The Train Daddy is back with the pain, daddy, and ready as always to hit you punks in the mouth with some serious sports knowledge and a legendary tale. To all my loyal readers, you know of the great one they call the Me-Ma, the most famous Tennessee Titans fan this side of the Mississippi. To all you new readers, listen up: this is not your typical Train Daddy article, so let me enlighten both loyal and new readers right now with a story that is quickly becoming legend.
So, take Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, then add the Me-Ma into the equation, and what do you get? Well, number one, you get three bad asses. Here we have three people with an inspirational story that has become more than a mere tale, a trio of stories that are now legends. Greatness quickly takes on a story of its own; take that greatness and consider with it all the people whom these legends have touched, and you have stories like Crockett’s, like Bowie’s, like the Me-Ma’s. Legendary, baby!
As death sat camped outside the walls of the Alamo, I reckon Crockett the bear wrestler and Bowie the greatest knife fighter in the history of knives . . . well, I believe they probably got a few good laughs recalling tales told about their lives. Tales exaggerated, tales completely false, no doubt, but tales that inspired the other men in the Alamo. Tales that put fear into every soldier in Santa Anna’s army, and I have no doubt these tales, these stories, these legends involving Crockett and Bowie were a major factor in those men holding the Alamo for 13 days when it should have fallen on day 1.
The story of the Me-Ma will soon grow into legend. How could people believe a woman born in New York could become the greatest Titans fan to ever put on a jersey? How could people believe that, at age 12, she hunted and skinned a jackalope? How could people believe that, at age 60, she climbed Mount Everest alone in a swimsuit? I have listened, researched, studied and talked to friends and family of the Me-Ma, and they all point towards greatness. I am honored to tell you the story of the Me-Ma, the greatest Titans fan the world has ever known.
This story starts before there was officially a Me-Ma. Back then, the world called her Carolyn; she was always the Me-Ma at heart, though. From here on out I will refer to Carolyn as the Me-Ma. So, at age 8, the Me-Ma was outside playing, as kids do. Every Thursday the neighborhood kids played some pigskin, it became known as Thursday Football. The game was dominated by all the neighborhood boys, and at that age they were mean, spitting insults at all the girls. So the Me-Ma watched week in and week out, she learned the game, and a love for football soon blossomed. The Me-Ma made a promise she would show these boys that she wasn’t to be trifled with. So she ran private drills in her backyard, she did 8-year-old pushups, ran around the swing set, and she got strong. At 9 years old the Me-Ma was a football junkie, and ready to show these neighborhood boys who ran the block. One rainy Thursday the Me-Ma suited up and headed to the field, it was a mudfest, but she had trained hard. The minute she took the field, the oldest, biggest boy, standing tall at age 13, told her no girls allowed. The Me-Ma cracked his nose open with a left hook, and he ran home crying. The Me-Ma took his spot as a captain and handpicked her team. With Me-Ma’s knowledge of the game, her team was perfect. They dominated, and she took snaps as the running back, pounding the rock. She taught those neighborhood boys to never underestimate her again; she scored three touchdowns that day, and made three more boys cry. The Me-Ma was truly born that day.
The Me-Ma’s story continues, she grows and learns many of life’s lessons through her teenage years. It is said that after high school she took to the sea and traveled the world. She went to places where they called soccer football and she told the people in these third-world countries about American football. She spent years visiting various countries, and giving the poor children the gift of a free football to play with. Just as Billy Graham spread the word of the Gospel, the Me-Ma spread the good news of the glory of American football. It is said she joined a crew of pirates in an attempt to give free footballs to a needy child in every country. They were so mystified by her presence they named her captain of the vessel. Me-Ma had the old name stripped off, and they painted a new name on the side of the 95-foot-long ship, which she christened The Mighty Titan. For those of you who don’t know, the Tennessee Titans were still nearly 50 years from being an actual, existing team. The Me-Ma claims she had wild dreams while at sea, and they all showed signs of a mighty Titan and her love of football co-existing. She sailed many more years as captain of the Mighty Titan, and it is said she handed out over 10,000 free footballs to needy children in various countries. She eventually returned to her homeland, America.
Many years later, the Me-Ma having already lived three lives worthy of a tale, had a run-in with a very important child. It is said the Me-Ma woke one morning with a feeling that was unlike any other. She got up, got cleaned up and hit the road. She drove for miles and miles, crossing a few states, stayed in hotels and drove some more until, three days later, she came across an open field. It was a Thursday, a perfect day for football, and in the field children played a game of touch as she watched and smiled. There was one little boy in particular who had a glow she was certain only she could see, and she watched. Finally she called the boy over and he came timidly. She smiled and he instantly warmed upon seeing the smile of the Me-Ma. She asked this young boy his name and he told her it was Eddie, but then stated his friends called him George. She asked George what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said a mechanic. The Me-Ma smiled and said, “It is not to be, young man.” She told him all about football and the Mighty Titan on which she had sailed, and then told him to keep practicing and always stay determined. When she was done, George hugged her and left with a new goal: he wanted to be a professional football player, a running back, in fact! This story has different versions, but I heard it from the horse’s mouth myself; the Me-Ma was the original recruiter of the great Eddie George, so they say.
The Houston Oilers started play in 1960, and it is said the Me-Ma had a hand in the relocation of the organization from Houston to Nashville. The Me-Ma was said to have many inner circles, and the late and great Bud Adams was a good friend to have. While visiting Houston in 1995, she ran into old Bud Adams and told him all about her visions of Mighty Titans, and of a young man she met years ago named Eddie. Bud Adams was sold; the Me-Ma’s words were pure as gold. In 1996, the then-Houston Oilers drafted Eddie George with the 14th overall pick. Then Bud moved the entire franchise to Nashville, where they were known as the Tennessee Oilers for two seasons before becoming the Tennessee Titans in 1999, moving into the new Adelphia Coliseum, now known as LP Field. The late Bud Adams and the Me-Ma both had a hand in making sure the new franchise retained the Oilers history and records. As legend has it, the Me-Ma was the one voice that convinced Bud Adams to change the name from Oilers to the Titans.
Jan. 30, 2000, is a day Titan fans would like to forget, one yard short of a Super Bowl victory. It’s too bad Steve McNair, George, Wycheck, Mason, Kearse and crew didn’t bring home the bacon. I remember that after the Super Bowl the Me-Ma said it was OK; she didn’t get sad. Instead she smiled. I thought she was rambling, but she stated after that Super Bowl, “The Duck will fly high, The Duck will lead us to the Promised Land, The Duck is the future.” All those years I pondered that statement until recently at this season’s draft when the Titans selected Marcus Mariota as the new face of the franchise. The Me-Ma predicted Marcus’s arrival. The former Oregon Duck Heisman winner is the future, and Me-Ma’s prophecy is as pure as gold: a Super Bowl victory shall soon be delivered to Nashville.
The Me-Ma is currently rocking the young age of 80 and is ready for a Super Bowl victory. A mother of three, a grandmother to five and a great-grandmother to 10, the Me-Ma’s legend will run deep in the blood of her family for generations. There is nothing better than Sunday at Me-Ma’s: homemade spaghetti, fresh bread and a side salad, with a big ol’ glass of sweet tea—paradise! This story, this tale that has become legend, is my gift to you. Remember what it is to love family and friends, and the one who was destined to become the greatest Titans fan the world has ever known. Train’s out the station. Choo-choo!