This weekend will represent my fourth Titans/Steelers contest in Nashville. In 1999 there were 17 family and friends attending the game. I wore Steelers colors and it was odd that my parents decided to cheer for the Titans. It was a good move as the Titans prevailed. In 2002 I watched the Titans destroy Tommy Maddox and the Steelers. Maddox had that horrific neck injury and Kordell Stewart came off the bench to score some garbage points.
The playoff game later that year was the classic. The Titans roared to a 14-0 lead but typical Fisher ball let the Steelers back in the game. I got into my first argument with a fellow fan after Eddie George fumbled. He clearly was knocked out on the play but the other fan thought he should have held onto the ball while unconscious. It was the coldest game I had ever attended. Day turned into night and Joe Nedney missed two field goals before making the third for the win. My wife to be got bronchitis.
There is a lot at stake in this week’s game. The winner is likely the home field advantage holder in the AFC. I ask NFL fans, though. Do you want to see games like during the Patriots’ heyday, when their field was little better than a muddy ice rink designed to shut down the Colts? That’s what Heinz Field will be in January. The Pats moved on to Field Turf and hopefully the Steelers will follow suit. I don’t know about the rest of you but I like it when football players have traction. I don’t expect LP Field to be similar to the greens at Augusta. I think running backs will be able to cut and Titan receivers will be able to round off their routes like they always do.
We’ve been in the 60s here in Atlanta for three days. On Sunday in Nashville it’s going to be in the 30s with wind and possibly snow. The wife is not going to attend. I don’t blame her, and am a little jealous. It’s the last home regular season game of the year. I watched last year’s terrible yet victorious finale against the Jets. Could this year’s game be a repeat? I kind of hope so.