Maybe it would have been more dramatic had we entered the playoffs as a lower seed, won one playoff game, and then lost. One playoff win would certainly have given the season one more mark of achievement. As it was, the Titans' loss to the Ravens on Saturday didn't even hurt like I expected it to. I worked during the game and relied on Twitter for updates until midway through the 4th quarter when I took my break and watched the rest on T.V. I saw a few of the bad calls that robbed us near the end, but more importantly I saw a team that didn't play well enough to overcome some bad calls. So the season ended with a three point loss and I shrugged my shoulders and went back to work.
Even with an exceptional run to an 10-0 start, a 13-3 regular season finish, and that top seed playoff spot, I was never moved to think that this was a team of destiny. These are not sour grapes though. These Titans were just as capable of continuing their march to that Lombardi trophy as any other team still in it. It just didn't come as a surprise that they came up short Saturday.
My wife cried when they lost to the Rams in the Super Bowl. I didn't, but it did bug me for months. When they lost in the playoffs to the Ravens the following year, she and I both had that bad taste in our mouths. It was the bad taste left from watching your team dominate in absolutely every statistic except for the most important one, the final score: Baltimore 24, Tennessee 10.
In January 2003, Oakland won by a score of 41-24 and it just seemed like the way it was supposed to go down. (The Titans had lost to the Raiders 52-25 earlier in the season.) The following year, Tennessee went to New England and lost by three to a team already already associated with the word "dynasty" as much as the Bengals carry around the "hapless" adjective on their backs. And anyway, it was really, really cold that day. Not meant to be.
As for last year's 17-6 loss to the Chargers, I don't have much memory of that game. I might have been working during that one as well. The best we got out of that game was a new West Coast rival and the constant reminder that we've never given anyone any reason to truly be afraid of our offensive firepower. The 2008 season ended with only a touchdown and a field goal scored in a game where ten points just wasn't enough.
Sigh. There's always next year.
*In the post, I'm trying to be nice and thoughtful. In truth, the Titans were jobbed on that non-call. That should have been a penalty instead of a big first down.