There was a mixed reaction when the Tennessee Titans selected qb Marcus Mariota with the second overall pick. And this time…I’m not talking about the players.
On May 1st, Titans fans flooded the lines of the local sports talk radio stations. 33.3 percent were in favor, 33.3 percent were happy with Zach Mettenberger, and 33.3 percent were still fuming that Philip Rivers was not a Titan.
Regardless of where they personally stood on the matter, most Titans fans universally shared two concerns as it related to Mariota.
1. Can he be effective in a pro style offense?
2. Can this soft spoken guy be the face of a franchise?
Since no live scrimmages or games have been played, we’ll tackle these in reverse order.
A lack of an identity is something that plagued Tennessee for years. And while most, if not all Titans fans knew of Mariota prior to the draft, I think that we all grossly underestimated just how popular he is. Mariota came in with his own following, his own brand…
His on identity.
Tennessee has the luxury of attaching themselves to his brand, and it’s already working. Mariota currently has the number 1 selling jersey in the NFL. Now tell me when was the last time a Titans player earned that distinction?
Mariota’s followers pushed him to number one, followers that expand beyond the great state of Tennessee.
Mariota is a hero and a legend in his home state of Hawaii. He’s also a legend in the state of Oregon. Two states, coincidentally, that have no professional football team of their own.
And just like that…the Titans have a west coast presence.
His personality and demeanor is also a great fit for a southern hospitality city like Nashville. The residents are already eating up the yes ma’am and no sir’s.
Overall, a slam dunk.
As long as Mariota is the Titans’ qb, Tennessee will have an identity. The team’s positive publicity has the cynical fan buying in now.
But we all know that honeymoons do not last forever, and sooner or later, number 1 must be addressed. Titans fans are hoping that it is answered in an equally impressive fashion.
One down, one to go for Mariota.