Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Trip to Nashville

In 2001 I took a trip to Nashville where I was going to visit the Grand Ole and the Country Music Hall of Fame. My first day there I became seriously ill, and ended up in the ER. I was forced to go back home the next day without seeing anything. To say I was not happy was an understatement.
I always wanted to go back, and this spring I got a call from my brother telling while attending a charity function hosted by his friend Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak, he’d won a tour of the Titans training facility along free tickets and field passes to a Titans game. Needless to say I was elated with he invited me to join him.
I flew down to Nashville with my dad on Friday the 26th. That night we attend the Grand Ole Opry. As a huge fan of country music I was thrilled to finally get to visit the Opry. John Conlee, Eric Paslay, Jean Shepherd , Little Jimmy Dickens, Jesse McReynolds, Steel Magnolia, George Hamliton IV, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Jimmy Wayne, Riders in the Sky, Ralph Stanley, Joe Diffie were the acts playing that night. All of the acts were great, but Mr. Dickens was the hit of the night with several hilarious jokes.

Here are a few of pictures of my Opry visit:

                                           Little Jimmy Dickens

                                           Steel Magnolia

                                           Sweethearts of the Rodeo

                                          Joe Diffie

Saturday morning we visited the Tennessee Titans practice facility where we got a tour of the facility and watched practice. Afterwards I got a chance to meet Coach Mike Munchak. Coach Munchak and my brother’s other friend Bruce Matthews have always been gracious enough to get me tickets when their teams have played against the Minnesota Vikings. I met Mr. Matthews at this year’s Viking – Titans game, but had never met Coach Munchak before. He was a gracious man, tolerating my endless babbling about how great it was to meet him, and thanking him for all the past tickets he had gotten me.

Here is a picture of Coach Munchak and me:

I also got to me star Titans running back Chris Johnson, and former Viking and 5x All-Pro offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson. Mr. Hutchinson was a great person, and I really enjoyed meeting him.

                                           Chris Johnson and me

                                           Steve Hutchinson and me

Coach Munchak, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Hutchinson all autographed the free Tennessee Titans yearbook I had received as part of my tour. Coach Munchak also autographed a football card I brought along for him to sign.

After our enjoyable trip to the Titans practice facility, we went to the Country Music Hall of Fame. As a country music fan, it was a pleasure to see all the displays featuring the greats of country music.

Sunday we went to the Titans – Cols game. We were able to go on the field before the game. I was able to do the same at the Titans – Viking game up here, but I must say it was more enjoyable in the open air of LP Field. I prefer open air stadiums to domes, it just seems more real to me somehow.

The game featured the Colts young star quarterback Andrew Luck who as fate would have it, played high school football with my nephew. I remember back when Andrew was a sophomore and junior in high school having seen him play and thinking this kid is pretty good. He is indeed as the Titans found out when he rally the Colts to a win. To bad, I was rooting for the Titans.

Titans lost aside, it was great trip, and helped me purge that bad memory from 2001. Thanks to my brother and Coach Munchak for making the trip possible!