Sports 101

What's in a name?

In the case of the Tennessee Titans, everything. The Titans are in the playoffs for the first time since 1993, when they were in Houston and known as the Oilers. After going 8-8 for three consecutive seasons, the Titans have finally given their fans something special to cheer about. They finished this season 13-3 and advanced to the American Conference Championships after beating the favored Colts in Indianapolis, 19-16. Sunday night, more than 9,000 Tennessee fans greeted them at the airport.

"It was like we were the Beatles or something," said running back Eddie George. "All the fans out there, every level packed way back from one side of the airport to the other. People outside windows. It was an excellent reception. It was something we had longed for."

This Sunday, the Tennessee Titans play the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship game at 12:35 p.m. (CBS) at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville.

Q: What's the history of the Tennessee Titans franchise?

A: The Oilers debuted in Houston in 1960. After playing in a couple of different stadiums, the team settled into the Astrodome from 1968 to 1996. It moved to Memphis, Tenn., in 1997, then to Dudley Field in Nashville in 1998, and finally settled into Nashville's brand-new Adelphia Coliseum last year.

Q: When did the Oilers become the Titans?

A: On Nov. 14, 1998. When Oilers owner Bud Adams moved his team to Nashville, the fans weren't wild about the Oilers name and eventually pressured him into changing it.

Q: What do the Titans have going for them in this Sunday's game against Jacksonville?

A: The Titans have a six-game winning streak, the best in the NFL, and Jacksonville's only two losses this season have been against Tennessee. They also have one of the best running backs in the league - Eddie George. At 6 ft., 3 in., 240 lbs., George is a strong, fast, and durable runner.

What's even more remarkable about the Titans is their winning record this year. Teams that move to new areas are famous for not performing well. The most recent team to post a winning record in its first full season in a new stadium was the Los Angeles Raiders in 1983, who went 12-4 after leaving Oakland.

* Send comments to parneyl@csps.com

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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