The National Media Does Not Care About The Titans, And That’s OK… (For Right Now)

If you’re a Titans fan, you probably watch that clip and immediately get steam blowing out your ears like an old Looney Tunes cartoon. If you were on MTV’s Boiling Points, this would be the moment you miss out on winning the $100 cash. And look, I get it. Trust me, I do. But you shouldn’t care, at all. At least not right now.

It’s ironic how there’s literally an iconic Disney movie about football called Remember The Titans, and yet, no one seems to do so. Not even the damn league itself.

But if you’ve been a Titans fan for more than 15 minutes, then you probably know this about our team. We get less love than Meg Griffin. And having worked in national sports talk radio (not to brag), I get it. The Titans don’t really move the needle nationally. It’s still a relatively new fan base in a market that doesn’t even crack the top 20. Sure, Nashville itself has exploded into an “it” city, but the Titans didn’t follow suit (aside from an AFC Championship berth in January 2020). The city blew up when this franchise was at it’s lowest. Just take my word for it. Don’t make me bring back up names like Jake Locker, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, or Bishop Sankey. The timing has just never played into this team’s favor.

Plus, the national media has no idea what the Titans are doing as a franchise, nor do they care to find out. There are 31 other professional teams that (to them) move the needle more (except maybe the Panthers). Mike Vrabel had early success, which national media remembers. They also remember him hoisting Lombardis as a Patriots captain. So they think extremely favorably of him. So many in the national media saw the Titans can Vrabes this past January and think that a franchise that had already traded AJ Brown on Draft night 2022, fired their GM who was responsible for that decision months later, and then can Vrabel this past January. They don’t see the progressive steps taken by a franchise that was heading south quickly. They see dysfunction. And I get it. If I wasn’t inundated with the Titans on a daily basis (like most of America), I wouldn’t get the moves either. Because most people don’t know Mike Vrabel went 6-18 over his final season and a half. Most people don’t remember that a Vrabel-coached team produced one of the most historic collapses in NFL history by blowing a 4-game division lead with 7 games to play by failing to win a single game in that stretch. All the national media (and thus the rest of the nation) remembers is Vrabel out-smarting Belichick on a nationally televised Wild Card game, and then going into Baltimore the very next week and taking down the #1 seed in the AFC, and hoisting Lombardis as a Patriots captain.

TL;DR – The national media doesn’t care enough about the Titans to follow them.

But in the national media’s defense, can you blame them? Again, the Titans have won 6 of their last 24 games, with only one of those games on primetime national TV (not counting their three Thursday night games – the Titans are perpetually the Thursday Night Football house band). What is there to talk about? Derrick Henry? Because now even he’s gone. We all know the NFL is a what have you done for me lately league, and the Titans have done jack. On the flip side, that’s exactly why the Texans have gotten so much hype. And frankly, they should get hype. Hell, I gave an entire take on just that. If you’re an NFL fan, you should be spending this offseason hyping the hell out of the Texans.

The Titans haven’t proven anything. And with an entirely new coaching staff and rebuilt offense, no one is going to go on a limb and pick the Titans. Not in a division with both CJ Stroud and Trevor Lawrence, who have both won a playoff game each since the Titans 6-18 skid started. But even the steam on the Jags has died down tremendously because of the disappointing year they just put together. The national media, especially sports talk radio, is reactionary. It’s not predictive. They get paid for explaining the market, not predicting it. And no one is picking the Titans to do anything based on what we’ve seen recently. If the rest of the country is Logan Roy, they view the Titans as the Connor Roy of the AFC South. And unless they win the presidency, they’re probably not getting the company (or anything) from dad.

The good news for Titans fans: we’re used to this role. Frankly, I LOVE this role. If the Titans end up sucking, so what? Everyone was expecting it anyway. But if they are good? Then the national media gets whiplash when turning their heads to watch the Titans. And we all love seeing other people in neck braces, right?


Austin hosts a country music morning radio show in Chicago after nearly a decade in sports talk radio (The Jim Rome Show, Steve Gorman SPORTS!) Colin Cowherd and Smash Mouth follow him on Twitter and he wears pants every day.