Titans Have Houston, Hurricane Harvey Victims on their Minds

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo knows the streets of Houston well. The same goes for Titans tight end Phillip Supernaw.

They grew up on them.

Seeing the images of the city on CNN and The Weather Channel has been tough this week. The catastrophic flooding associated with Hurricane Harvey has changed the city they love. It's still home to family and friends.

"It is tough to watch, my home city," Orakpo said. "Places where I grew up, streets I grew up on, are under water. It's very hard to watch, because there is nothing I can do in Nashville. It's unbelievable what's really going down there. I have a great locker room to try to keep me at bay, keep me at ease, to keep me more calm, because it's hard.

"I'm not there. My family is stranded out there. It's just hard right now."

Orakpo said his family is safe, along with their homes.

But as he stepped off the practice field on Tuesday, his brother was using his fishing boat to rescue people from the flood in Houston, roughly 800 miles away.

"My brother, as of right now, has his boat with his friends and is actually going to people's homes, saving people from their homes flooded out," Orakpo said. "(He's) just trying to get people on common ground, just trying to help neighborhoods that are in need.

"Unfortunately I know friends and people in neighborhoods that are flooded out already. A shout out to the people in Houston doing everything they can. You have people on boats, from the Coast Guard helping people, their homes flooded. Anything helps."

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, who is also from Houston, stepped up big on Tuesday. Strunk donated $1 million to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort that was started by J.J. Watt of the Texans.

After practice on Tuesday, Titans coach Mike Mularkey and the team applauded Strunk as they huddled on the field at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

"I admire her for that," Mularkey said. "It is amazing that she did that to the J.J. Watt relief fund. I thought it was amazing that she did that for the victims of the hurricane down there."

Supernaw, who is from nearby Katy, Texas, said he's also keeping a close eye on the events in the area. His mother, brother and two sisters live in the Houston area, along with his nieces and nephews.

He's also struggled seeing what's happened to the city. Like Orakpo, he praised Watt's fundraising effort.

"It's hard, because you feel helpless," Supernaw said. "We are so many miles away and there is nothing you can do about it, and you see people lose their homes and everything they have.

"Seeing those pictures, I know where most of them are taken, and it's hard to believe. These are places I've been driving past my whole life, and to see the devastation, it is hard."

Orakpo and Supernaw have both taken comfort is seeing the outpouring of support from across the country, as well as the images of people helping one another in the city.

"That's the great thing," Orakpo said. "Out of all the B.S. that goes around in this country and in the world in general, the fortunate thing is it takes catastrophes and stuff like that for … you really see the good side of people, everybody coming together for all kind of different backgrounds or religion or whatever the case may be.

"Everybody is coming together and helping one another. Communities are reaching out. Everybody. It's remarkable to see the live pictures and video I get. Everybody's just helping each other, lending a hand, helping their neighbors out."

Titans staff, alumni players and cheerleaders joined the Nashville chapter of the American Red Cross for a live telethon on WRKN Tuesday night, raising money for those affected by the Houston Hurricane. (Photos: Al Wagner)

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