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Sunday's notes: Taking in the Titans

Say, Matt, you wouldn't happen to be a hockey player too, would you?
Say, Matt, you wouldn't happen to be a hockey player too, would you?

So while the Predators faithful went to the party on the plaza at Bridgestone Arena yesterday, or the Sounds game where Kevin Klein threw out the first pitch, I took in my first Titans game...

It was an interesting experience, my first live NFL action in probably 15 years, and the first football game for all 3 of my kids. The atmosphere was very much relaxed compared to hockey, and yes, that's even considering the fact that yesterday's tilt was merely a preseason game. A part of that surely has to do with LP Field being an open-air stadium, which allows much of the noise to float away up to the clouds. Football's pace is also designed for television, with commercial breaks bringing things to a halt every few minutes. In a way, however, that provides breathing room for conversation and people watching.

I always enjoy the motley collection of folks who come out to sporting events, and what struck me last night was the strong contingent of Bears supporters in the stadium, much like that night in January when Blackhawks fans invaded Bridgestone Arena. In that game, the Preds faithful broke out the first TV Timeout Standing O of the season, and a Shea Weber blast tied it, leading to a dramatic shootout win.

How fitting, then, that a big interception return by Tommie Campbell led to the home team to victory, picking up the slack for a Titans offense that looked like a kid trying to drive a stick shift for the first time. The Chamber of Commerce may not be happy, but that's twice now that Chicago's sports fans have had victory snatched away from them on trips to Nashville.

And yes, that Tennessee offense was pretty foul, but that was no fault of the new guy in town, Matt Hasselbeck. There's a bit of comfort knowing that at least the centerpiece of that attack can be relied upon to put the younger guys in the best possible position to succeed. He's not a dynamic athletic presence like Vince Young, but he can make the quick, on-target passes that get the entire team working together. In many ways, it's an acquisition like Hasselbeck which many Predators fans had been hoping for this summer. 

You know, like a Tim Connolly, or even a Brendan Morrison or Vinnie Prospal. Someone who can fill a role without having to block the development of the younger guys. A hired gun who's not just here to help the team win, but provide a little tutoring and leadership along the way.

Oh, it's probably about time I shared the news & notes, I suppose...

Nashville Predators News

Preds On The Glass: POTG Weekend Headlines, News, and Notes: Prayers for the East Coast
Buddy's thoughts are with all the folks who are in Hurricane Irene's path.

Picks, Pucks & Pigskin: "Is There A Preds Game Today?"
Zack takes it as a very good sign that he was asked this question yesterday...

Hockey Players + Wild Animals = Predators Day at the Nashville Zoo | The Predatorial
Jeremy shares why today's event at the Zoo is one of his annual favorites.

Pariah or Prodigy? | The Predatorial
Kris is confident that Colin Wilson will be "a great NHL player", but whether or not that's truly the case, this will be a pivotal year for him.

Around the NHL

2010-11 NHL Marginal Cap Efficiency - The Copper & Blue
We're #4! We're #4! We're #4!

Does Ilya Bryzgalov Make The Flyers A Better Team? - Houses of the Hockey
The Flyers pretty much zigged while the rest of the NHL zagged, throwing a big bucks, long-term contract at a goaltender while shipping out two stud centers.

Live Irene Satellite update - Barry Melrose Rocks
Man, this storm is uglier than Rod Brind'Amour.

Ferris State Joins the CCHA and Other Notes - Western College Hockey Blog
Err... the headline should read "WCHA". Ferris State is joining the WCHA, and it sonuds like Bowling Green may join them soon,

Another argument against the NHL charity point - Puck Daddy
It's always good to fire another attack at the NHL's abominable point system.

Kyle Wellwood still hoping to sign in San Jose - Fear The Fin
It sounds like Wellwood is holding off on offers from Winnipeg and Columbus, and might instead go to the Sharks' camp as a tryout.

Can Michael Grabner Build On His Phenomenal Rookie Season? - Houses of the Hockey
The Islanders phenom is indeed too legit to quit.

August savings on hockey equipment expire soon | Hockey Gear HQ - reviews & deals on hockey equipment and apparel
With just a few days left here in the month of August, I wanted to share two great opportunities to save money on hockey equipment, both of which expire August 31st.