Who is the Tennessee Titans “nemesis”?
By Will Lomas
Who should draw the most ire from Tennessee Titans fans?
For Tennessee Titans fans, when the think of the word “hate”, which player comes to mind first?
Every team has someone that they hate. For the Baltimore Ravens, it is James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers. For the Chicago Bears, it is Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. For the Washington Redskins its…guard Evan Mathis of the Philadelphia Eagles?
Well, that is what PFF has said in their recent article about “team-killers” specific to each franchise over the last 12 seasons.
Back to the question, which player came to your mind first when you thought of “hate” for me it was easily Andrew Luck. That awful streak isn’t just his doing, but he does seem to have some curse on the Titans where even when they are the better team they end up losing.
For others, I know that Tom Brady is the name on that list. If you are a franchise without a Super Bowl win, he represents everything you hate. He and Bill Belichick are lapping the rest of the league while most franchise can’t even figure out how to get it in gear.
J.J. Watt is another name you would think of just because of his persona of a nice guy who just loves the sport. That persona isn’t necessarily the issue and he has done some truly great things for the community in Houston, but the fact that it feels staged and disingenuous for the most part are very off-putting. That and posts like this:
What about Jalen Ramsey? He is the trash talker extraordinaire who is one of the best cornerbacks in football. However, his me-first mentality and the FOMO of missing out or the next Cortland Finnegan who was actually from the city bothers a lot of fans.
It isn’t any of those guys, but this player is the sum of the parts that make fans so mad at the other players on this list. PFF says the Tennessee Titans nemesis is Peyton Manning.
It all makes sense when you think about it. What do you get when you combine:
-The loss of a local legend like Jalen Ramsey.
-The “All-American” persona exemplified by J.J. Watt.
-A terrible win-loss record despite the talent on both rosters like you have with Andrew Luck.
-A record of historical domination like Tom Brady.
Put all of those together in some sort of Voltron-like amalgamation of people that Titans fans hate and you get Peyton Manning.
Ultimately PFF’s decision on this is more about the statistics that Manning put up and his performance in the games he had against the Titans, but this rings true for reasons outside of the raw stats and the numbers.
Since his move to Denver I think people have come to like him more and have seen that he is actually a really good guy that you can cheer for. In fact, I tweeted today about how I think the Titans are one of a handful of teams that he should/could consider if he wanted to become a part owner of a franchise one day.
It would be an interesting career arc for Manning to go from Tennessee’s college hero, to decade+ thorn in the side of Titans fans, to his comeback in Denver, to finally moving in to a role where he actually tries to help the Titans succeed as a part owner.
From nemesis to hero, that is the way I want his story to end with the Titans. (And yes I did go to UT)