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The Tough Life of an International Tennessee Titans Fan
By Danny Gunn
Posted May 12th, 2006

I remember the first time I saw an NFL game, it was around 1990 and me, being six or seven years old, had never seen a game like American Football – known as Gridiron around most of the world – my Father was a fan and got my brother and myself into the sport. Back then, NFL games were on late night/early mornings on Channel 2 hosted by Don Lane. I remember Warren Moon, dressed in the Oilers Blue and white pants, wearing the white helmet with the blue oil derrick, launched a perfect pass to an Oiler wide receiver for a touchdown. That is all I remember, I do not remember who the receiver was, nor do I remember who the Oilers were playing against.

I became an instant fan of American Football and the Houston Oilers after seeing that pass.

To be an international fan of American Football before the popularity of computers and the advent of the internet in Australia was tough. The only chance to see the scores of the games was either in the newspaper or on "Don Lanes’ American Football" late night on television.

These days, with the internet and pay-TV, it is much easier on the international fans to access news, scores and it is even possible to download the games (although it is illegal).

I decided it would be interesting to interview a few other international Titans fans who frequent the goTitans.com message board to see how they got into the sport of NFL, and specifically the Tennessee Titans.


Age and Country

Carpy - 32 (so he says, he is really 59) from Queensland (Brisbane), Australia

Tackhead#1 - 18 from Victoria (Melbourne), Australia

Titanbuoy - 40 from Ontario (London), Canada

Guig - 43 from Paisley (near Glasgow), Scotland

Toly - 27 from Panama

Vigsted -  25 from Copenhagen, Denmark

TitanicDane -  24 from Copenhagen, Denmark

Smash -  23 from Aalborg, Denmark

Kiddster -  24 from Dortmund, Germany

Mex#1TitanFan -  29 from Mexico City, Mexico

Michi40 -  almost 29 from Granada, Spain

LazyManJackson - ?? from Buckinghamshire, England



What are the main sports in your country?

Carpy & Tackhead#1 (Australia) - Rugby, Cricket and Australian Rules Football

LazyManJackson (England) -  Soccer, Rugby, Tennis, Cricket and Darts

Guig (Scotland) - Soccer and Rugby

Titanbuoy (Canada) - Ice Hockey, Soccer, Golf, American/Canadian Football and Curling (yeah I’m serious)

Toly (Panama) - Baseball, Soccer and Basketball

TitanicDane/Smash/Vigsted (Denmark) -  Soccer and Handball

Michi40 (Spain) - Soccer

Kiddster (Germany) - Soccer

Mex#1TitanFan (Mexico) - Soccer

It is no wonder that Soccer is the world's game, popular in almost every country, and as one of the mainstream sports as well. However it is particularly interesting that Handball is a highly popular sport in Denmark, a sport that is mostly unknown to those outside of Europe. It is also interesting that someone admitted Curling is a popular sport.


How did you get into NFL Football?

Carpy: (Australia)
"Playing Madden on the Sega Megadrive in the early 1990s as well as watching the video – NFL Rocks by NFL Films."

Tackhead#1: (Australia)
"Through my father. When I lived in Canada, Dad would watch all the NFL games but I never really took much of an interest. In fact, it wasn’t until 2002 (by that point, in Australia) that I started watching. My Dad was watching a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. I can’t remember which game exactly, and I can’t remember who the other team was, but on this play I walked in on Warren Sapp just absolutely destroyed. I was like, woah, these dudes kill each other out there! I started watching avidly ever since."

LazyManJackson: (England)
"My Grandad coached the Philadelphia Eagles and when I was younger he brought me back a load of Tennessee Titans stuff as well as other NFL memorabilia and when I watched the sport a few days later, I got really into it, learnt the rules, got the game and brought the Jersey and so on to this day."

Guig: (Scotland)
"It was being shown at tea time on a Sunday way back in the early 80s."

Titanbuoy: (Canada)
"I started becoming interested in football in the early 1970’s when I was 7 or 8 years old. I think initially it was watching the old NFL films highlight show called “This Is The NFL”. It was a weekly show narrated by the great John Facenda that aired early Sunday mornings. Remember this was before the days of ½ hour sports shows, internet etc, so even though the clips were a week old, for the most part they were of games you had only seen the scores from. It was a brilliant marketing move by Pete Rozelle and the NFL. Because the highlights were captured in film (as opposed to live feed or video), the show had a special look to it. Add to that Facenda’s majestic baritone voice and the show made the players of the NFL seem like larger than life heroes, kind of like the stuff of epic fables; perfect to attract a young viewer such as myself."

Toly: (Panama)
"I began watching the NFL in '88. The only game available to watch was the Monday Night Football game, which was broadcasted every Monday - I think it was a Philly game the first one I watched. I immediately liked the game, even though I didn't understand any of the rules at that point. A couple of years later, another game started being broadcast on Sundays in addition to the Monday Night game, and even some playoffs games would follow later, so it was easy to get into it as time passed by."

TitanicDane: (Denmark)
"A combination of 3 things really:

1) A national TV station had begun showing live NFL games each week.

2) I had bought a madden game for my ps2 (2001 I think), and me and my mates started playing that a lot.

3) I guess a movie like Any Given Sunday had a bit to do with my growing interest for the game."

Smash: (Denmark)
"A Danish TV-channel started showing NFL-matches with some enthusiastic commentators. Together with some friends we started watching the games. The first season was the 2000-season (when the Ravens won the SB).

I'd watched some of the SB34, but didn't understand the rules. That changed during the 2000-season."

Vigsted: (Denmark)
"Well, I first got hooked in the early 90's (or was it late 80's), anyways the first time we got any coverage that extended beyond the Superbowl. I was only around 10 years old, but immediately loved it."

Michi40: (Spain)
"When I was fifteen I was an exchange student in Michigan, and got into football playing it and watching NFL games on Sundays, and going to some [Detroit] Lions and Toledo University (Ohio) games."

Kiddster: (Germany)
"A TV show called "NBC Giga" reported about some games (just a few words) and besides that I followed the Game Center on NFL.com every week and at the latest I became a fan of the Titans on their superb Superbowl Run in 99/00."

Mex#1TitanFan: (Mexico)
"I played football (Cornerback) in Mexico for 25 years, first I played pee wee football for State of Mexico Redskins, then I got a scholarship in Monterrey Tech to play football there and I was National Champion there in 2000 and member of the National Team that played against US in Tazón Azteca in Merida Yucatan. I know football and I played football, and that's why I am a big football and NFL fan."


How and when did you come to follow the Titans (or Oilers)?

Carpy: (Australia)
"Started watching Tuesday night highlights package on ABC TV and Oilers (and the Run'N'Shoot offense circa 1991-92) was often the featured game.

Followed the team to Tennessee without any hesitation."

Tackhead#1: (Australia)
"I guess it would've been 2003 that I began following the Titans. I had liked the Bears at that point, but I saw a Titans game (second round of the playoffs, Tennessee over Pittsburgh in OT), and watched on as Steve McNair took the Titans down the field in overtime. I thought to myself, damn, that guy's good. So essentially, it was McNair that got me following the Titans. Kind of explains why I'm still loyal to the guy. And Eddie! So what if he was KO'd..."

Guig: (Scotland)
"They were a sorry state and always being referred to as the 'useless Oilers', the 'hapless Oilers' and I felt sorry for them so started supporting them."

Titanbuoy: (Canada)
"I was first attracted to them by the uniforms. I had purchased a few packs of football cards while visiting relative in Rochester, NY. The uni’s of the Oilers and Dolphins were my instant faves. In my hometown in Ontario we always received our US feeds from stations across Lake Erie in Ohio and Pennsylvania, so we received a heavy dose of AFC central games (Bengals, Steelers, Browns, Oilers). I think it was watching a game in 1975 that did it. Ken Burrough (wearing jersey #00… how cool is that) …caught I long pass from Dan Pastorini and Billy "White Shoes” Johnson got his groove on in the endzone after a TD return. I was hooked and I never looked back. I’m a one team guy. I always find the guys who have two favourite teams annoying (but don’t tell ‘em I said that…hehehe)."

Toly: (Panama)
"To be honest, back then I liked three teams: Jets, Oilers and Redskins in that order. I could watch a limited amount of games, but I got to see a good amount of games from those three teams. In '93, I still liked the Jets and Redskins, but the Oilers became my favorite team because of all their players and coaches - I really liked the run & shoot, Ryan's 4-6 defense, etc. Not to mention the epic comeback from a 1-4 (or was it 0-4?) record to win the division (just like the Titans did a few years ago)."

TitanicDane: (Denmark)
"Well, basically it started when me and my mates were sitting with our newly bought game. Looking through the teams to find one we would pick for the franchise game we were about to start. We hadn't seen many nfl games at that point, neither did we know many players except for praps Favre. Anyways, i was looking through the teams and found this team with a black scarmbling QB build like a linebacker, A big bruising RB and on defence players like: J.Kearse, R.Godfrey and B.Bishop.

Later i started researching the team a little more and found out they had been in the superbowl the year before. I saw plays like the music city miracle and some other highlight stuff, plus the entire SB game. And that settled it for me, I was sold."

Smash: (Denmark)
"It kinda started with SB34 and the following years the Titans went to the Playoffs every year. And with players like McNair and EG, it was a team which could take some banging and still be playing. Real warriors!"

Vigsted: (Denmark)
"After NFL went off the air over here for a good number of years it returned in 99 when the Falcons (with Morten Andersen) went to the Superbowl. The year after the Titans faced the Rams in the Superbowl and being a sucker for underdogs I rooted for the Titans, McNair and in particular Eddie George."

Michi40: (Spain)
"Well, untill then I wasnt really any teams fan, untill I saw the titans winning spirit at their Superbowl apearance and great comeback, and amazing effort. I just falled in loved with those Titans."

Kiddster: (Germany)
"I observed the league and anyhow i recognized that i mostly watched the Gamecenter Stats and Game progress from the Tennessee Titans."

Mex#1TitanFan (Mexico)
"I followed the Oilers because my dad once went to Houston and brought me some t-shirts and Oilers stuff, and then I started to watch the games, then I became their fan in the era of Warren Moon and the run n' shoot offense, the house of pain, but never attended a game at the Astrodome and that was my dream never come true!!"


Are the Titans your favourite sports team?

Carpy: (Australia)
"Yes."

Tackhead#1: (Australia)
"By a long shot. Second-favourite would be the CFL's BC Lions, my Canadian home team."

LazyManJackson: (England)
"No, sorry mate, it's Liverpool F.C."

Guig: (Scotland)
"Nope, not really any more, I tend to follow my local football team more these days and watch more MotoGP than NFL."

Titanbuoy: (Canada)
"Yes. Although I do avidly follow most sports (especially F1 racing), the Titans are FAR and away my favourite sports franchise."

Toly: (Panama)
"Yes definitely. There isn't any other sport that I enjoy as much as football."

TitanicDane: (Denmark)
"Yup."

Smash: (Denmark)
"I have three. In soccer, from my hometown, Vejle Boldklub and I really like FC Barcelona from Spain. That is the best soccer-team in the world."

Vigsted: (Denmark)
"Well aside from my own team, yes."

Michi40: (Spain)
"YES!!!! PERIOD."

Kiddster: (Germany)
"No, they are my number 2 behind the Soccer Club Borussia Dortmund."

Mex#1TitanFan (Mexico)
"Titans are my favorite team, they are my life!!!"


Have you ever been to a Titans/NFL game? If so, how many?

Carpy: (Australia)
"Not been to a Titans game. Been to one official NFL match - pre-season game at Sydney's Olympic stadium in 2000 - Broncos v Chargers."

Tackhead#1: (Australia)
"No, not yet. If I'm back in Canada for a while, I figure I could get to Seattle and catch a Titans/Seahawks game that way.”

LazyManJackson: (England)
"No (sobs)."

Guig: (Scotland)
“1987 - Oilers v 49ers, Chargers (guests of Coach Al Saunders) v Raiders, Bucs v 49ers. 1996 - Oilers v Dolphins, Oilers v Panthers. 2001 - Titans v Jaguars, Titans v Ravens.”

Titanbuoy: (Canada)
“Yes, two games, both in Buffalo. First, a 10 – 06 'snoozefest' loss in the freezing rain back in 1987. Then if that wasn’t bad enough, I was at the dreaded collapse against the Frank Reich led Bills in the 1993 Playoffs. I’m planning on attending the Titans vs Bills game scheduled for the upcoming season (perhaps I’ll finally see a win).”

Toly: (Panama)
“No.”

TitanicDane: (Denmark)
“Nope”.

Smash: (Denmark)
“No. The distance is way to far when you're a student.”

Vigsted: (Denmark)
“No.”

Michi40: (Spain)
“No. (Sniff, sniff, please, next question, this one just hurts too much. This is a must in a close future).”

Kiddster: (Germany)
“No.”

Mex#1TitanFan (Mexico)
“I have been in 2002 when they played the Oakland Raiders in Oakland in December, Titans won 13-10 and I almost got kicked in my butt.

In 2004 I went to San Diego and the Titans lost 38-17 and then went to Houston and lost 31-21 to the Texans.

Last year I went to Arizona and lost too to the Cards.”


How do you maintain your interest in the Titans/NFL when you live a good distance away from the United States?

Carpy: (Australia)
“Internet/fantasy football/Collection of football magazines. Also travel to the states about 4 times a year.”

Tackhead#1: (Australia)
“During the season it's all about the games, and I've got an armful of tapes to last me the off-season. Additionally, I managed to get a lot of my friends into the NFL, so we're always talking about the latest news and playing a bit of Madden on the side. Either way, gridiron is too important for my interest to wane otherwise I might start doing something stupid like cricket.”

LazyManJackson: (England)
“I watch clips on the internet, and read about them as well. I also watch them on the weekly NFL magazine show.”

Guig: (Scotland)
“Watch it on TV.”

Titanbuoy: (Canada)
“Being that my Southwestern Ontario is surrounded (on three sides at least) by New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan and thus gets TV stations from cities in all of those states, keeping up with NFL in general has never been a real problem. Keeping up with Titans/Oilers news used to be a problem until the mid nineties. Back then I used to buy the USA Today every day and buy every issue of Pro Football Weekly in order to get any Titans/Oilers news. Thankfully the birth of the internet, along with a proliferation of sports specialty TV channels have made that no longer necessary.”

Toly: (Panama)
“I don't really need to maintain my interest as I enjoy football more than anything else, so keeping excited with every new season with the Titans is not a problem.”

TitanicDane: (Denmark)
“I use the Internet, watch games on local TV during the regular season. And head out and throw some passes/play a little flag football when the weather is good.”

Smash: (Denmark)
“Read, read and read what is said and done about the Titans. I've downloaded some of their matches from last season, but it's not the same as watching a whole game.”

Vigsted: (Denmark)
“The Internet, baby, nothing else even comes close.”

Michi40: (Spain)
“I check quite often the goTitans.com site, lately get involved in fantasy leagues, and comment a lot with my pals who also like the NFL.”

Kiddster: (Germany)
“Most of the games I watch at stream-TV and some others I order at ‘Pontel’.”

Mex#1TitanFan (Mexico)
“I maintain interest watching the news, NFL Gamebreaks, NFL Films, and NFL Network, buying some stuff and autographed jerseys and updating my information about the team through the internet and saving money for my next trip to watch the Titans.”


Do you get televised Titans/NFL (live or delayed) where you live?

Carpy: (Australia)
“About 4 a week”

Tackhead#1: (Australia)
“Live on ESPN (and replays) and Fox Sports, assuming of course they're actually broadcasting any Titans games.”

LazyManJackson: (England)
“This season, there were no Titans games available to watch. Last season, there were 4. It depends if the teams is popular or not.”

Guig: (Scotland)
“Yes.”

Titanbuoy: (Canada)
“Yes, and since 1999 I’ve had NFL Sunday Ticket so I’ve never missed a Titans’ broadcast (other than that damn Miami game that got moved up because of some young hurricane). In fact I have most of their game on video tape… video tape … argh.”

Toly: (Panama)
“Yes, I have the NFL Sunday Ticket from Directv.”

TitanicDane: (Denmark)
“Yup, live televised games. Though the Titans are too rarely shown if you ask me (I think we only get the national televised games here).”

Smash: (Denmark)
“We get 2 live NFL-games each Sunday, both Thanksgiving games and every playoff game.”

Vigsted: (Denmark)
“No, unless they’re apart of the games of the week the NFL broadcasts to Europe. Otherwise you have to download them or buy from Pontel.com”

Michi40: (Spain)
“Yes, I pay an Spanish satellite TV company 40 € each month to receive about 40 NFL games (including playoffs) that I can only watch live about 19, and I also get about 800+ soccer games from all around the globe that I hardly ever watch. They broadcast what the NFL thinks will be interesting and those teams that have more fans abroad:

Raiders, Steelers, Patriots, Eagles or wherever TO is at, Ravens and Rams. This last season they didn’t broadcast a single Titans game!!!!”

Kiddster: (Germany)
“NASN Europe broadcasts the NFL with 4 Live Games and 2 'As Live' Games a week but there was only the Colts-Titans Game in which i saw the Titans live on Television last year.”

Mex#1TitanFan (Mexico)
“Fortunately, I live far from Tennessee but close to the US, and I got the NFL Sunday ticket and watch every Titan game in my home, but every year I look forward to go to the stadium and watch them live, but never have been in Tennessee.”


What time are the Titan games (live) where you live?

Carpy: (Australia)
“Sunday arvo games kickoff around 3:00 am”

Tackhead#1: (Australia)

“S%!^, I always forget during the off-season. Must be 4:00 or 5:00 am.

LazyManJackson: (England)
“6:00 or 9:15”

Guig: (Scotland)
“6:00 pm onwards.”

Titanbuoy: (Canada)
“I’m an hour ahead of Nashville time so generally the games start at 1PM Sundays.”

Toly: (Panama)
“When the season starts, I'm on central time, so the games get televised around 12:00 pm. Later into the season, the US goes back one hour or something crazy like that, so then I'm on Eastern Time and games start at 1:00 pm.”

TitanicDane: (Denmark)
“Early regular season games start around 19:00 here and late games around 22.00. Because they show the games live, the times here in Denmark mirror the times they are played in America. Hence when they sometimes show Monday night games it starts around 03:00 in the night around here. The Superbowl starts around 24:00 usually.”

Smash: (Denmark)
“I live in GMT+1, so it's 2200 at the earliest.”

Vigsted: (Denmark)
“19:00 for the early games”.

Michi40: (Spain)
“Well, the first game, which is the one I watch almost religiously, is Sundays at 7:00 pm. Right after, sometimes you miss the beginning because of the 7 pm game there is another from 10:00 pm till 1:00 am. Monday nights are at 3:00 am and finish at 6:00 am. Not a chance if you plan to be up at 7 am to get to work.”

Kiddster: (Germany)
“The first Sunday Game comes at 7:00 pm CET here in Germany, the second at 10:15 pm CET and the SNG at 2:30 am CET (MNG 3:00am CET)”

Mex#1TitanFan
(Mexico)
“12 pm”.


Is American Football played in your country?

Carpy: (Australia)
“I think so, but only guys who aren't tough enough to play real Australian Sports play it in Australia.”

Tackhead#1: (Australia)
“Yup, Vic League baby! Obviously there isn't nearly as much publicity for the game as there should be, it's hard to get a lot of hardcore Aussie rules fans to change their ways.”

LazyManJackson: (England)
“Yeah, there is a BFL, which is the American Football college league, there is a lot of interest for the sport in college”.

Guig: (Scotland)
“Yes, but I'm not sure to what level these days.”

Titanbuoy: (Canada)
“Yes, I played throughout high school (starting safety and tight end). It’s also a very popular collegiate sport. Of course we have our own professional league as well (the CFL) which plays American football with a few odd variations.”

Toly: (Panama)
“Yes, American Football has been played since the late 80's. There are three leagues: Flag Football (for kids), Varsity (up until 16 I think) and a semi-professional league (all ages).”

TitanicDane: (Denmark)
“Yes it is”.

Smash: (Denmark)
“Yes it is and because of the before mentioned TV-channel, the interest is becoming bigger and bigger, so is the number of active players, both youth and senior.”

Vigsted: (Denmark)
“Yes, it's very much a minority sport, but it's growing.”

Michi40: (Spain)
“Yes, there are a few teams, and a couple of divisions. Info? www.aefaweb.com in Spanish. Nothing in English, sorry.

I DO PLAY (STILL), as an OLB, I also coach (5 years as HC and this last as assistant coach), and created a team about 6 years ago also with a junior team. After those hard 6 years and almost zero money we just got promoted to first division, so please don't ask about results!! It is just fun, though!

Have also dressed myself sometimes on stripes as a Back Judge, but don’t tell anyone I have been a Zebra. A Zebra Linebacker??? No way! also was the All-Spain team as an Strong Safety, but age, my sure tackling, needs of my team and a little more weight has got me to OLB. I might still have one last chance to be again in the national team if I prepare myself very well.

I’m right now taking strength training and nutrition very seriously so that I can still play up to my 30 something. If not I will just stick to the coaching side of it, I just can´t quit football.

Hope I didn’t bother you with all this me me me talk on this last question. Passion just drives me. Believe me, I’m not any good at all, I just love the game”

Kiddster: (Germany)
“For sure. First of all we are home of most of the NFL-Europe Teams and we have also other American Football Leagues here but the level of competition is very low”

Mex#1TitanFan (Mexico)
“Yes. American football is played in my country and is the #1 College sport in Mexico.”





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LAST GAME
Titans 17
Seahawks 13
Passing
V. Young:
17/28, 171 yards,
1 INT, LG 29,
RT 63.2
Rushing
C. Johnson:
36/134, 3.7 AVG, 2 TDs, LG 12
Receptions
N. Washington:
6/83, 13.8 AVG,
LG 29



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2009
TEAM STATS
Total Offense
12th
Total: 351.4
Passing: 189.4
Rushing: 162.0
Scoring Avg.: 22.1
Total Defense 28th
Total: 365.6
Passing: 258.7
Rushing: 106.9
Scoring Avg.: 25.1

2009
STAT LEADERS
Passing
V. Young
Attempts: 259
Completions: 152
Yards: 1879
Touchdowns: 10
Interceptions: 7
Passer Rating: 82.8
Rushing
C. Johnson
Carries: 358
Yards: 2006
Average: 5.6
Touchdowns: 14
Receiving
K. Britt
Receptions: 42
Yards: 701
Average: 16.7
Touchdowns: 3

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