NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans help open the NFL’s preseason schedule this week, traveling to face the Buffalo Bills in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. Kickoff at Fawcett Stadium (capacity 22,364) is scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT on Sunday, Aug. 9.
• Click here to view the official press release (PDF Document)
The game will be televised nationally in high definition on NBC, including Nashville affiliate WSMV Channel 4. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties, while Cris Collinsworth will provide color commentary. Andrea Kremer reports from the sidelines. The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 103.3-WKDF, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, color commentator Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone. Westwood One Radio Sports will carry the national radio broadcast. Howard David (play-by-play) and James Lofton (color commentary) will provide the call.
A FITTING MATCHUP
The Hall of Fame Game appropriately brings together two of the original teams of the American Football League, both currently owned by the same visionaries who helped set in motion one of the most significant eras in football history. It was in 1960 that K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr.’s then-Houston Oilers and Ralph Wilson, Jr.’s Bills became two of the eight teams that began play in the newly-formed AFL, making 2009 the 50th year in the clubs’ histories. Adams and Wilson are the surviving members of the original group of owners, dubbed the “Foolish Club” for their choice to accept the seemingly-impossible task of competing with the National Football League. Ten seasons later, the burgeoning league’s success was more than apparent, as the AFL and NFL completed a historic merger. The day before the Titans and Bills meet, Wilson will be enshrined as a member of the 2009 Hall of Fame class.
As part of the AFL’s 50th-year celebration, several teams will be featured in “Legacy Games” and don special throwback uniforms in 2009. Sunday’s game is the first of the occasions, as the Titans will appear in jerseys modeled after the 1960 club that captured the first of two consecutive AFL titles. The Bills’ uniforms date back to 1965, when they won their second AFL championship.
The Titans-Bills rivalry is also significant for a pair of lasting playoff memories. During the 1992 postseason (Jan. 3, 1993), the Bills overcame a 32-point deficit in the second half to defeat the Oilers in overtime by a final score of 41-38. Seven years later (Jan. 8, 2000), the Titans used a late kickoff return dubbed the “Music City Miracle” to clinch a 22-16 victory over the Bills at LP Field.
A few of the other storylines as the Titans prepare to face the Bills:
• Jeff Fisher begins his 15th preseason as the team’s head coach. Fisher, who has the longest tenure with one team of any active NFL head coach, took over the team as interim head coach for the final six games of 1994.
• Chuck Cecil will roam the sidelines for the first time as defensive coordinator. Cecil, a former NFL safety whose first year on the coaching staff was 2001, was promoted to his current position early in the offseason after former coordinator Jim Schwartz was hired as head coach of the Detroit Lions.
• Significant veteran newcomers to the Titans include wide receiver Nate Washington and defensive tackle Jovan Haye. Washington was signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Haye, a product of Vanderbilt University, was added from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Former Rutgers wide receiver Kenny Britt headlines an 11-member Titans draft class that could see game action for the first time.