Strange Happenings Mark Titans First Preseason Game
By Jeff Fuqua
Posted August 13th, 2006
If nothing else, it was interesting. Last night's 19-16 loss to the Saints provided plenty of unique events on and off the field including a mascot hit and run, a player arrested, an unapologetic rookie not allowed to play and a strange delay in the Titans Radio broadcast.
T-Rac Takes Out QB
Titans mascot, T-Rac, ran into QB Adrian McPherson with the cart he was on at the Saints were returning to the field after halftime. "He got run over by a mascot,'' Saints Coach Sean Payton said. "We got to play the Titans and you have to worry about the mascots and all the other stuff going on. He's got a bruise, some kind of contusion." Watch the "No Fun League" create a policy which deals with mascots this week.
One player not present Saturday night was DT Randy Starks who was arrested Saturday and charged with misdemeanor domestic assault. According to police, he was involved in an altercation with his fiancee which included breaking nine of her fingernails and banging her head against a towel rack. Starks was booked, posted a $2,000 bail and was released. "I told Randy that there was no place for him as being a part of this team tonight,'' Titans Coach Jeff Fisher said. We'll get to see if Fisher is serious about his "no tolerance" policy. Look for the team to bring in a defensive tackle free agent before the conclusion of the preseason because Starks will likely miss at least one regular season gam once the NFL is finished with him.
The Titans may as well purchase the Nashville Sounds scoreboard and move it to LP Field because it looks to be in better shape than those currently being used. Hopefully, there will be some improvements before the regular season because it is almost impossible to hear anything with only one scoreboard producing sound. The banners covering old ads, poor graphics and gaps in the jumbotron images make up for a less than impressive fan experience. I'm not sure what the Titans are thinking but the thrill is also gone with many of the same fan contests, "Remember the Titans" video clips and the "dump dump de dump de dump - go Titans go" music clips.
Wide Receiver Drops
In the first quarter, WR Drew Bennett bobbled a deep pass from QB Billy Volek which was challenged but upheld. Later, WR Roydell Williams dropped a perfect pass from QB Vince Young which would have been at least a 50-yard gain. "I kind of took my eyes off it. It was a great throw by Vince and I should have made that play," Williams said. " … I didn't have to say anything, he saw it on my face. I've got to make that play." With these two catches made, the Titans nearly double their passing yard totals and probably easily win the game. Though it's only preseason football, the Titans must take advantage of such opportunities if they want to get the franchise back on track.
Rookie RB LenDale White did not play against the Saints as part of a disciplinary action against for a spitting incident in Thursday's practice. "I just wanted to say I respect Coach (Jeff) Fisher's decision for not playing tonight," he said. "I don't like it just because I like competing. I wanted to be out there to compete tonight. But I understand what's going on, I look forward to next week against the Denver Broncos and from there we can keep it going." An apology to Nickey would go a long way to showing some character too.
Titans Radio Delay
One of the more frustrating parts of last night's game was the delay in the Titans Radio broadcast. Numerous fans sitting in the stadium enjoy listening to Mike Keith, Frank Wycheck and Larry Stone as the game is being played. Last night, there was around a 20-second delay in the live action and the radio broadcast. According to Larry Stone, Executive Producer for Titans Radio, the reason is due to the FCC increasing fines for obscenities aired. If a swear word is broadcasted, the fine is $350,000 per incident. Titans Radio has decided to delay their broadcast in order to bleep out any offending words before they are aired rather than risk the fine. "In short, you can thank Janet Jackson for the delay -- the FCC has cracked down on obscenity on both radio and television in the wake of this incident," said Larry Stone, Executive Producer for Titans Radio. "The FCC answers to the public on these kinds of issues, however, special interest groups have taken the opportunity to seize on any obscenity and report it to the FCC -- making it appear to be a mass citizen protest." This not only impacts those who attend the games but also those who like to watch the games at home but turn down the TV to listen to Titans Radio. We're all for not exposing people to unnecessary profanity but it appears the FCC has taken this to the extreme. For those of us who were there, imagine hearing Keith's "Music City Miracle" call 20 seconds after Dyson crossed the goal line. Dropping an email to the FCC might be in order.
Pee Wee Pick
One of the most exciting plays of the night wasn't made by a Saint or Titans but by a Franklin Cowboy who participated in the half time pee wee scrimmage of players in the range of six to eight-years of age. Four teams participate in the half time tradition with two teams facing off at each end of the field. At the south endzone, a Cowboy intercepted a pass and ran 95 yards for a touchdown in the north endzone. He not only outraced every player chasing him from the south end of the field, he blew by the 22 who were playing on the north end to the cheer of fans.
Quotes from The Tennessean