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Titans Tailgate with Academy Sports + Outdoors



NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Former Titans players, Brad Hopkins and Chris Hope joined Academy Sports + Outdoors at Nissan Stadium Tuesday, August 22 to share some of their best tailgating tips for the upcoming season.

Academy Sports + Outdoors has been a partner of the Titans organization for more than 10 years. The Texas-based company opened its first Tennessee store in 1999 and currently operates 11 stores in the state.

"Football season is around the corner and we are your one stop shop for anything you need to tailgate," said Rick Burleson, regional marketing specialist for Academy Sports + Outdoors.

For former Titans OT Brad Hopkins tailgating is all about being comfortable.

"It's all about the comfort so where you sit is a huge deal!" Hopkins said. "At Academy, they have a number of lawn chairs and all kinds of stuff. I've been sitting in a chair that is the size of a small recliner and if you are at a tailgate, you want to be comfortable and that's one of the first things you have to think about."

BBQ legend Melissa Cookston showcased Academy products and cooking tips for Titans fans to have the perfect tailgate this season. Cookston is a seven-time World Barbeque Champion who will be inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fam next month. She is also a two-time Memphis in May Grand Champion (2010, 2012) and four-time consecutive World Hog Champion (2011-2015), something no one else has accomplished. The "winningest" woman in barbecue, she is generally regarded as one of the best barbecue cooks in the country. She also has appeared on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, as well as Chopped, Last Call Food Brawl, the Today show, The Chew, Fox News, and on many other shows and in a variety of periodicals. She was named "One of the most influential pitmasters in America" by Fox News, and one of the "25 Super Women in Business" by the Memphis Business Journal in 2015.

"My husband made the mistake of taking me to a barbeque competition when we were dating over 20 years ago," said Cookston. "I have been cooking outdoors for 20 years and that's where memories are made. You are with your family, friends and it's so much fun! It's made me who I am and I absolutely love it."

"Everything from our Titans Caravan to partnering on givebacks has truly been a partnership for giving back to the community," said Burleson.

About Academy Sports + Outdoors

At Academy Sports + Outdoors, we make it easier for everyone to enjoy more sports and outdoor activities. At each of our 230 locations, we carry a wide range of hunting, fishing and camping equipment, patio sets and barbeque grills, along with sports and recreation products, at everyday low prices. For all. For less. For more information about Academy Sports + Outdoors visit,,,, and

Former Titans Brad Hopkins and Chris Hope joined Academy Sports + Outdoors at Nissan Stadium to share some of their best tailgating tips for the upcoming season.

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