Nashville: The Experience (By Nicholas Pitakos, @NPitak)
(Picture from Sean Maczko)
My girlfriend Michelle and I made an impromptu trip down to Nashville for the Tennessee Titans game and paid Nashville a visit. The city is truly amazing and offered a fabulous weekend experience.
Downtown Nashville was a sight that everyone must experience. The atmosphere is unlike anything else. Being from Columbus, Ohio, the area is not like anything we have. Bar-hopping is a must with all of the open bars lining the streets. The biggest thing we both noticed, and loved, was the live music. Nashville is known for its live country music flowing out of the bars. Its reputation was nothing short of amazing.
The live music truly sets that “Nashville Vibe.” Let’s be honest—Who doesn’t love live country music being played at every single bar they enter?
When we first arrived, we paid a visit to the replica Parthenon, which was simply extraordinary. Kind of cool that Nashville gets to claim that as a park, truly something unique. Did I mention huge? Seriously—that thing is gigantic!
We returned to downtown. After a quick visit to LP Field, which was everything I thought it would be, we made our venture to eat at a local joint. Thanks to Titan Sized reader Ricky Merritt, the recommendation of Jacks BBQ did not disappoint. Michelle and I shared Texas beef brisket, pulled pork, and a number of sides that hit the spot. Also, I had never had “Nashville” style BBQ sauce before. It was probably the best BBQ sauce I’ve eaten. I wanted to take it home by the jar full and share its goodness with all of Ohio.
We then took a trip over to the Country Music Hall of Fame, which is really cool as well. Seeing the car used in Smokey and the Bandit and Elvis’ “Solid Gold” Cadillac was a highlight. Not to mention Michelle loves Taylor Swift. She thoroughly enjoyed seeing the laptop she used to edit a couple of her music videos. Overall, the CMHF is an experience like no other, I had a class at Ohio State where we learned all about country and rocks beginnings and seeing things in person and recollecting a lot of things I had learned made taking that class worth it.
That night we took a trip over to the Opryland Hotel and Opry Mills Mall, which is extremely nice. Not a fan of having to pay $25 for parking though. Not cool man. Also, we saw the indoor aquarium restaurant inside the mall. We really wanted to eat at it but ran out of time. Something about eating in a shark, fish and sea creature filled atmosphere seemed really cool.
The next day brought us to Tennessee Titans game day. I made a rookie mistake thinking the game started at 1 p.m. which is when NFL starts for Eastern Time when it really started at noon. Thus, we showed up just a little bit after all of the opening ceremonies. One thing I noticed though is that game-day traffic is crazy; it took us probably an hour just to get parked for the game. The weather for game day was amazing especially being in November. This set up the perfect day for some Titans football.
Being a student at Ohio State, we’re spoiled with our football program. Ohio Stadium, if you haven’t been there, is a palace among palaces for football stadiums. It’s large, loud, and has a long history in Columbus. So while LP wasn’t to the size and scale of The Shoe, it did have some things I really enjoyed. I liked the scoreboards on both ends, something The Shoe lacks. I also really enjoyed the design of the stadium. Not a bad seat in the house, can’t really say the same for The Shoe.
Although, I hate the walk to the 300 level up and down those ridiculously long ramps. Got my exercise in, that’s for sure.
The result of game was obviously not what we wanted. Losing to Jacksonville always sucks and being there made it sting that much more. I also got to hear first-hand some very, very disgruntled fans as the game ended. I noticed how the stadium also seemed empty at spots as well as the general volume at LP being very low. However, can’t blame some fans, inconsistent play can shy away even some of the most diehard of Titans faithful.
I would like to hope that Titan fan involvement will go up and so will the intensity of fans at the game. Seriously, if Titans fans could experience one game in Ohio Stadium, they would see what it means to have real home advantage/intimidation. That is something that will have to change with time and improvement of the teams play.
Overall, our experience in Nashville was everything we thought it would be. Michelle and I both recommend a visit to anyone. Nothing beat the feeling of walking down the streets of Nashville and being surrounded by other people wearing two-toned blue and being on the receiving end of a “GO TITANS!” cheer. Gotta say, don’t get that back in Ohio. After 20 years of being a Titans fan in Ohio, I finally felt at home on an NFL game day and what a great feeling it was.
Michelle and I both agree we want to take another trip down to Nashville very soon. Hopefully, a second trip would give us the chance to experience some things we didn’t get to the first time around. Things like visiting the RCA Studio, experiencing more nightlife, and chowing down on some more local food. Michelle made it quite clear that on the next trip she would love to watch her favorite hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, duke it out with the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
Next time, hopefully, I can watch a Titans victory at LP Field as well.
Until the next time Nashville, Titan Up!