Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Choking Life out of Image Are Titans Chosen Team, or Just Not Being Chosen?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Choking Life out of Image Are Titans Chosen Team, or Just Not Being Chosen?

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- This Team of Destiny thing? Frankly, Jeff Fisher doesn't get it.

Seems all Fisher, coach of the Tennessee Titans, heard in recent weeks -- particularly since a miracle victory in the first round of the playoffs -- was how the Titans were the chosen team, the team destined to win, the team of fate. He has heard it since the Titans arrived at the Super Bowl, too. But here, Fisher figures, is the rub:

For a chosen team, no one seems to be choosing them at all.

"I think it's just the opposite," Fisher said as the Titans (16-3) prepared to play the St. Louis Rams (15-3) in Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta at 6:25 p.m. Sunday. "We've been the team chosen not to win."

And so it goes for the Titans, and so it went yesterday at Super Bowl Media Day.

Titans players talked about the enormity of the event, and the influx of media. Players told stories, and filmed each other with portable cameras, but mostly -- as they have done the last two months of the season -- they talked about respect, and proving they belonged.

"Lack of respect has been there for us all year," Titans running back Eddie George said.

The Titans won 13 games during the regular season, and when they played another team that had won 13 games -- Indianapolis -- in the playoffs, they were favored to lose. They won 19-16.

The Titans beat the Jaguars twice during the regular season, and when they played the Jaguars in the AFC Championship game they were favored to lose by seven points. They won 33-14.

The Titans beat the Rams 24-21 on Oct. 31. Guess what?

They're favored to lose. By seven points.

"I think we relish that role, actually, being the underdog," Titans safety Blaine Bishop said. "It seems like everyone's always picking against us. That's like another way of not respecting us."

Considering what the Titans accomplished this season, it's easy to see why they wonder at the seven-point line, and harp on the respect theme with mind-numbing frequency. The Titans played five teams with winning records, going 6-1 against those teams, beating Jacksonville three times, Indianapolis once, Buffalo once and St. …

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