Can the Young Professional Sports Team of Tennessee/Nashville Bring Home Titles?
The Volunteer State has been best known for its college sports: Pat Summit was the legendary coach of the Lady Vols basketball team for decades; University of Tennessee football put the son of an All-American quarterback on the national stage, where Peyton Manning himself became an All-American and launched an aerial attack on the NFL record books.
The state featured numerous early league and minor league baseball teams, but never an MLB franchise. None of the three professional franchises in the state has been around even a quarter of a century, and none have much of a championship pedigree.
The Tennessee Titans are Bringing Some Mojo Back to Music City
When Marcus Mariota left Oregon with his Heisman Trophy after the 2014 season, he brought with him the hope to return the team to heights not seen since Steve McNair and Eddie George. Not
five seasons later, Mariota has vacated the starting role for a castoff from the lowly Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill, who directed the team to a 9-7 finish and back-to-back victories in the postseason.
Derrick Henry, the running back called “Tractorcito,” continued the upward trajectory of his pro career with a bruising running style that gained him over 1,500 yards. Coach Mike Vrabel has groomed his defense to defeat Tom Brady and Lamar Jackson in the past two weeks. The odds for a Tennessee Titans Super Bowl Championship are the longest of the conference championship competitors at +750.
The franchise was born in Houston in the AFL in 1960 and won the first two league championships behind George Blanda and Billy Cannon. The team never returned to the championship game after losing in 1962, thorough the careers of Earl Campbell, Dan Pastorini, Mike Munchak, Mike Rozier, and Warren Moon. In 1997, the team relocated to Tennessee, first to Memphis as the Tennessee Oilers for two years, then permanently to Nashville as the Titans in 1999. That ’99 postseason, and the Titans’ only Super Bowl appearance, lives on as the best in its NFL history.
In the Wild Card game against the Bills, trailing with 16 seconds to go, Lorenzo Neal fielded a kickoff, handed it to Frank Wycheck, who heaved a lateral to Kevin Dyson. Dyson sprinted 75 yards to paydirt for what became known as the Music City Miracle. McNair led the team to the Super Bowl against the Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf. In one of the most memorable championship game endings, Dyson was tackled one yard shy of the goal line as time expired on the Rams’ 23-17 victory in a play that would go down in history as merely “the tackle.”
The Surprise Success of the Nashville Predators
Joining the Nashville sports scene a year before the Titans moved in, the expansion Predators took five years before turning in a winning record. They then proceeded to produce eight straight winning seasons and seven playoff appearances. Under a new administration led by coach Peter Laviollete, the Preds locked up goalie Pekka Rinne, and in the 2016 offseason, traded captain Shea Weber to the Canadians for bad boy P.K. Subban.
The team ended the season in the eighth playoff spot, but became the first ever team in major North American league play to sweep a number one seed in a best-of-seven-game series. Nashville made the Stanley Cup finals, but lost to the Pittsburg Penguins four games to two.
This year’s Predators are currently outside of the playoff picture looking in on a very crowded Western Conference at the midpoint of the season. The offensive load has been borne by defenseman Roman Josi, who leads the team in points and assists, and centers Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene. The odds for a Nashville Predators Stanley Cup Championship are above the middle of the NHL pack at +2400.
How Ja Morant is Bringing Flash to Grind City and the Memphis Grizzlies
Yes, Memphis is over 200 miles from Nashville, but we’ll take the liberty of a few hours’ drive to consider them as a Title Town co-venturer. The Grizzles arrived on the NBA scene not in Tennessee, but far to the northwest in distant Vancouver in 1995. After the 2000 season, the team relocated to Grind City. The Grizzlies have been mostly an afterthought in the NBA, with 10 playoff appearances and four playoff series wins. Their apex was a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2013, where they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
They have never won their division, and only once were seeded as high as fourth in the playoffs. The present is no brighter for the Grizz, but the future belongs to NBA Rookie of the Year candidate, Ja Morant, selected second overall in the 2019 draft. Memphis is hanging on to the eighth spot in the Western Conference at the halfway point of the NBA season while Morant is appointment television. The rookie plays with reckless abandon and appears to be on a one man mission to posterize everybody in the association. Even though the Memphis Grizzlies’ NBA Title odds are a distant +25000, make sure to tune in as the Grizz are fun no matter what their record says.
What are the Tennessee Title Town Odds?
The odds for a Tennessee Title Town double play of the Titans and the Predators are +21150.
The odds for a Tennessee Title Town hat trick by adding the neighboring Grizzlies are +5333650.