Let me start out by saying this article will probably have you shaking your head and maybe even cursing my name under your breath, but please continue to read to fully go on the ride with me.
Q. Are Titans fans spoiled brats that throw tantrums after every play that doesn't go their way?
A. There is quite possibly a large number of fans that scream at the coaches, players, management, etc. after every failed play and especially after every loss. At every game I attend at Nissan Stadium there is a large contingent of the fan-base that screams at the coaching staff for their play calling. If the team is winning or losing, it doesn't seem to matter, there are fans screaming, "That's the worst play I've seen in my entire life!" or "I hate <insert coaches name here>! He's the worst coach in the league!" These are usually screamed in the 1st quarter when the game is still very much in doubt. As the game progresses, these same people (after a few alcoholic beverages) have become even more belligerent. They have added more colorful language to their rhetoric without considering the potential for younger ears nearby. On the comical side I have even seen a fan scream that the coaching staff should throw the ball downfield more and the play-calling is too conservative, only to have the coach do the very thing they desired and fail. The fan then turns around and screams "What kind of call was that?!" The funny thing is you expect that type of fanatic at the game, but with local sports talk radio and Internet team sites (like this one), you get a fan that can't stop being angry even when faced with overwhelming facts and logic. Admittedly, as my wife can attest, I am TV screamer. When sitting at home watching the Titans play away games I have been called out for yelling at the team for poor play. My wife can name each one of my canned howls... "Unbelievable!", "Horrible call!", or her personal favorite, "You gotta be kiddin' me!" So, does this make me a "closeted" bad fan?
Can the Titans' management team and coaching staff really be that pathetic? Are they just "taking the paycheck" and "mailing it in"? Are we as fans the patsies of the NFL and the Tennessee Titans franchise for continuing to support such incompetence? Well, to be honest, these questions are not as sarcastic as they may first appear? We have all experienced that player that "took plays off" or that coach that seemed to be in way over their head or even an ownership group that wasn't around to answer these very questions.
Fans, by their very nature, are deeply passionate about their team, and Titans' fans are no different. However, I think there might be some that have been fans from the beginning (Titans' franchise beginning not historic Oilers) who were spoiled by playoff and even Super Bowl visits, and demand this organization continue to deliver exceptional seasons without exception. Your question might be, are the fans wrong for this? Absolutely not. However, when the only thing you have to say about the team, to whom you express deepest devotion, is a couple of seasons of tirades then bailing out by selling your tickets to opposing fans, maybe you have a loyalty problem.
Have the Titans had several seasons where the team put a less than mediocre product on the field? Yes. However, count yourself lucky you're not a Browns fan, or a Bengals fan of the late 80's and 90's, or a Buccaneers or Saints fan of the 20th century... I could keep going. There are very few teams that say they are untouchable when it comes to putting a stinker of a team together. Let's just look at a few you might think are truly great franchises the Titans need to be: Admittedly, the New England Patriots could probably be called the "team of the 21st century" to this point (and a true thorn in my side for most of my life). However, in the late 1980's and early 1990's the Patriots were a team that couldn't get out of their own way. They posted records of 5-11 in 1989, 1-15 in 1990, 6-10 in 1991, 2-14 in 1992, and 5-11 in 1993. From 1989 to 1999 they had a record of 73-103. This isn't spectacular by any measurement. There is also "America's Team" (I just threw up in my mouth a little), the Dallas Cowboys. From 1986 to 1990 they were 25-54 and again from 2000-2005 they were 40-56. They were the epitome of mediocrity. Finally, let's consider the team that has won the most Super Bowls, the Pittsburgh Steelers (quite possibly the most obnoxious fan-base in the NFL). They missed the playoffs 11 times from 1980 to 2000 (52%). What do all of these numbers tell us? Almost nothing except, if you are to call yourself a fan of any team, no matter what the team, then you need to expect the good times with the bad. What makes you a good representative of that team is how you react during both.
Am I saying that as a fan you shouldn't yell at your team? Absolutely not. I'm just saying that you need to remember while you are "letting your freak fan flag fly", you need to keep your brain engaged and realize that for better or worse you have fallen head-over-heels in love with a team that you know in your heart is great. Keep yelling (within reason), just keep lovin' that flaming thumbtack. However, if you are one of the ones that demands the team win every home game before you decide to leave your cave once again, then maybe you have just discovered you are not the true fan you considered yourself to be. You might want to consider a franchise that doesn't lose. Oh wait, as I pointed out earlier, there isn't one.