Better than you’d think

consoleBetter than you’d think: I know, I know. It’s now offically “the other season.” As in, for Rex there are only two seasons in the year: “the Titans’ season” and “the not-Titans’ season.” But rather than mourn for what could have been, I’m happy about what was: the 2003 Titans. In my opinion, they were the best squad assembled in the team’s five seasons at the Coliseum. Yes, even better than 1999. Why am I sanguine about this defeat? Frankly, I’m even surprising myself. Perhaps because they lost to a team other than the Ravens or (as last year) the Raiders. Perhaps it’s because the game came down to the two players who are the two I would have chosen for the moment. And perhaps, it’s because McNair received the recognition he has deserved so long.

Or maybe I can cope so easily with this season’s ending because of the moving photo of McNair consoling Drew Bennett by Sanford Myers (left) appearing in the Tennessean this morning. Something about it makes it okay to move on. I tried to e-mail Sanford at the Tennessean, but my message got bounced back. Perhaps he’s a stringer, or likely I’m just sending it to the wrong address. If you know him, please pass this message along:

I can’t recall ever writing a photographer to tell him how much one of his photographs affected me, but your’s on the front page of the Tennessean today stopped me in my tracks. Your image is magic: the perfect angle, the precise instant. It tells an entire story so brilliantly that I found myself returning to it throughout the day. I don’t know if you felt how strong it was while capturing it, but I consider it one of the most powerful sports photographs I have ever seen in the Tennessean. Sure, I’ve seen awesome action shots, but your image today has done something I believe is much more challenging: it has helped me (and I’m sure an entire community of Titans fans) start moving beyond our shared disappointment. Thanks. And congratulations.