Judge Ryan Keefer is waiting for the NFL to start releasing game simulations for future seasons.
As I write this review, the Tennessee Titans remain the NFL's only undefeated team in the 2008 season, winning their first 10 games behind a stingy defense run by head coach Jeff Fisher. I presume that by releasing a "Greatest Games" compilation this seals the fate of the Titans by losing out on an undefeated season, to say nothing of potential Super Bowl aspirations which—while nobody is saying it out loud—is tops many people's lists. So, if the Titans don't make it to the final game of the year, all Tennesseeans should rightfully picket the NFL Films offices.
This set feels incomplete and a bit awkward. For you see, the Titans weren't the Titans until the 1997 season when they moved from Houston. In fact, they weren't officially the Titans until 1999, having used the Tennessee Oilers for two season, a mix of their new location and old name. It's not like the old team was abysmal. The Houston Oilers went through ups and downs like many teams. They were one of the original American Football League teams who moved over to the NFL and held their own in the 1970s. However, any team that ran into the Pittsburgh Steelers in that era will tell you, they could only do so much.
Team owner Bud Adams (who owns the worst hairpiece in professional sports) seemed to have a contentious relationship with the city of Houston, and was threatening to move the team for years before actually doing the deal with Tennessee. There the Oilers and later the Titans managed to reach the level they have now, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV against the St. Louis Rams, where the Titans lost to a game-saving tackle by a Rams linebacker. In their short run in Tennessee, the Titans have done well for themselves, but this apparent willingness to overlook their past, where Oilers players like Earl Campbell, Warren Moon, and others helped keep a football presence in Houston for many years, if unforgivable. I'd have to guess, because Adams' relationship with the city soured to a point where it became dysfunctional, that's probably why the Oilers' days are ignored.
When you look at the prism of a team that's been around for barely a decade, their success is really not all that bad. The three discs are pretty respectable, with two being the team's Super Bowl run in 2000, including a last second 22-16 win against the Buffalo Bills, where Frank Wycheck threw a lateral to Kevin Dyson (which Dyson took for a last second touchdown) on a kickoff that later became known as the "Music City Miracle." The teams' AFC Championship win against the Jacksonville Jaguars two weeks later by a convincing 33-14 score is Disc Two. Disc Three is slightly notable for the drama involved, as then-rookie quarterback Vince Young (who played college football at the University of Texas) led the Titans to an overtime win against the Houston Texans, an expansion team which had passed over Young in the NFL draft, presumably due to some low scores on a compatibility test that many NFL prospects take as part of the evaluation process. It's kind of funny, in a way, as this season Young has dealt with injury and some negative press on the bench, while 35-year old Kerry Collins has been helping the Titans ride this wave of current success.
All in all, this greatest games set for the Tennessee Titans is hardly
revelatory, as many of the games and moments are still fresh in Titans' fans
memories. We're also in an era where fans are able to burn these games to DVD
straight from a DVR, so replicating the games for sale just seems a
little…well, cheap. If you're going to include recent games, at least make
it worth the average fan's while, you know? I couldn't honestly recommend anyone
pick this up, unless you really want to relive the "Music City
Miracle" over and over again, as the other two games are probably going to
be forgettable in the long term.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
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