Why Titans, NFL fans are fanatic

It’s a sad day for sports fans in Nashville and in the middle Tennessee area. I’m not much of a hockey fan, but the news that the Nashville Predators are being sold leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
The worst part of the news is that the buyer seems to want to move the team. (He tried to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins a year ago to move them to Ontario, where he lives.)
While the Titans have a lengthy waiting list for season tickets, have sold out every game since the stadium was built in Nashville, and enjoy tremendous fan support, other local sports have not done as well. There are various reasons why the other teams/sports haven’t enjoyed a comparable level of fan support but I don’t intend to go into those issues here.
What I will address is the mixed emotions fans have when franchises are moved. If the Predators are moved, there will be many Nashville fans saddened and even angry. On the other hand, an equal number of fans, if not more, will be delighted in Ontario.
Nashville was the beneficiary of the Oilers’ departure from Houston. The team’s former home, the Astrodome, was in such need of repair that a preseason game was actually canceled there. Of course, politics was involved and according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Bud Adams moved the team when then-mayor Lanier wouldn’t support a new stadium. Since then, Houston has built a new state of the art facility, funded by a hotel/motel tax on visitors, and proudly hosts a new franchise. If the politicians had done that a few years earlier, the Oilers would still be in Houston.
As much as I was pleased by the Oilers’ move to Tennessee, I can now better understand and appreciate the bitterness of fans in cities which lose a team. And if I can understand some of that as a non-hockey fan, I can only imagine how the die-hard hockey fans will feel when the Predators leave, if they do. I can also better understand the emotions of football fans who lose their team to another city.
The Bidwell family has moved the Cardinals from Chicago to St. Louis to Arizona, all in less than thirty years. Al Davis moved the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles, won a lawsuit against the league, and has since moved them back. The Rams also left Los Angeles, leaving that huge market without a NFL team, for St. Louis. Colts owner Robert Irsay had moving vans come in the middle of the night to move his team from Baltimore to Indianapolis. Art Modell is probably the most hated man in Cleveland history for moving the old Browns franchise to Baltimore, where it was renamed the Ravens.
For the fans of every city that lost a team, there was also a group of fans in the team’s new city that was thrilled to have them.
It’s just another example of how emotional some fans are and how much their teams are integral parts of their lives.

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