FRANKLIN, Tennessee — A capacity crowd of more than six thousand Middle Tennesseans showed up to watch the Tennessee Titans’ ‘Friday Night Lights’ practice held last night at Centennial High School in Williamson County.
Cars streamed into the high school’s parking lot when the gates opened at 5 p. m. for the free event. The atmosphere was more like a festival than a pre-season training camp practice, as vendors like Famous Dave’s Barbecue and Blue Monkey Shaved Ice offered their culinary delights to hungry fans of all ages.
Williamson County Sheriff’s Department provided security, as did a private security service which screened all fans with security wands prior to their entry into the stadium area.
Titans staff were omnipresent, offering assistance to media and regular fans alike.
At 6:45 p.m., the Centennial High School football team formed an honor guard as the Titans walked on the field, direct from their team buses. All the Titans then spent half an hour for the fans who crowded the age of the field.
At 7:15 p.m., every single Titans player and coach, along with the thousands of fans in attendance, stood as the National Anthem was played.
The local public address announcer pointed out that this was a custom Titans head coach Mike Mullarkey adopted from his playing days with the Minnesota Vikings, under legendary head coach Bud Grant.
Practice, divided into nine specific drills, each precisely timed, began at 7:15 p.m., and continued until 9:00 p.m.
Local boy made good, Titans announcer Mike Keith, a graduate of nearby Battleground Academy, called the practice events over the public address system from the press box at the top of the Centennial High School stands.
Fans got a chance to see size of the players and the speed of the game from a much closer point of view than is available on television or from the distant seats high up, or even at the 50 yard line at field level, in Nissan Stadium.
There was plenty for the crowd to cheer about during the various drills — wide receivers and defensive backs one-on-one, seven-on-nine running game drills, two minute drills, goal line, and special teams practice.
All told, it was a first rate event, and everyone who attended complimented the school system, the Titans staff, the Titan players, and the vendors for a great evening.
Jim Wyatt, senior writer with Titans Online, the official publication of the Titans, sent several tweets throughout the evening, all accurately describing just how well the evening went.
The official Titans account also sent out a few tweets. This one summed it up just right:
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 5, 2017