For those of you who have been around as long as myself, and remember the days of “Love Ya Blue” had to know that absentee ownership from Houston, for the Tennessee Titans was never going to work in Nashville. It was moderately successful for a couple of years, but there was no way it was ever going to survive.
When there is more excitement surrounding a minor league hockey team, than with a local NFL franchise, you had to know there was either some changes afoot, that would bring a local face to Nashville, or the team was readying itself for a sale.
Former owner, Bud Adams pulled the Oilers out of Houston because after the old Astro Dome was torn down, the city would not build him a new stadium. He vowed to continue to manage the new city from afar, and he vowed not to sell the team to any local concerns.
The city of Houston, although they lost their beloved Oilers, got a new team, and are back on the road to success, The Titans on the other hand, have continued on a downward spiral that finally culminated in a 2-14 season last year, and a call for massive changes team-wide.
Those changes went all the way to the top on Friday, when Tommy Smith decided to step down as the President and CEO, handing the temporary reigns over to Titan exec, Steve Underwood until a local replacement can be found.
"“We want to thank Tommy for his dedication to the club and his efforts to improve the organization. Now looking forward, we are motivated to add a top-flight executive to lead the franchise. We believe that adding someone to the structure in Nashville will be beneficial. Lastly, we want to thank Steve Underwood for rejoining us during this interim period and know that he will integrate smoothly until we find the right person permanently for the job.”"
Underwood will relocate to Nashville during his temporary time at the helm, giving Titan Fans a local face in which to vent their concerns.
"“I am honored to return to Nashville to help the organization during this search period. I have a great deal of respect for the family and look forward to aiding the team during this time.”"
All Tennessean Reporter, Dave Ammenheuser had to say via his column on Friday while reporting the news, was “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You”!
"The best news is that the team has announced that the new CEO/President will live in Nashville.Thank goodness!The local fan base wants their leader to live with them. OK, so the new honcho will likely live in a multimillion-dollar estate in Brentwood, but at least that is 780 miles closer than Houston."
Although former Owner, Bud Adams had always said the team was not for sale, but I’m not sure that is the case. There had been speculation that Denver Broncos, quarterback, Payton Manning headed up a leadership group back in December and was showing interest in the distressed franchise when his playing days are over.
Manning has a great relationship with President, John Elway, and I’m certain he will come away from his last season in Denver, looking for something to do when he retires. Why not buy the Tennessee Titans?
I’ve always be a proponent of football people running the football operations. We have seen what the Dallas Cowboys have been through since being bough by Jerry Jones. Clearly, a non-football owner, dabbling in football operations.
I am a firm believer, that you have to hit bottom before you commit to changes that will make a difference. A 2-14 season, with a franchise in total distress, qualifies as the bottom, now we can hope the Tennessee Titans will embark on a course where fans become important, and this team returns to the days of “Love Ya Blue”, only in Nashville.