Friday, January 8, 2010
By Paul Kuharsky ESPN.com
A year ago, a bit confused about which anniversary it was, I wrote something about the meaning of the Music City Miracle.
When I realized it was the ninth anniversary, not the 10th, I stashed it. An easy post in a year, I told myself. Just working ahead. (Yes, I have trouble counting sometimes.)
AP Photo/Wade PayneFriday marks the 10-year anniversary of Kevin Dyson's touchdown and the Music City Miracle.
Then a few months ago it disappeared when my hard drive fizzled. (Yes, I know, I now have Mozy.)
I can’t reconstruct the magic for you, the second version of a lost file is never as the first good for me.
But here’s the gist:
Two years ago I spent a significant amount of time piecing together a book pitch, and I’m realizing now as I start to look for it that it also disappeared with that hard drive. I did email myself a copy, so thankfully it lives on for posterity.
"Makings of a Miracle: How one historic, game-winning play transformed a team and tied together a town" didn’t really take off. The one publisher I had look at the proposal, which was good, and a sample chapter, which didn’t match the quality, passed.
And as other things -- like a certain job at ESPN.com came about -- I didn’t pursue it further.
Part of the reason, too, was that as I researched things to write the proposal, and I looked back on the 1999 Titans and the Music City Miracle, I concluded that a big piece of my premise was probably off.
The play was an incredible thing for everyone involved and everyone who was invested in that team.
It was transformative for the franchise, and it did tie together a town.
It would have been very interesting for that audience, and perhaps to one extending beyond, to learn how exactly it came together and played out, and how it impacted the lives of those involved in it.
But it didn’t hardly turn into the Immaculate Reception or Christian Laettner-to-Grant Hill, or Bobby Thompson off Ralph Branca.
And it didn’t have to.
While people here still talk of where they were when it unfolded and how they reacted, it wasn’t a necessary ingredient for a place to become a “legit” NFL city.
While it certainly served as an accelerant, Nashville would be just fine without it. Ten years later, I am not sure I really believe that much would have changed had it not happened.
That said, it’s hard to imagine I’ll ever be in such close proximity to a sports moment that tops it. I was at the 10-yard line as Kevin Dyson slowed and entered the end zone, sharing my disbelief with an entire city and most of a state.
Book or not, we’ll always have that.
So cheers today to Lorenzo Neal, who fielded Steve Christie’s kickoff and handed it back to Frank Wycheck, to Wycheck who threw the lateral, to Dyson who caught it and took it 75-yards for an incomprehensible last-minute touchdown that pushed the Titans into the divisional round of the playoffs. Here’s to Perry Phenix, Greg Favors and Terry Killens, who led the blocking caravan. Here’s to Alan Lowry, the assistant who drew up the play, and Jeff Fisher, who had his team ready to run it.