It’s homecoming weekend for the Tennessee Titans, and the franchise estimates that 80 former players will return to be honored at halftime of Sunday’s game.
Former Titans legend, the late Steve McNair, will have his sons represent him as the honorary 12th Titan during the pregame festivities.
While I totally applaud and support the gesture, I do wonder why the team chose the Baltimore Ravens game for this year’s annual event.
When you think of homecoming, you think of good times, positive vibes, and reconnecting with old friends and colleagues.
But when the former Titans look across the field on Sunday, they will see a reminder of what could have been if not for Ravens.
Tennessee was the best team in football in 2000. The team that came within a yard of forcing overtime in the previous Super Bowl had upgraded their roster, and rolled through the NFL for a league-best 13-3 record.
Not only did Baltimore hand Tennessee one of those losses, but they broke a 13 game home win streak to open then Adelphia Coliseum in the process.
To add insult to insult, that same Ravens team (that had inferior talent) came back to Nashville to knock of the heavily favored Titans in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Tennessee dominated time of possession and doubled the Ravens in offensive production, but were forced to watch Baltimore hoist the Lombardi Trophy that year.
The exact same thing happened in 2008.
Tennessee once again had the best record in football and secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They once again hosted an inferior Ravens team in the divisional round of the playoffs, and once again failed to advance after dominating time of possession.
Two of the best teams in franchise history. Both upset by the Ravens.
In fact, the majority of the glory days Titans players had little to no success against Baltimore. Tennessee lost five straight games to the Ravens from 2000-2002.
All in excruciating fashion.
Their one shining moment was the 03 team who defeated the Ravens, in Baltimore, in the round card round of the playoffs.
And unfortunately, it was their last.
Not to mention the fact that several high-profile former players (Steve McNair, Derrick Mason, Samari Rolle) signed with Baltimore after the controversial salary cap purge to blow up the Super Bowl roster.
Some of the most heart-wrenching moments in franchise history have come at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, the one team that most of the alumni would rather forget.
Maybe this year’s Titans team can send their predecessors home happy by exacting revenge on their behalf this weekend.