“That’s Soooo Raven” : Friday
By Nick Bishop
This will most likely be the last of the “That’s Soooo Raven” series, as I will retire it until we have to face these creeps again. I’ve had a blast doing this all week, so I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have writing it. Before we get to today’s episode of “TSR”, I’d like to address the last post made on this website by Titan Sized’s very own Kellen Barton (as hard as that is to say right now).
If you haven’t read it, the post concerns former Titan great, QB Steve McNair, and a certain appearance Mr. McNair is supposed to make here in Nashville. Basically, Steve agreed to show up for a charity event (i.e. pep rally) sponsored by a Baltimore-based journalist to benefit the Baltimore chapter of the Ronald McDonald House and the Steve McNair Foundation at a nightclub here in Nashville. I won’t regurgitate any more of the story, but basically, after creating quite the outcry amongst Titans fans and local sports writers and radio hosts, McNair backed out of the event. He then stated that he would indeed attend the event, and since it will be held here in a few hours, and no new news is out that he won’t attend, it seems as though the benefit will go forward as planned.
Here’s the bottom line as I see it: the issue is not the fact that Steve McNair is a part of a Ravens, or should I say Baltimore (but you all saw the flyer), sponsored charity event. That’s great. Steve has always been a very giving man, and his own foundation has done some really great things for Nashville and Middle Tennessee. The issue here is that he would agree to be a participant in the first place. Why is an event that is sponsored by someone for Baltimore and that mostly benefits the city of Baltimore, not taking place in Baltimore? Can you imagine Brett Favre hosting an event for the Meals on Wheels of the Greater New York in Green Bay, WI. No you can’t, because fans would go nuts and Favre (for all the dumb decisions he’s made) would know better than to ever agree to something like that. Granted those two situations aren’t exactly alike, but much like Favre was in Green Bay, Steve McNair was the face of the Tennessee Titans for the better part of a decade. Eddie George may have been the greatest Titan ever as far as numbers go, and Albert Hayneworth may be seen as that if the Titans are able to sign him to a long-term contract, but ask any Titans fan who was the face of this franchise during it’s best years and you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that won’t say Steve McNair. He was the heart and soul of those teams, and his mental and physical toughness symbolized the type of football that those teams played. He is still my favorite Titan of all time (although Big Al and “Twitch” are quickly shooting up that list), so to seem him use such poor judgment saddens me.
Sure, McNair’s exit from Tennessee wasn’t what one might call “cordial”. In fact, it was quite messy. But the way in which McNair was let go should be no indictment against Titans fans. People were outraged by the way in which McNair was treated, both locally and nationally. Yes, McNair obviously wasn’t the same player that we had come to know over those last few years, and it was clear that his time with the club was coming to a close, but as Fan Sided’s blog Pacman Jonesin’ points out, moving McNair was a sound football move, and his decision to appear at this event is not nearly as simple and innocent as he has tried to make it seem. The nagging injuries that he learned to play with over the years eventually piled up, and by the end of his tenure in Tennessee, he was a mere ghost of the MVP Steve McNair of 2003. The marriage should have ended, it just shouldn’t have ended so ugly. But I digress. It is what it is, and right now, as I type this post, his “Airness” is probably walking in the front door of Limelight, a nightclub that is located directly across the street from the Titans stadium. He’s probably even got on a purple tie. Many Titans’ fans will still be offended (if you can’t tell, we are good with grudges), and Steve has probably lost a number of fans becasue of this, but let us remember the age old adage here: “Don’t hate the man, hate his actions” (that’s a saying isn’t it?), or for the kids out there, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”.
Now, on to what you all came here for…
On Tuesday, “TSR” previewed the lovely Baltimore Raven male cheerleading squad, the last of it’s kind in the NFL. On Wednesday, “TSR” took a look at some of the notable names to come out of the Baltimore area, and what a list it was. And just yesterday, we were lucky enough to witness the nuptials of a Ravens’ great, Baltimore style. With the game now less than 24 hours away, today’s “TSR” will showcase some Ravens fans showing a little team pride. Actually, there is nothing little about these fans at all…
Every NFL team has their own group of fanatics that show up at every game, home or away, to root for their team. The Packers have the famous “Cheese Heads” (makes sense), the Redskins have the “Hogettes” (acceptable only because it’s so absurd), and even the Titans have the “Flame Heads” (who admittedly, are a bit lame, but at least not too ridiculous). Well, the Ravens have their own set of devotees, and they call themselves “Raven Maniacs”. Here is a picture:
No wait, I’m sorry. That was actually a pic of the Village People on a Mardi Gras-themed hunting trip. Here is one of the “Maniacs” in action:
If you still think that you may have trouble spotting these “super fans” at LP on Sunday, here is a pic of them at the stadium from their 2006 visit to Nashville (and for all you knucklehead Ravens’ fans out there who may be reading this, yes I know that you beat us in the game):
Get some sleep tonight Titans’ fans. Tomorrow is the beginning of a whole new journey.