A couple of years ago, I entered an on-line contest to predict the Titans’ first pick in the NFL draft. After listening to some debate on local sports radio, I decided that Jake Locker was the guy and entered the contest.
Days later, the Titans picked Locker and my name was randomly selected from the correct predictions for the grand prize — tickets to a Titans game and the chance to go out to camp and meet Locker. Due to the NFL lockout, the opportunity to head out to camp instead turned into pre-season tickets and the chance for Locker to autograph a jersey for me during a pre-game ceremony.
I’ve kept that autographed jersey hanging up in my closet since that time, waiting to see if Locker would become the next big thing and it might be worth framing the jersey and putting it on display.
Three years later, I feel like I should have just worn or it sold it on E-Bay immediately to cash in while Jake Locker’s stock was high.
Today we got news that the Titans have decided that Zach Mettenberger is their starter for not only Sunday’s contest against the Texans (who we can only hope they give us two minutes like they did to the Steelers on Monday night) but for the rest of the season. It’s a clear signal that barring an injury the Jake Locker era in Tennessee is over. And it’s also a clear indication that the Titans are throwing in the towel in the season and evaluating what needs they will have to address in free agency and the draft (in short: a lot!).
So, for the rest of the season, we’ll be treated to the offensive equivalent of pre-season games as the Titans try to figure out where they go from here. I’m sure there will be some great moments in there and I’m sure there will be some so full of futility that I’ll thank the geniuses who created NFL Redzone for coming up with such a brilliant idea and then bringing it into my home each week.
The Locker era is done. I wanted it to work out and there were some flashes of what could have been.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash my jersey and get it ready to wear….