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Shaw, Mariota Among Five Top Moments from Titans Event


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans hosted roughly 5,000 season-ticket holders at the team's "Tailgate & Tuxedos" event on Wednesday night at the Music City Center.

Here's a look at five memorable moments from the night:


Most Inspirational**

Tim Shaw thought he was there to present the "Most Inspirational Titan" award.

Instead, he won it.

"There must be some problem with this," Shaw said when he opened the envelope, handed to him by Titans center Ben Jones. "It says Tim Shaw."

It was a surprise to Shaw. In a few moments he was surrounded on stage by his friends with the Titans, from coach Mike Mularkey to general manager Jon Robinson to controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk.

It was a touching moment.

Diagnosed with ALS in 2014, the Titans have made Shaw a big part of their team. The former Titans linebacker signed a contract to retire a "Titan for Life" back in training camp, and he has a locker at the team's facility. He's been on road trips, and been a regular at the facility.

"To be called inspirational is actually the most humbling thing that's ever happened to me," Shaw said. "To me, it's inspirational when you face something that is not cool, something that scares you, something that can potentially bring you down, and you go right at it. To me that's inspirational.

"So if that's what I am doing, you can call me inspirational."

Titans players Brian Orakpo, Delanie Walker,  Jurrell Casey, DeMarco Murray, Ryan Succop, Beau Brinkley and Brett Kern also joined Shaw on stage as the crowd at the Music City Center gave him a standing ovation.

"You had a large part in what happened in 2016 for this Titans football team," Mularkey told Shaw. "He came in training camp and had such an impactful message to this football team that he changed a lot of lives."


Mariota appearance**

Quarterback Marcus Mariota thanked the team's fans in a video message.

A bearded Mariota said he's recovering from December's surgery on a fractured fibula, and said he's looking forward to the 2017 season.

"I wish I could be there with you guys to relive the 2016 season,'' Mariota said in the video. "It was an incredible one filled with a lot of fun moments. I am currently here in Oregon, getting healthy and going through my recovery process. I look forward to getting back to Nashville, and getting the 2017 season under way.

"I think it is going to be a great one."

Mularkey said he talked to Mariota earlier in the day. He said he's "doing very well" and is "on pace."

"The most important thing for us is to make sure that he's healthy for Week 1," Robinson said of Mariota.

At the end of the one-minute video clip, Mariota thanked the team's fans for their support.

"I would also like to say thank you to the Titans fans, and the entire Nashville community,'' Mariota said. "Your support has been overwhelming and it is a privilege to play for you guys. Thank you for being the best fans, and I can't wait 'til next season."


Strunk, and giveaways**

Strunk was blown away by the ovation she received, and the turnout.

After being announced by Mayor Megan Barry, Strunk took the stage to a standing ovation.

"I'm just stunned,'' Strunk told the crowd. "I know it's been a long haul at times, but you know you hung with us and we appreciate it. And you know what? Good times are going to happen. They're here."

Strunk surprised a fan during her appearance. She called Denise Volz to the stage, and Strunk told her she's buying her season tickets for the 2017 season.

"With appreciation for your long-standing support of the Titans,'' Strunk told Volz, "I want you to know that your 2017 season tickets are on me."

Later, Robinson and Mularkey made the day of Barry Haynes and his wife, Maco.

Barry Haynes was called on stage and told he won a trip to the 2017 NFL Draft, in Philadelphia.



Frank Wycheck, Lorenzo Neal and Kevin Dyson – the three players who touched the football during the Music City Miracle – were reunited on stage on Wednesday night to present the award for the Moment of the Year.

Wycheck and Dyson filmed the crowd on their phones as fans cheered, before calling Neal on stage.

On stage, they reenacted the play from the team's playoff win over the Buffalo Bills in the 1999 season's playoffs before a video of the play appeared on the video screens.

Wycheck told a funny story about running back Eddie George turning in disgust when Neal received the football.

"He went, "Noooooo! It's over,'' Wycheck said of George. "So Lorenzo is the miracle."

Before presenting the 2016 season's "Moment of the Year" award, Neal said, "You know it actually takes 11 guys on special teams, but sometimes three guys get the majority of the credit…"



Succop's 53-yard field goal to beat the Chiefs was named the top Moment of the Year. Succop, holder Brett Kern and long snapper Beau Brinkley all appeared on stage to talk about the play.

It was one of three 2016 awards presented by the team on Wednesday night.

Running back DeMarco Murray's pass to tight end Delanie Walker against the Packers was named the Offensive Play of the Year. Murray and Walker were on hand to talk about the play.

The defense's goal-line stand in the win at Kansas City was the Defensive Play of the Year. Orakpo and Casey represented the defense.

The Titans celebrate 2016 season, look ahead to 2017 with season ticket members during Tailgate & Tuxedos event at Nashville's Music City Center. (photos: Donn Jones, Gary Glenn)