When the Tennessee Titans open the 2016 season they will do so with a brand new group of fans, from an unlikely place in a city some three-hundred miles away.
The Titans and the team formerly known as the St. Louis Rams have a history that includes sharing the same long-time head coach and one of the greatest finishes in Super Bowl history, so when the Rams and the city of St. Louis could not agree on funding for a new stadium to replace the Edward Jones Dome, the Rams ownership decided that it was time to return their team to Lo. Angeles, the city the franchise called home before moving to St. Louis in 1995.
That move left fans in St. Louis in a tough position. Continue cheering for a team they love with an owner they detest, or move their allegiance to another team.
Some chose the former while others chose the latter in deciding that their loyalty to the Rams franchise would not continue once the loyalty of the team to their fans and the city of St. Louis moves to Southern California.
The move of the Rams has now become a bonus for the Titans, as some of those disgruntled fans have chosen the Titans, a team their Rams defeated when Titans receiver Kevin Dyson came up "one yard short" on the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV. It's a strange marriage of these fans to the Titans to be sure, but one that can easily be understood in light of the Rams actions.
Last week I became the target- and appreciatively so- of some of these new Titans fans as my Twitter following grew by 77 people in a matter of one day thanks to my friend and Scout.com colleague, Nate Latsch who ran the Rams site in St. Louis, but was displaced- he now covers the University of Missouri for Scout- by the Rams move.
The fans, who include a new St. Louis Titans Blog were directed to my account and immediately began showing me support along with their new team. It was a flurry of activity that had me busy responding to comments and thanking those who took the time to join us here at TitanRedZone.
I'm one who believes in interacting with readers here and followers on social media. It's just good business and the right thing to do in a business where the fans and followers are the driving force of our site and without them, our work would go unread and we would be out of a job shortly.
Along with that blog page, several other St. Louis Titans fans are planning to travel the 300 plus miles from Missouri to Nashville to attend a game at Nissan Stadium. That's dedication to their new team to immediately plan a trip to enjoy their new team in a home game.
The Titans have a lot of work to do to improve, but their new fans are now hopeful- along with long-time fans that the transformation will take place quickly, after all, their transformation to Titans fans happened much sooner than they would have ever wanted.
Here's to you St. Louis Titans fans, welcome to Nashville and the Titans fan base and we hope you enjoy us here at Scout.com and TitanRedZone.