LOS ANGELES – Titans fan Stephani Perkins boarded a plane on Thursday morning and headed west for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Super Bowl.
It will be memorable for more reasons than one.
"It's the first time I've ever been on a plane," Perkins, the Titans 2021 Fan of the Year, said with a laugh, and a smile. "And it's the first time going out west – I haven't even been to Memphis. But the Titans were nice enough to put me in first class, so I'll be traveling in style, I guess."
Yes, Perkins is getting the VIP treatment.
And she's fired up about it.
A 2009 graduate of Franklin County High School, Perkins was selected by the team as its Fan of the Year in part because of her role in creating Ladies of Titans Football, a group that's considered a "safe place" for women who root for the team to talk football.
Since its creation in 2020, however, it's turned into so much more.
Perkins, who now lives in Tullahoma, said the group chat created in August of 2020 began with 10 to 15 people, and it's now up to 75 and would be more if the number wasn't capped.
The Twitter handle 'Ladies of Titans Football' (LOTT) had 1,689 followers as of Thursday morning.
"I had no idea it would turn into what it has turned into today," Perkins said. "We are there for one another when we need one another, people you can reach out to. It's just a great community that we have. I wouldn't be where I am today without those wonderful ladies. … I love every single person that's in that group."
Perkins, a single mom with a five-year-old son (Nate), never thought it would earn her a trip to the Super Bowl either.
Perkins did serve as the Honorary 12th Titan at the team's final home game during the 2021 season.
"To know the Titans consider me a great representation for the fan base, to me, this is my Super Bowl," Perkins said. "The 12th Titan game was a dream. And I know this is something I'll remember for the rest of my life."
On her itinerary for the all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl LVI:
-Fly to Los Angeles on Thursday morning.
-Attend NFL Honors on Thursday night.
-Attend a Captain Morgan Fan of the Year brunch with former Giants receiver Victor Cruz on Friday.
-Attend NFL Super Bowl Experience, which will include appearances from Peyton Manning, Najee Harris, Travis Kelce, Ezekiel Elliott, among others, on Saturday.
-Attend Super Bowl LVI on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
"Can you believe it?," said Perkins. "I never thought something like this would happen to me. I am thrilled, and I am kind of humbled by everything. It is incredible, really. To be the face of Titans fans, going to meet the other 31 incredible fans of the year and to be able to go to the Super Bowl is a memory I'll have forever. It's hard to put into words just how much it means to me."