At this point, I hope all of you are aware that being a fan is a one-sided relationship. You can show affection, you can buy things, you can introduce new people, but there's only so much a team can do to show you that it truly cares about you. That's not a knock on a team, that's just the nature of professional sports. And like any relationship, there will be some tense, anxious moments. And among those moments, one of the rare ones is where we are now: waiting for a draft pick to be signed before your team loses his rights to free agency and a possible uproar about "tampering"
It's not like Nashville hasn't been in this situation before. A few years ago, Peyton Manning flirted with the idea of playing in Nashville. And the media acted accordingly. Hopefully we can rely on the wisdom of hardened media professionals to help us bloggers and fans alike as we suffer through this tense waiting period.
There are some very effective traits to watch for among the mania of Twitter, Facebook, and all other poisonous sites.
1. Flight Trackers
These sites are more popular among the college football and soccer circles, but once in a while the hockey world gets its sweaty digits on the keyboard and logs on to FlightAware.com. It's a really cool site. I use it to track my dad when he flies, because I can't trust him to turn on his phone after he lands.
But plenty of the teams have private planes or charter agreements with airliners. For instance, this is the Blue Jackets team plane: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N697BJ. Kinda cool. I posted theirs because unlike the Red Wings, Rangers, Coyotes, or Sharks, you can actually track their plane.
But with a charter service like Nashville uses, don't expect the team plane to pick up Mr. Vesey at the airport. Like many teams, Nashville uses a service provided through a major airliner, and they have access to other private planes. Instead, you can be like these cool people who checked the flight plans for Peyton Manning coming to Nashville.
Titans plane w/ Peyton Manning tricks media & lands at Nashville airport instead of John C Tune airport. Plane is in @taylorswift13's hanger— Ryan Denney (@RyanDenney) March 14, 2012
And media isn't above these either.
Peyton Manning is scheduled to leave on the Titans plane at Nashville International Airport at 7:13 p.m. and will... http://t.co/JhTvvQSF— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) March 14, 2012
Bud Adams' plane flight from Raleigh to Nashville with Manning and team brass is named "Vols."— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharsky) March 14, 2012
Titans pick up Peyton #Manning in N.C. According to flight plan, they're headed back to Nashville. http://t.co/31UbTrpE— WSMV-TV, Nashville (@WSMV) March 14, 2012
And that was in 2012. Phones have only gotten better. FlightAware is still awesome and effective.
This is where the trouble really starts.
RD bringing you the scoop 1st. #PeytonManning wearing TN Orange shirt, boarding Titans plane in NC to Nashville! pic.twitter.com/B6FiSzaF— Ryan Denney (@RyanDenney) March 14, 2012
Yes, back then people thought that Peyton Manning (a man with no ties to the city of Nashville other than University of Tennessee fans living in the city) was more likely to sign for the Titans due to him wearing an orange shirt.
Let's not criticize this fellow Ryan at all. The guy did some hard work during this period, and he earned the right to put it out there first. If you think he was speculating, he wasn't alone.
Manning apparently rockin the Vols shirt at his visit to Nashville today. That would be a helluva situation.— JMV1070 (@JMV1070) March 14, 2012
Looking back, John Elway was smarter than everyone.
Also, we Preds fans had some fun during that week ourselves.
Who plays in Nashville as a home team guy first -- Peyton Manning or Radulov?— EricFromSpringfield (@EricFromSpfld) March 12, 2012
Yep. That was a hell of a week.
Next flight from UFA to Nashville leaves in about 12 hours, should arrive tomorrow evening. Looking like Radulov v. Crosby on Thursday!!!— Rachel Rosato (@rachelrosato) March 19, 2012
Nailed it. Then Alex tweeted a picture of himself on the plane, then walked through that door.
Speculation is big business. That's what causes stocks to fluctuate, prospects to have values, and it's great for sports talk. Plus, it's fun and it usually fills a void in the calendar.
Joined now by @sportsbizmiss on the show. She will tell us about the business aspects of Peyton Manning to the Titans.— The Midday 180 (@Midday180) March 14, 2012
3. Anxious Conclusions
The internet is a scary place, especially if people depend on you for entertainment and/or news. If you quit producing, you lose your clout. That's how it works. So when you're the person who people depend on to break the story and you go quiet, people get anxious and nervous.
First, some straight news:
Peyton Manning passed his physical when he visited #Titans on Wednesday. He will workout for TEN Saturday at 10:45a. Don't know where.— Jonathan Hutton (@Hutton1045) March 17, 2012
Manning ended up working out in Knoxville. Probably because the mania was too much in Nashville. Let that sink in... a former Tennessee player and local hero had to go to Knoxville for more privacy.
@ClayTravisBGID ESPN silent as the grave on Manning workout w/Titans. Complete opposite from their reaction to Broncos workout. Hmm.— John McMackin (@cuppacabraa) March 17, 2012
Looking back, this should've been a dead giveaway. Media folks love to avoid taking stands and putting out a Dewey Defeats Truman line. That's why sports radio is in the shape it's in, with amateurs and hot take artists rising up from the ranks to capture the angry soul in us all (Hi!). But 2012 was a different time. It was a time where we didn't understand the foreverness of Twitter.
Source still believes Manning will be Titan, but Broncos aren't primary competition now. It's 49ers.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 17, 2012
And at this point, it's hard to stop the train. There's only one way to soften this blow: A SOURCE. We can blame sources for all kinds of things. And everyone has blamed a "source" for bad information at one point or another.
Source close to Manning says Titans have weathered 49er storm and to expect presser by Tuesday at latest.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 18, 2012
Titans have now been Manning leader since Wednesday and source says nothing since has happened to change that.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 18, 2012
Manning to Broncos...more coming on Espn— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 19, 2012
Manning to Broncos is complete stunner. Can't believe that Peyton made a total money grab. Shocked.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 19, 2012
Money wins. That's why I give Nashville an advantage. And that's a rare sentence to write.
But unlike Manning, Jimmy Vesey is a young man who is just now starting his career. It's not his fault the Preds won't get compensated for him if he signs elsewhere. That's a system flaw. Plus, he does still have exams and stuff which would be in May if he chooses to finish this semester in school first.
Was an honor & privilege to wear Harvard across my chest for 4 yrs. I'm sad it's over but grateful for everything it gave me #ForeverCrimson— Jimmy Vesey (@19Vesey) March 26, 2016
Poile says that he's confident Jimmy Vesey will sign with the team. They've promised him a spot, and didn't want to give it away yesterday.— Wake Up Zone (@WUZ1045) March 1, 2016
So try to relax, and know your team is still pretty good.