Why Your Team Sucks 2016: Tennessee Titans

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Some people are fans of the Tennessee Titans. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Tennessee Titans. This 2016 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here. And buy Drew’s new book here.


Your team: Tennessee Titans

Your 2015 record: 3-13. Ugh. Just an awful year, especially the part where they busted out the Color Rush uniforms. The Titans were such a mess that they shitcanned Ken Whisenhunt at midseason and had to play out the string with Mike Mularkey as interim head coach. Imagine how bad your season is going that you’re compelled to inflate the Mularkey lifeboat. Thankfully, Mularkey has been replaced with…


Your coach: MIKE MULARKEY? WHAT THE FUCK. You weren’t supposed to KEEP him! Holy underwear. What a disaster. I’m not even a Titans fan and I’m angry. As a general NFL fan, I would like all the other teams in the league—especially ones grooming a young quarterback in desperate need of a strong support system—to at least TRY. There is no valid competitive reason to keep this man. His career winning percentage (18-39) puts him behind the likes of Romeo Crennel, Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Bruce Coslet, Rich Kotite, and Jim Tomsula. The only job I’d hire Mularkey for is to play a concerned dad on SVU.

Some people (me) have hypothesized that the reason the Titans settled for Mularkey—who, to reiterate, has the last name Mularkey—is because they needed a cheap placeholder coach until the family of Bud “Double Birds” Adams finds a way to sell the team. However, co-chairman Amy Adams Strunk (very much not the actress) insists that the team will remain in the family in perpetuity, which is somehow an even worse development. The current ownership is such a disaster that the NFL had to implement a new rule that specifically prevents this kind of situation from happening in the future, with ownership split up between a bunch of braindead shitbilly heirs and heiresses. JETHRO WANTS HIS FAIR SHARE, Y’ALL!


Ever scarier, what if the Titans really DO think Mularkey is the right coach? That’s a terrifying notion. You better HOPE they tapped him just to be a stunt body. Because you can do that to Mike Mularkey, you know. You can pay him three dollars and be like, “Oh yeah, we totally think you’re a good coach, Mike [audible snickering].” And he wouldn’t question it at all. He’d just sit there like a dope, completely missing the conspiracy, happy to draw up power running plays from 1990. He’s gonna fit in so well when he takes a job in the XFL 2.0: Attitude Era.

Also, the Titans jettisoned GM Ruston “Trombone” Webster (jettison is a word used only for ship ballast and football team employees) and replaced him with Jon Robinson, whose previous job was as director of personnel for the Bucs, who have won eight games in the past two years. WHAT A COUP. Glad you guys snagged that hot commodity to build you a roster. Real high demand for that guy.


Your quarterback: Marcus Mariota, seen here discovering the consequences of being too polite to say anything bossy to the equipment manager:


Remember when Marcus went head-to-head with Jameis Winston in Week 1 and blew him out, and everyone was happy because the alleged rapist wasn’t going to be the better rookie QB? Oops. Turns out that game will probably be the apex of Hula Boy’s career.

You Titans fans don’t need me to tell you that Marcus is dead. Deep in your bones, beneath all the hot chicken grease, you already know his career is over. There is nothing the Titans love more than getting their own quarterbacks hurt. I’m actually glad for Mariota. He may have been drafted by the NFL’s equivalent of a Ross Dress For Less, but at least he’ll be comfortably retired by age 27. He’ll be fit and happy and relatively devoid of traumatic head injuries, and he’ll settle into his new life as an investment services brand ambassador with grace and humility. He might even run for state senate one day. He’s gonna have a GREAT life…as soon as he gets the hell out of that shithole.


What’s new that sucks: How about that DeMarco Murray signing in Philly, huh? Boy, was THAT a real shitburger! Good thing no other NFL team was dumb enough to do the Eagles a favor and trade for that contract.

[urgent whispering in my ear]

Wait, what? They did? When?

[more whispering]

WHY? Jesus Christ.

Anyway, DeMarco is now the Titans’ problem. Thankfully, the team also drafted Heisman winner Derrick Henry, because they apparently love overworked backs and because, if the past year was any indication, DeMarco really thrives when you ask him to share the ball. Oh, did I mention that Bishop Sankey is still here, too? Remember when you drafted him in fantasy? That was fun. I hope Bishop Sankey gets run over by a stock car.


Also, having Mariota as quarterback means you oughta get to know his backup in a hurry. So say goodbye to selfie-hound Zach Mettenberger, who never won a start, and say HELLO MATT CASSEL! Yes, the man who was traded by Buffalo and then spent half a season as failed nanny to the Cowboys offense is your new emergency option. Be sure to tune in during Week 3 when he takes the field and your season is officially over.

What has always sucked: Oh, you mean Nashville? Bachelorette party capital of America? Training camp for future Dallas housewives? A city whose wealthy population even Donald Trump finds a touch ostentatious? Man, FUCK Nashville. The only thing worse than Nashville people are people from outside Nashville who voluntarily go hang out there. Our own Tom Ley visited Jack White’s precious little recording studio there. They sold “handmade” postcards for $16. I hope that studio explodes in a tasteful red and white shrapnel pattern.


As for the Titans, you already know that they’re terrible. The defense is puke. The line is puke, even when they draft a lineman in the first round. The only good receiver is the tight end, and all the actual wideouts are just botched software updates of Kenny Britt.

This is a team that exists solely to make interesting players uninteresting. They have two memorable plays in their history and that’s it. I hate them and wish they never existed. They are the family member you have to include at the wedding because your mother’s sister ordered you to. Only you haven’t seen cousin Timmy in years, and nobody really asks Timmy what he’s up to because he hasn’t really done anything with his life. And now you gotta pick his ass up at the airport the day before, too? THE FUCK, TIMMY? Anyway, fuck Timmy and fuck the Titans and fuck corrupt-ass Tennessee and the four megachurch pastors who run it.


And fuck these fans. These people probably still think Steve McNair is the quarterback. They’re so disinterested that Antonio Andrews (yep, another running back) basically had to beg them to come cheer:

“Every game feels like an away game, so I don’t really know what to say too much about winning at home. It’s always good to win at home and not lose, but every game feels like an away game.”


That sounds about right… a bunch of visors and bad dye-jobs in the stands ignoring the game because they gotta plan an SAE reunion. I hope they all get carried away in a flood. Just cancel the Titans and make every home game Family Movie Night. Be sure to turn the sprinklers off.

What might not suck: Oh man, did they ever loot the Rams for that No. 1 pick. I assume Strunk then sold those picks to help pay off the estate tax.


Let’s remember some guys who were on the Titans:

  • Tyrone Calico
  • LenDale White
  • Derrick Mason
  • Justin McCareins
  • Billy fucking Volek

Hear it from Titans fans!


We got rid of our last coach midseason and replaced him with someone that was fired after one season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.



The Titans are perennial bottom-feeders. It’s not even fun to make fun of them anymore. I have no hope for the season. I don’t even want to break down the roster for you and tell you why they suck. They suck because they are the Titans. I guarantee that this year we will lose to both the Jags and the Texans. As a Titans fan, you can’t even look around and find a team that is all-around shittier than yours. I never expect to win a game, and I am rarely disappointed.



Let’s consider the most notable events in Titans history:

Lost in the Super Bowl by 1 yard (let’s be honest, even if they had scored there, Jeff Fisher was going find a way to lose in overtime anyway).

The franchise’s All-time QB is found dead, on the 4th of July, from a murder-suicide committed by his mistress, a Dave & Buster’s waitress.

The Music City Miracle (yes I am bringing up a play that happened over 16 years ago, it’s the Titan way).

The kicker dies after he goes on a bender in his Denali, threatening multiple people and almost running them off the road, before finally slamming into a bunch of trees and flipping into a ditch.

The owner is seen flipping double birds to the Bills sideline after a game. No, they didn’t beat us, he was just so happy that we won.

The coaching staff goes on a scavenger hunt through Nashville in the middle of the night looking for Vince Young because he went AWOL as a result of distress from adversity he was facing for the first time in his life (fans booing).

The ticket office gave tickets to a scalper and wrote them off as a military donation. Oh, and they sometimes sold him tickets if they needed to avoid the TV blackout.

The backup QB gets into a social media flame war with JJ Watt, the guy most likely to decapitate him, over SELFIES.

You’ll notice that there aren’t many notable wins or proud moments. Mainly just death, stupidity, and beating the Buffalo Bills.



We’re literally just going to run DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry 40 times each per game. We’re the one team that’s investing in RBs as everyone else looks like Valentine and Winthorp selling off orange futures.

We have no WR’s. Our “best” include a dude who can jump a mile high but looks like he just housed a pizza in the huddle (DGB) and a guy who can’t help but trip every other play (Kendall Wright) turning your fantasy WR3 from 20 pts to 4 pts with all the lost yardage.

Mularkey seems like a nice guy and all, I really hope he finally has a winning season. But his only real positive is he kind of looks like the detective from HBO’s “The Night Of”.

They took a great/underrated/local tradition of playing a singalong of “Folsom Prison Blues” going into the 4th quarter and bastardized it as only an NFL franchise could by ensuring the lyrics were on the megajumbotron.



The Cleveland Browns have a 2 game win streak over us. In 2014 they overcame a 25-pt deficit to win in the final minute. 25 points! The largest road comeback by a team in league history! We let the CLEVELAND BROWNS make history on us. And then we followed that up this year by letting Johnny Cocaine walk all over us and look like a decent QB for a week.

I was at the 2014 game where Cleveland had their comeback and the Cleveland fans were consoling us. You know it’s bad when the Browns fans take pity on you.

Mularkey’s grand scheme for returning the team to glory? #ExoticSmashmouth. Whatever the fuck that means. Sounds like a good way to get the only interesting player we have, Marcus Mariota, killed.



I’ve been a Titans fan ever since the 99-00 season when I was a hopeful little 7 year old living in St. Louis wearing my McNair jersey to school every day before the Super Bowl. Of course, the Titans lost that game by inches, I cried my eyes out, and we’ve been shit ever since.

The owners hate the team and the fans, the fans hate the team and themselves, and the coaches all seem to not want to keep the prize QB healthy. I predict we win a couple of games early in the season and build up my hopes. Then in week 5, Demarco will be busy pouting on the sidelines because the offensive line doesn’t actually know how to block, and then poor Marcus will get ripped apart by JJ Watt, simultaneously blowing out both knees. It doesn’t seem unreasonable.

None of that would even make SportsCenter though because I’m not sure the rest of the world even knows the Titans exist.



The only primetime games we have played in the past three years have been Thursday Nighters against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and even those were on NFL Network. I have had to go to a shitty Buffalo Wild Wings to watch in my college town as I got berated by my Dolphin loving friend, DOLPHINS!

We’ve got Mr. Monopoly as our CEO (why do I know my favorite NFL team’s CEO?!?) and an owner that makes Rachel Phelps from Major League seem like Mother Theresa.



Our draft was the biggest waste of capital since CJ2Ks grill. I can’t wait until the Titans tap Conklin to be our 2040 head coach after 20 years of mediocrity and brain trauma. We now have enough running backs to start the wave. Kalan Reed will fit right in on this roster of irrelevance. Leave it to the Titans to finish with the worst record in the league and not draft a single player to get excited about.



Bud Adams butt-fucked Earl Campbell by drafting him and making him play on the concrete floor of the Astrodome, thus robbing him of about ten goddamn years worth of his NFL career, not to mention a healthy life after football.

He butt-fucked Bum Phillips by firing him, because, you know, losing two straight AFC title games to Chuck Fucking Noll was a fireable offense.

He butt-fucked the Luv Ya Blue era by hiring Jack Pardee and conning the Oiler faithful into thinking that the abortion known as run-and-shoot football could actually win in the NFL.

He butt-fucked the Harris County Sports Authority by ditching the scoreboard for 10,000 seats that nobody would ever fucking sit in, thus ruining what last bit of dignity the Astrodome had left. All under the threat of moving the team.

Then, just five wonderful fucking years later, he butt-fucked the entire city of Houston by moving the team anyway! And upon arriving in Nashville, he immediately proceeded to butt-fuck them by naming their new team after baby-eating sister fuckers.

Finally, he butt-fucked the last remaining meth-free fans of the Titans by drafting Vince Young.

Seriously, Bud Adams was Art Modell. It’s just that nobody knows it, because unlike Cleveland, Houston isn’t filled with spoiled, self-loathing crybabies who revel in their misery so goddamn often that the national media has no fucking choice but to pay attention to it.

Fuck Bud Adams. And Fuck the Titans.


The Titans suck because Kevin Dyson. Yeah. Still dealing with that.


I’ve been a Titans fan for as long as I can remember. People always ask me why. I don’t have a good reason. I’m from upstate NY and have no relatives in Tennessee. I’ve come up with a short list of possibilities:

— The color blue was super awesome to me as a kid, so double blue = double win

— Jeff Fisher’s mustache was just too hard to pass up

— I subconsciously love pain and suffering (leaning hard towards this one)

The NFL draft is the only thing we ever get to be #1 in.


The Titans don’t believe in resigning anyone; McNair, Mason, Finnegan, Haynesworth, Vernor, Bironas, hell even Billy Volek (check out his 2004 stats).



Just like Vince Young and Jake Locker before him, Marcus Mariota is doomed to fail. This persistent failure of highly drafted QBs – The Curse of McNair (RIP!) – is simply unavoidable. VY was a head case, Jake was an inaccurate halfwit with brittle bone disease and Marcus…well he’s probably just a spread system QB whose production in college won’t translate to the NFL. No different than Jonny Manziel aside from the raging coke habit.

Not all of this will be Mariota’s fault as the Titans lack almost all of the infrastructure to develop a young quarterback and support a successful team — competent coaching and intelligent ownership being our most glaring weaknesses.

I’ve already chalked this season up to a disaster. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hit a blunt and the Chinese buffet with my boy LenDale White. After dinner drinks with VY at T.G.I. Friday’s were cancelled, as he’s currently broker than me.



Marcus Mariota has all the makings of a franchise quarterback and possesses the type of skill and athleticism that Chip Kelly would castrate himself in order to have on his team. And how does the organization build around the best quarterback they’ve had since Air McNair? They started by hiring their interim head coach, Mike Mularkey, who has a career record of 18-39 (which doesn’t include his 2-7 record as interim last season).

But don’t worry, he made sure to bring in some young blood as his coordinators to help give him some new perspective on the pass-happy NFL of today. Just kidding! He hired his old pal Terry Robiskie, who is 61 and was last an offensive coordinator for the 2004 Browns, and Dick LeBeau, who is still a legend, but most likely not firing on all cylinders at the ripe old age of 78. Before Mularkey was announced as the head coach, I actually wanted the Titans to hire Josh McDaniels. That’s how dire things have gotten in Tennessee.

The old fogeys are doing their best to assure everyone that they know how to best utilize Mariota’s gifts. That’s why they said that Mariota, possibly the most athletic QB in the league and who flourished in Oregon’s spread offense, will take most of his snaps from under center. Trading for DeMarco Murray and drafting Derrick Henry confirms that these geriatric assholes are going to run the fuck out of the ball. Which is fine when you have a defense like Seattle or Carolina, but the Tennessee defense features our one good player, Jurrell Casey, a defensive tackle, trying to play corner because nobody else knows what the hell they are doing.

To ease the concerns of the fanbase, Mularkey has assured that he has a plan, and has even coined a new phrase to describe his badass new offense: Exotic Smashmouth. I lay awake in bed every night trying to process what the hell that means. I just end up getting “Walking on the Sun” stuck in my head.

The Titans are the Browns without the league-wide sympathy.


I couldn’t listen to sports talk radio in Nashville leading up to the draft because it was one redneck Alabama fan after another demanding that the Titans draft Derrick Henry with the top pick. Then what did we do? We drafted him in the second round and for another week, it was Alabama fans calling in saying that we got the biggest draft steal in the history of the NFL. I hate Alabama fans. Lane Kiffin can sit and spin.

Possibly the biggest news of our offseason was that our owner bought a house in Nashville, because, you know, if you own a billion dollar NFL franchise it might be good PR to actually own a home where the team is located. It took Bud Adams’ family 19 years to put that together. No wonder we suck. Nashville’s reaction? We were thankful and welcoming. Damn.


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