Thursday, August 16, 2007
My football fever has officially kicked in.
That’s because Saturday I attended my first game of the season – an NFL preseason contest in Nashville between the Tennessee Titans and the Washington Redskins.
Good friend Don Brooks from Oxford called me Thursday of last week and said he had an extra ticket. I immediately went to work on changing some previous plans, called him back that night, and naturally said “yes.”
It was a quick trip, but a fun one. I definitely needed to get away, even if just for a day, following our hectic schedule at the newspaper office last week. I left at 3:50 a.m. Wednesday, almost an all-nighter covering the Tuesday primary election. I have not even tried to catch up on that sleep. It’s gone forever.
Don and I left Holly Springs about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. We made just one stop along the way for gas and arrived in downtown Nashville at about 5:15 p.m.
He is used to the trip – knows where to park so he can always get out quicker.
He has a favorite place to eat before the game – Demos’ Steak and Spaghetti House, no doubt one of the best and most popular restaurants in Nashville.
There was a line at Demos’ when we arrived. Our wait was about 20 minutes, but well worth it. Plus there was no use to getting to the 7 p.m. game early, due to the temperatures hovering around 100 degrees.
I’m a seafood lover. That’s why I chose the seafood fettuccine with shrimp, crabmeat, tomatoes and green peppers. It was fabulous.
We then made the walk through more of the downtown area and across the big bridge to LP Field, home of the Titans.
It was my first trip there.
Our seats were in the upper deck, but good ones, on the Titans’ side of the field with an excellent view. They were particularly good on this hot summer night because of the nice breeze blowing up there throughout the game.
The game itself panned out to be pretty dull. The Titans’ led 6-0 late in the fourth quarter when we decided to leave. Then on the radio on the way home, we heard the Redskins had scored two touchdowns in the final 1:14 of the game to win 14-6.
Unfortunately for us, Tennessee quarterback Vince Young was benched for violating a team rule. He was on the sidelines in street clothes.
Young was named Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year after last season. Young led all rookies with 12 touchdown passes and ranked second among rookies with 2,199 passing yards as he led the Titans to an 8-8 record and within one game of the AFC Playoffs. He took over as the starting quarterback in Week 4 and went 8-5 as a starter. Young also rushed 83 times for 552 yards and seven touchdowns.
With Young sidelined Saturday night, the offense sputtered.
A high spot was defense, particularly pressure on the opposing quarterback. The Titans had an impressive five sacks.
And, of course, the defense was missing a star player, too. Adam “Pacman” Jones is suspended indefinitely.
The trip home was quick, too, with just one stop to buy some caffeinated drinks and aid our staying awake. We rolled into my Holly Springs driveway at about 2 a.m., and Don still had to make the 30-minute longer drive to Oxford.
We’re already talking about some future road trips, back to Nashville to see the Titans or perhaps to see some other NFL games in person.
He’s an avid NFL fan. I’m a long-time fan of the Dallas Cowboys, and a trip to see them play on a Thanksgiving several years back was one of my favorite trips ever.
Personally, I prefer a college football game.
But it’s hard for me to turn down tickets or a road trip – be it to the NFL, college, junior college or high school.
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