Rivalry with Ravens reigns as most meaningful for Titans

Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 10:12pm

No two sides of a rivalry are equal.

For example, folks in Jacksonville find great joy when the Jaguars defeat the Tennessee Titans as they did last Sunday. That’s because the Jaguars lost just three times back in 1999 – all of them to the Titans and the last of those in the AFC championship game.

It is the losses that fuel the passions that make a rivalry. It is the feeling that something has been taken from you that creates a need to try and even the score somehow, some way.

That’s what makes Sunday’s game between the Titans and Baltimore Ravens at LP Field (1 p.m., CBS) such a big deal. No team has taken more from the Titans than the Ravens, who started this week celebrating a big win over the Pittsburgh Steelers – a team their fans love to hate.

“It’s not a division game but it’s as close as it gets for us,” coach Mike Munchak said. “ … We know that they have knocked us out of two games in the last 10 years in the playoffs. We beat them once in the playoffs. They beat us twice. We know the rivalry that went on with Eddie George and Ray Lewis and that whole group back in the day.

“… We just need to go out and play our best. We are highly motivated and we should be. We are going to have a sellout crowd, we are at home for the first time, it’s the first time for fans to see us up close in a real game and there is no better team to beat than these guys.”

Consider all the things the Ravens have taken from the Titans:

• Since the franchise moved into LP Field at the start of the 1999 season, the stadium has hosted four playoff games. The Titans won two and lost two and both defeats were to Baltimore.

• To make matters worse, in both of those seasons (2000 and 2008) Tennessee had the league’s best regular-season record and had earned homefield advantage throughout the postseason.

* The Titans won their first 12 regular-season contests at LP Field before the Ravens came in and beat them 24-23 on Nov. 12, 2000. In all, Baltimore has won five of the last six there.

• The first time Tennessee lost a Monday Night Football game at LP Field was Nov. 12, 2001 (one year to the day after their first regular-season defeat) – a 16-10 loss to the Ravens complete with a confounding referee’s ruling after it appeared the home team had scored a game-winning touchdown on the final play of the contest.

• Then there were the players. When salary cap concerns caused the Titans to cut loose some significant players in 2005, Baltimore scooped up Derrick Mason and Samari Rolle. A year later, when Steve McNair’s contract became untenable, his agent was given permission to seek a trade and it was the Ravens who got him.

The icing on that cake came on Nov. 12, 2006 (there’s that date again) when the Ravens came to town and won 27-26 on a McNair-to-Mason touchdown pass with 3:35 to play.

“I kind of like playing there,” Baltimore’s Lewis said. “It’s a grass stadium, and they have a great fan base that gets very rowdy there. And me going back there so many years back, I don’t think anything is going to change.

“It’s their home opener, and I just think it’s going to be real, real loud. But I do remember that stadium, yeah.”

Lewis is one of the few on either side of this rivalry who has been around for all of the Titans’ heartbreak. In fact, he’s directly responsible for some of it.

Virtually anyone who has been on the Tennessee side of it for anytime has a reason to want a victory in this one more than many other regular-season contests.

17 Comments on this post:

By: T-BONE on 9/16/11 at 8:12


The fans (fanatics), the obese freedom fries tatter eaten ones in circus tent size "TITANS XXXXXLG JERSEY'S" say...

Give me a break! It's time for these overpaid mercenaries, with no loyalty to anyone but their bank accounts and bail bondmens to "pony up"! These "wussy" football players need to start putting on a real show! They are the empires "Gladiators'' right; Well then, let the show begin! First of all take off the "wussy" helmets and "padding" (I thought only women wore "pads"). We want to see some skulls cracked open, some brains leaking out, eyeballs popped out of the head, some spurting blood, dead bodies piled on the side lines! Come on "wussy boys" we want something more for our millions of dollars!

By: TITAN1 on 9/16/11 at 9:09

Trolling early?

By: richgoose on 9/16/11 at 11:02

The Ravens are a hard working team with owners that believe winning is the MOST important thing they can do for their balance sheet. The Titans are a team that could be described as "just passing through. The owner thinks winning at the lowest possible cost is the MOST important thing.

By: jwk6179 on 9/16/11 at 11:40

You hit the nail on the head, richgoose, about that old sot, Bud Adams.

By: TITAN1 on 9/16/11 at 12:01

richgoose, you are so far off base, but hey, what else is new? Mr Adams makes his living off the oil business. He has had this franchise for a very long time because he loves the game and wants to win for pride. He doesn't need the money from it. richgoose, you try to come off on this board like you are something special, but most here know that you are just full of hot air.

By: TITAN1 on 9/16/11 at 12:30

BTW richgoose, the Titans salary for 2011 is higher that the ravens. But that is ok, we know you love being a joy sucker.

By: jwk6179 on 9/16/11 at 12:44

He has had this franchise for a very long time because he loves the game and wants to win for pride. He doesn't need the money from it.

Do you know this for a FACT, TITAN1? Did that old sot, Bud Adams, tell you this, personally?

By: TITAN1 on 9/16/11 at 1:21

Common sense tells me.

By: jwk6179 on 9/16/11 at 1:39

So, your JUST ASSUMING that you know Bud Adams thinks about the Titans, you don't really know Bud's TRUE THOUGHTS about the Titans. And you know what happens when you ASSUME, don"t YOU?!!?

By: TITAN1 on 9/16/11 at 1:46

You mean the way you are assuming he doesn't care about the Titans winning?

By: jwk6179 on 9/16/11 at 1:59

I don't have to assume because I have several friends and relatives in Houston that said he never gave a DAMN about winning when the team was in Houston, so why should it be any different in Nashville. Even John McLain of the Houston Chronicle, who actually knows Bud Adams, has stated several time on 104.5 The Zone that Bud Adams has never liked to spend his money on the Oilers/Titans.

And I spoke to someone in the Nashville City Paper's office the other day about some of my personal information being posted on this site and I was told that I was not the first one to complain about this and they would look into it and that APPROPRIATE ACTIONS would be taken if it keeps occuring.

By: richgoose on 9/16/11 at 2:23

Fellows, Titan1 understands loyalty. Don't tease him with logic,performance and your visionary ability.

By: TITAN1 on 9/16/11 at 2:48

jw, I have heard John McClain say just the opposite and people in Houston will always be bitter because the Oilers left. His team salary is in the top half of the league. Living here all my life I'm glad they are here. My wife and I will be taking our 5 year old grandson with us to a game soon and it will be his third. Seeing his eyes light up when those players come out is priceless. I wouldn't care if Jerry Jones or Al Davis owned the team. I'm just glad they are here.

By: TITAN1 on 9/16/11 at 3:13

jw, as for the personal stuff. I don't have a clue who you are. I guessed at your first name once and maybe that's it I don't know. I knew you were a Packers fan and I thought you had said somewhere you liked the Raiders also but not as your favorite team or maybe I had it confused with someone else. I could be wrong about that. jw, you and I have been posting here for a long time, but I don't know you or who you are. As for me, I love God and my family more than anything. My grandkids are my life and I have another on the way. You know my favorite NFL team. I'm also a Braves fan and a Vandy fan. I like nascar but not as much as I use to. It's just a message board to pass some time.

By: serr8d on 9/17/11 at 8:04

I PROMISE I will not leave my seat before the last snap in the 4th Quarter, no matter if the Titans are down 56-0.

If they are down by 56-0 by halftime, I may reconsider. Otherwise, I'm staying put~!

(Not that I think they will be down 56-0 at any point during the game...at least I hope the hell not.)

If they do get down by many unanswered points, they'd best bring in Jake Locker. I mean, why not? He's gotta get tried by fire soon enough.

Oh, and T-BONE and the jerk jwk1679 and the other one with the golden egg stuffed up his tailpipe can all "E S and D". "Eat" and "Die" are the two words that are acceptable in print; you can guess t'other one. Bud Adams is an old, old man; his mind is not now where it was in 1960 when he wrought the Oilers; he was then full of fire and calculation, and the three of you hadn't even started shitting yellow yet.

By: TITAN1 on 9/17/11 at 8:18

My gut still say it will be close, but my gut has been wrong before.

By: TITAN1 on 9/18/11 at 2:08

Great game, Titans! I felt like it was going to be close, but this was even better!