The Tennessee Titans just pulled off a blockbuster deal for the number one pick in this year’s draft, and you shouldn’t be surprised that the Rams were the trade partner.
In fact, it’s impossible to tell the story of one without mentioning the other….over and over again.
The Titans’ inaugural 1999 season got off to an inauspicious start, when a quarterback controversy between starter Steve McNair and backup Neil O’Donnell threatened to derail the season before it ever got off the ground.
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McNair was showered with boos when he struggled in the season opener, and was injured shortly thereafter. O’Donnel came in and led the team to an impressive 3-1 record in his absence.
When the undefeated Rams came to Nashville, then head coach Jeff Fisher shocked everyone when he named McNair (who hadn’t played a down in over a month) the starter for the game.
McNair put on a show, accounting for three first quarter touchdowns en rout to an upset victory over St. Louis. That game cemented McNair as the franchise quarterback, and put Tennessee on the map as a contender that year.
And as we know, the two would meet up in Atlanta months later in one of the most thrilling finishes in Super Bowl history.
In 2001 the Titans signed Pro Bowl defensive end Kevin Carter away from the Rams, setting off a chain reaction of…”Anything you can do…I can do better”.
In 2010 the Titans parted ways with Jeff Fisher, ending his 11 year run as head coach. The move angered Titans fans and baffled the national media.
The Rams pounced, making him their head coach in 2012. And he didn’t come alone.
Several former Titans’ players and coaches followed Fisher to St. Louis, and they finished with a better record than Tennessee that season, further fanning the flames of discontent between the two fan bases.
And today, the teams worked together to pull off the biggest draft trade in years. If it works out for both teams, then it will be talked about for decades. If the trade doesn’t work out for either side, then it will be talked about for decades.
What is it about these two teams? They seem destined to be forever linked together.