In Day 1 of my Nashville adventure, I had a dry draft experience at LP Field and the Titans took an offensive lineman with character issues. What would day 2 have in store?
Day 2 was about the food. If I was going to be disappointed by my team, and I have a half-decade history of that, I wasn’t going to be let down by my culinary options. On one of my previous trips when I met the tireless baby daddy David Kitchen, I tried to go to the institution Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Going to a restaurant that calls itself a shack has some downsides, like odd hours, and I was there two hours before the doors opened. I vowed to return.
My vow failed. My dad offered me an alternative, Hattie B’s in the Vanderbilt area.
Hattie B’s qualifies for the “shack” moniker, although the real estate probably was a bit pricey. The only parking space I could find was metered. Note to Nashville: join the 21st century and upgrade your meters to take credit cards. I found myself cashless at the poorly concessioned Titans draft event, picked up a 20 and found myself needing change for the meter. I risked it and got into line.
What did people do while waiting in line before smart phones? Each person in line was looking at their individual phones. I couldn’t imagine out excruciating it must have been trying to make conversation. Thank goodness for progress. One downside of being on social media while standing is line is other people know where you are and take advantage of your good nature. Tim Stafford, who I was scheduled to meet up with later in the evening, begged me to save him some chicken. Would I get an extra order and keep it in my car for a couple of hours before we could meet up? Sure.
The main question while I waited was whether I would “man up” and order the chicken hot. I had the option to go with the medium, with no points taken from my man card. I went hot. My dad went medium. There is some wisdom to be taken with age. I didn’t need the paper towel dispenser for my hands. I needed it to mop up my brow.
I ordered an Abita Strawberry to drink and I consumed it before I was through with the second of my three “jumbo tenders”. What was amazing about the chicken other than the lavaesque temperature was the crust. There was a combination of spices on the outside. I make a pork tenderloin at home that has a spice rub and when that thing becomes the crust, it’s the belle of the ball. I also ordered the fries, workmanlike effort there, and the pimento cheese mac and cheese because my sides-obsessed wife would have been horribly disappointed at me had I done otherwise.
It was 2 p.m. and I had more eating/drinking/draft-watching to do. I moved on to my second location, one of my favorite joints in Nashville, Neighbors. I scheduled a Tweet up and this time people were going to show up. First was Josh Gunnels, semi-retired at Music City Miracles. He drank an IPA from Oregon while I transitioned to Dos Perros after downing about three Diet Cokes in an hour. We were jazzed up, and talked about the less-than-enthusiastic response to the Titans’ first-round pick. Tim joined us and he and Josh argued about elite QBs for a while. Josh is the last holdout in the Jake Locker fan club.
I was left a bit in the lurch as Josh and Tim left before the Titans made their pick. I was happy at the trade-down, and the team was able to get their guy in Bishop Sankey. Sankey is the most split player between film guys and stats guys in the draft. Stats guys look at his combine numbers and college production. Film guys see a player who goes down easily and has less than reliable vision. He’s going to get a ton of touches.
By the time the Titans made their pick, only one TV in the joint had the draft. The rest were a mishmash of hockey, basketball, and (jeebus help us) baseball. I left and went home to watch the rest of the Titans-free second round.
I’ll post day three, in which I learn the family nut-roll recipe and the Titans pick another character head-scratcher to close out their 2014 class.