June 14, 2019
This week at Saint Thomas Sports Park was a good one for Titans fans. It became apparent to me that something very special was going to happen in the middle of Titans Mini-Camp, something that many are still talking about. Eddie, I had the pleasure of catching up with you before your press conference at practice and was thrilled that you asked me about what you were seeing on the field, the rookies and the personnel. Hard to believe that you were asking me about football and little did I know that just an hour later, you’d have one of the highest honors bestowed upon you and your team mate Steve McNair. The Voice of the Titans Mike Keith hit us all with the staggering numbers.
#152 and #153 retired numbers in 100 seasons of NFL history.
The first #9 and the first #27….ever.
Let that sink in for a minute. Including the 2018 class, there are 318 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Less than half of that number, have a retired number.
I am really fortunate and blessed to have seen all of your greatest moments in a Titans uniform and some of them to this day still amaze me.
As you addressed the media I instantly thought about your 68 yard TD in the divisional round of the playoffs against Indianapolis, you and Steve in the locker room after Super Bowl XXIV, they day you owned the Cleveland Browns in the snow for 34 carries, 176 yards and 3 scores, and all of those days on the practice field in Bellevue nestled between I-40 and the Bellevue Mall.
I thought about that cold day in the Meadowlands when Steve, you and the Titans beat the Giants in December 2002, Steve’s fearless runs against the Steelers, his heroics in the Super Bowl, the day he was named Co-MVP in 2003 and even the night he threw 3 picks to Sam Madison in Miami.
Eddie, you and Steve answered my stupid questions and put up with a young radio “hack” and had no idea how to cover an NFL franchise.
You guys were the vagabonds of the NFL. You played in four different stadiums in as many seasons. You had each other and that bond early on made you stronger and made you winners. I’m sure there are countless Titans fans that share my congratulations to you both in this powerful display of recognition.
September 15, 2019 is a day we will all anticipate, to see the ceremony to officially retire #9 and #27.
Amy Adams Strunk and the Titans did it right. You and Steve have your place in NFL history and certainly with the Titans. Football life has come full circle for you, and you had your chance to say goodbye.