CODE BLUE, Titans Face The Colts

By Betsy Thorpe

Following the Titan’s victory Monday night at LP Field, plasma screens facing outside the stadium proclaimed “Code Blue” as thousands of jubilant Titan fans poured onto the sidewalks and into the streets vocally expressing their pride and joy in this season’s seventh consecutive win. But for two groups of loyal Bellevue fans who have stood with the Titans since season one, the Monday Night Football 31-21 win against the Colts was one of many games they have attended in the ten year history of the Tennessee Titans. Both groups witnessed the Music City Miracle on January 8, 2000, and braved the biting cold on Christmas 2000, when the Titans faced the Dallas Cowboys in a game that aired on Monday Night Football.

On September 12, 1999 the Titans played their first regular season game at Adelphia Coliseum against the Cincinnati Bengals and members of Bellevue’s River Park West sub division began a tail-gaiting tradition that still exists today. Their elaborate site is decorated with Titans and personal memorabilia and is one of the largest in their area. This group , known as the River Park West Titans are faithful and devoted to their team. Group member, Bonny Hopwood and her late husband Richard Watkins had a Titan’s themed wedding. Following the teams play off victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in January of 2000 Mr. Watkins and his neighbors joined other fans at Adelphia Coliseum to await the teams return from Florida. According to Ms. Hopwood, this fun loving group adheres to two rules of conduct, no one leaves their site for the coliseum until “Go Titans” is announced and no one leaves the game while the team is on the field. This season has been particularly gratifying for these loyal fans as they look toward Tampa and the Super Bowl.

On Sunday November 2 the Titans will play the Green Bay Packers at LP Field and a chartered bus will arrive at Players in Bellevue two hours before game time, to transport about forty fans to LP Field. For ten years, host and Bellevue resident , Rick Sanders and Gray Line bus driver Mr. Warren Mc Classin have provided transportation, as well as food and beverage to Bellevue fans who do not wish to deal with game day traffic and parking.One rider stated that she had been riding with Mr. Sanders “from the beginning” and she also stated that she and others on the bus attend at least one out of town game every season to support the team when they are on the road, and that they try not to miss any home games. Their affection for the Titans was evident Monday night, as the bus approached downtown Nashville the mood was festive and confident. Later that night as the bus headed home toward Bellevue the mood on board was exuberant.

The Titans continue to attract new followers with each victory, but those loyal groups and individuals who have supported the team from the very beginning are savoring each moment of this perfect season.


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