The feeling you get when you put the recycling out on the wrong day, then it rains.
Standing behind an old woman at the grocery store who decides to pay with a check from 1989.
Getting a papercut on your genitalia.
Reading Twitter after Peyton Manning is accused of buying HGH.
Losing a fantasy championship because of a missed field goal.
For someone who’s getting increasingly ambivalent about football, it was a bad idea to follow the Missouri Tigers and Tennessee Titans in 2015. At the beginning of each season you enter with a little optimism, earned on the Missouri side and totally borrowed on the Titans side. When things go this horribly wrong, you have to write about it.
Before I list the games, here’s some food porn courtesy of Edley’s BBQ (brisket sandwich, y’all)
Here’s my list of the “top five football games I attended in 2015″:
5. September 27, “Nissan Stadium”, Nashville: Indianapolis Colts 35, Tennessee Titans 33
Little did I know that in the Titans’ home opener that I would be witnessing 60% of the points that I’d see scored by “my” teams all year. This was a true shootout, when we thought the Colts were good and the Titans had any hope. I tailgated with Josh Gunnels, mister on-again, off-again with Music City Miracles, got to sit in the club section for the first time and the view was great. I was happy because I started the Colts’ D and Frank Gore in fantasy. I was confused when the Titans held a two-score lead in the fourth quarter. When the Colts scored two touchdowns in 55 seconds and three touchdowns in a row to take a 35-27 lead, I was not surprised. The Colts have been the Titans’ boogeyman for as long as there have been Titans. Naturally, Mariota drove them down the field for a score, and the two-point conversion was only about ten yards short of converting.
4. October 17, Sanford Stadium, Athens (GA): Georgia 9, Missouri 6
Two years prior, I took the one-hour drive from Atlanta to Athens, hung out with the alumni group and watched the game in a bar as Missouri pulled off the huge upset. This October, I took the bus with the alumni, ate boozy gummy bears and drank good canned beer with a bit of optimism. I ditched the group to go back to that bar and drink amazing beer. My mistake was leaving the bar to go to the game. Sitting about as high as possible at a football stadium without needing a sherpa, I witnessed Missouri get an interception on the opening play. From the one-yard-line the Team that Offense Forgot could not convert. I snuck downstairs and saw an improbable drive from freshman QB Drew Lock that gave the team a 6-0 lead. I then went back to the bar and watched Georgia’s inevitable, if somewhat inept, comeback.
3. October 25, “Nissan Stadium”, Nashville: Atlanta Falcons 10, Tennessee Titans 7
This game was the culmination of my super sports weekend in which I saw three team underperform in less than 24 hours. At the time, the Atlanta Falcons were an up-and-coming team with an exciting new head coach that was clearly playoff bound. Later we discovered that the Falcons were overrated and the Titans were, well, the Titans. The game was a turnover-filled mess and this time the defense played spirited ball while the Zach Mettenberger-led Titans had no chance, even when they had multiple opportunities to tie.
2. October 24, Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville: Vanderbilt 10, Missouri 3
Most college stadiums (stadia?) are named after a coach or at least a human being who progressed the program. Vanderbilt hasn’t had that person, so the generic stadium name helped. I hung out with my Going for 2 co-host Sharona before the game and that was the highlight. Much like the Georgia game, Missouri’s only points came off a turnover and once Vandy got a touchdown the game was effectively over. We left early (note that I left early in four of these five contests) to go to a hockey game. We couldn’t have left early enough.
1. December 27, “Nissan Stadium”, Nashville: Houston Texans 34, Tennessee Titans 6
I should have framed my ticket. My parents wrangled a ticket for me, a $76 lower-level ticket that went for $50 and made me think “a case of good beer”. The crowd was sparse and I made a joke about the sound of one fan clapping because that was the excitement level. Once again I was graced with seeing Zach Mettenberger quarterback a team. The Texans needed a win and the Titans were spirited to defend their territory…that shit was over in three minutes when a fumble return made it 7-0. I thought the guy wearing a Trent Richardson Browns jersey was the most depressing thing I’d see all day. The Titans have been in Nashville since 1999 and I’ve had some ups and downs but that was by far the worst game I’ve seen. I was at the game when they gave up a 50-burger to a Bears team that didn’t even make the playoffs. This was worse. Seeing a team that played a QBBC and started Brandon Weeden go through the Titans like they weren’t even trying, that’s disheartening.
After the fumble I stumbled around until I found a beer vendor and paid $9 (plus tip) for a 16-ounce can of Fat Tire. I thought to myself “what if I don’t go to games anymore”? The home experience is great, nice picture, good beer and food, the ability to nap, nobody hears you yelling nonsense. Then I thought “what if I just didn’t watch football on Sunday?” I’ll have an offseason to ponder that.