Thursday, September 21, 2017

Quads from Matthew - #38 Titans

Most of these 2002 Heads up quads bring back memories, but few cards have all four players pretty involved in my football fandom past like this Titans one.  My brother was a Titans fan (And Buccaneers fan) growing up, which was kind of weird since we lived in Massachusetts.  I guess it's a combination of loving winners (Both teams made Super Bowls in that era) and loving underdogs (Neither team was close to a dynasty, although both hung for a few competitive years).  As a result, I followed the Titans a little closer than your average team, and so my rankings this time around might be a little biased.  These guys also came up a TON in Madden 2004 games since my brother was a fan.  So let's see what affect that has on my rankings below.

Eddie George was one of the "stars" of the Titans of the time, moreso for his durability and grinder playstyle than anything else IMHO.  He'd gain around 4 yards per carry, nothing super fancy, but he'd do so on a top five in the league carry number with 35-50 receptions added in.  The guy just played hard all the time.  He's also an Ohio State alum, so I hear about him in Ohio now and then.  I even got to visit a restaurant of his for my former blog writing job a bunch of years back during a weekend with an OKCupid "friend."  She's a hardcore vegan now and I'm married, so it'd never happen again, but I'm glad I got to sample Eddie's fare once upon a time.

Kevin Dyson is a legend in my home for two plays, both of which I have captured in cardboard:

The homerun throwback of card one helped get the Titans to the Super Bowl.  The last play stretch of card two almost won the Titans that Super Bowl, and stands in my mind as one of the greatest Super Bowl plays of all time.  It also made the Patriots win the next year all that much sweeter since I was rooting Titans.

Now Dyson only played six years in the league thanks to injuries, so he never really made a name for himself outside of that Titans Super Bowl run.  But I remember him fondly thanks to that and thanks to Madden 2004.  See, in Madden, he was the ONLY guy who started the year on the IR.  Not injured, actually on the IR.  Which meant he NEVER played year one in any season you did.  Even if you did a fantasy draft, where every single player in the NFL is put into a draft and you essentially make your own teams, he was designated IR and would sit out the entire season even if you drafted him.

It was weird.

But it made me draft him a lot.  I could stash him on the injured list and add a new guy, AND I would have his rights the next season.  Which was silly, since he wasn't signed for long and his stats always inevitably dropped because he didn't have any games played to improve himself.  But he still had some speed, and I had good memories, so he often made a solid WR3 or WR4 in year two and beyond of my squad (I actually played a ton of five WR sets so having five decent WR was always a big thing).  So even though he's DEFINITELY the least statistically impressive Titan on here...I like him.

Derrick Mason will never not be underrated.  He played a remarkable fifteen years in the league, and though he never led the league in anything and only played in two Pro Bowls, he ended his career 17th all time in receptions and 25th in receiving yards.  He was the definition of consistency - always in the top half of the league's WR, but never at the top while guys like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens were around.  My brother was definitely a big Mason fan, so I heard about him a lot, even after he left for Baltimore for a few years.

And finally we have Steve McNair.  Of course nowadays he's mostly remember as the victim of a murder suicide, but when he played he left nothing on the field and did some pretty good things in his thirteen years in the league, including winning the MVP once (He actually tied with Peyton Manning for the award).  He was masterful at scrambling to keep a play alive and, like Eddie George on the other side of the card, was durable as they come.  Definitely a good QB, although I almost never used him in Madden 2004 because he was the next tier slower than guys like Seneca Wallace and Brad Banks.  He often gave me fits as an opponent though.

Who wins the card: If I'm being hugely biased, it's Kevin Dyson.  He is easily the 4th most talented guy on this card, but he had a few big moments and a Madden 04 quirk/glitch that I just never got over.  So he'd win for me.  But if anyone rational voted, I THINK the winner would have to be Derrick Mason.  Yes McNair had the MVP hardware, and George probably had more fans, but Mason did the most damage for the longest amount of time and his picture should probably be in the dictionary next to "consummate pro."  So he'd get my vote if I'm not voting biased.

1 comment:

  1. I'd go with McNair... with George a very close second. And honestly... Mason and Dyson aren't too far behind. Damn that's a solid foursome!