First, I want to congratulate the Nashville Predators on their sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That was amazing. Check out OnTheForecheck.com for more of their great coverage. I was lucky enough to get to attend Game 3 on Monday night and it was one of the top 2-3 sporting event experiences of my lifetime. The atmosphere was electric, the game was exciting, and the presentation by the Predators marketing and entertainment staff was world class. I saw several Titans there including Taylor Lewan, Jurrell Casey, and Delanie Walker. It also didn’t hurt that the Preds won in the most dramatic fashion possible.
When you go to a Preds game in person, you get to experience a lot of traditions. They were all on full display Monday night. You had the catfish thrown on the ice before the game (a Nashville spin on an old Detroit Red Wings tradition), you get the “...sucks!” chant after each opposing player is introduced, you get the “I like it, I love it” goal song followed by the “hey, you suck, we’re gonna beat the hell out of you” chant (even though the team changed the song played to try to get rid of it, it just feels wrong not to sing that part), you have the chant mocking the opposing goalie after each goal, and you have the really amazing and seemingly organic moments when the crowd stands and cheers, loudly, all the way through a TV timeout after a particularly good run of play for the team. That last one always causes goosebumps for me even though I’ve seen it at least 30 times.
Somehow in just under 20 years in Nashville, the team as created all of these traditions and all of them contribute to a very unique and fun experience when you attend a game. Some of these traditions aren’t particularly clever or creative. How hard is it to come with “uhhh hey you suck” chant? But they’ve stuck and they’ve been embraced by both the diehard fans in Cell Block 303 and the casual fans that go to just 1 or 2 games a year. The rest of the NHL hates these chants (including the league itself), but that somehow just makes them more fun.
So why don’t the Titans have things like that? The Titans got to Nashville about the same time the Preds did, but they have none of the unique traditions. Yes, hockey is marketing itself to more of a niche market than the omnipresent NFL who is trying to appeal to everyone, but still I think the question is valid. The closest thing to a real tradition that I can remember is the “Eddie, Eddie” chants from the early 2000’s when Eddie George would get on a roll. There was also the “Freak Out” song every time Jevon Kearse would get a sack. That was fun. But those were tied to the player, not the team, so when the player left so did the tradition. The 12th Titan thing is fairly recent. It’s not terrible, but you have to have someone who will really get in to it, otherwise it just looks like someone trying to aerate their yard. The few “chants” that do happen are horrible. “Duh duh duhduhduhduh go Titans go”? No thanks. “Move those chains, move those chains, move those chains, huh”? Please make it stop. Are there any others?
I feel like attending a Titans game is among the most generic NFL experiences in the league. Obviously, when the team is better, the atmosphere is better, but it’s no less generic. We have a lot of creative people that read this site, and we are all Titans fans. I want to challenge our group to come up with some ideas that could enhance the gameday experience at Nissan Stadium. I realize that you can’t force traditions to happen, but they have to start somewhere. We have a young, talented team on the rise. Nashville is one of the most fun cities in the world. There is no reason we shouldn’t have a few unique experiences that you only get at a Titans game.