful!!!