Archive for December, 2006

I’ll ride the bus, and you tell us how we can do better

OK, I’ve been a total slacker and haven’t posted anything here in a long time. And it’s really not for lack of interesting material out there: Nashville is hoppin’ with interesting news. But you know what’s been the most relevant Nashville thing on my mind lately? Riding the bus. See, one of my new year’s resolutions, for the sake of conservation and all that, is going to be to start riding the bus to work at least once a week, hopefully more.

Everywhere else I’ve lived (Chicago, the SF Bay Area, and Portland OR) has had pretty good public transportation and I haven’t hesitated to use it. But Nashville MTA is just lacking in so many ways. Routes, schedules, and what’s the deal with not having transfers? Do you have to actually pay separately for each segment of your commute? These are the issues I’m going to have to overcome as I face the new year.

Anyway, you know what would make it more fun? An “overheard”-style feature. So I’m going to try to make note of little exchanges I hear on my travels and post them right here, dear reader.

And since I’m making resolutions right here live before your very eyes, what else can we do better on MetroBlogging? What other features, perhaps, would you look forward to each time you opened our site? What, in short, can we do to make your new year the best it’s ever been? (Sorry, but we probably can’t get you a pony.)

In Depth: Titans Playoff Chances

I really want to see the Titans go to the playoffs. With only one game left, there is a very well defined scenario of what needs to happen for the Titans sneak into the playoffs. Granted, I am pretty happy that there is a scenario left after the 0-5 start of the 2006 season.

So here is what needs to happen [via Sharon Cobb]:

  1. Our Tennessee Titans beat the New England Patriots
  2. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals
  3. The San Fancisco 49ers beat the Denver Broncos
  4. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Jacksonville Jaguars

Simple enough. We can all go to a big sports bar and watch all four games while knowing who to root for. I just wanted to take a minute and look at the changes of each one of these pieces falling into place.

(more…)

High Tech McDonalds

I needed to get a new tire this morning, so I headed over to Best 1 Tire (great folks and service over there). As I was waiting, I moseyed my way down to McDonald’s at the corner of 12th and Broadway for a rare fast food breakfast.

While waiting in line (slow service), I noticed 4 flat screen TVs in the joint. ESPN and CNN were on for the enjoyment of the patrons who chose to dine in. Now that some McDonald’s offer wi-fi, it looks like those places are really getting classy.

That Premium Roast coffee ain’t too bad, either.

Titans Back at .500

The seemingly impossible has happened. The Tennessee Titans, who started the season 0-5, are now at the .500 mark with a record of 7-7. In today’s NFL, that is next to impossible.

Here’s the thing though, after yesterday’s win it felt like a loss. The offense and VY barely had any time on the field and, when they did, it wasn’t all that impressive. The Titan defense, lead by Pacman Jones, managed to capitalize on enough of the Jaguars mistakes, but they just didn’t look good doing it. They were on the field for over two thirds of the game and Jacksonville was wearing them down with first down after first down. Since these “new” Titans have emerged about seven weeks ago, this was by far their worst performance…and yet they won.

Winning the ugly games when the team as a whole is not at their best is what makes a serious playoff contender. The Titans are, in all likelihood, not going to make the playoffs this year, but if they can manage to keep this new found attitude in place through next season, then winning week after week and expecting to go to playoff games at L.P. Field will once again be the norm.

Bridge Town

As I made my way from Music Row to East Nashville last night, I had a chance to enjoy the concrete and steel that allow us to get from one part of town to the other.

Now that the Demonbreun Street Bridge is back open, it makes getting from the Vandy/Music Row area to downtown VERY convenient. I didn’t realize how much I missed this bridge until I was back on it, zipping freely across it without the gridlock that makes Broadway and Church such a pain.

Then I cruised across the Gateway Bridge, or the Korean War Vets Bridge, over the Cumberland and into East Nashville. As I did, I glanced at the pedestrian bridge (the old Shelby Street Bridge) as it was illuminated in the darkness. It’s definitely a bridge that’s easy on the eyes.

Most bridges are boring, but these three tend to be traffic free and are great connectors when you’re hopping around town.

Personally, I’d like to see more covered bridges just for the heck of it. I don’t think anyone’s done a ‘Covered Overpass’ before, but it might be a neat tourist attraction.

Steve McWho?

Vince Young will not always win. He won’t. He will throw interceptions in the 4th quarter. He will fumble. He will get sacked. He will fail.

But not today. Scrambling into the end zone from near midfield is the way the game was supposed to end today. And so it did, and so the Titans won a game they should have. And now, this 6-7 team has three games left to cement a mid-round pick in next year’s draft. We may not win the last three games, but now every game is winnable.

We may not convince the odds makers of that, but Vince Young jukes odds like he does defenses. As long as he is in the game, so is possibility.

What this means for fans is that it’s finally okay to pull those car magnets and giant flags out of the attic again. 60-yard field goals and 39-yard touchdown runs make it once again okay to tell people you are a Titans fan.

Is 8South the new 12South?

Saw an article in this week’s Business Journal about 8South – which is roughly the area from Cannery Row up to the corner of 8th and Division. There is certainly a lot going on there, from favorite night spot Mercy Lounge to the brand new Flyte restaurant. Of course, having the Gulch right around the corner doesn’t hurt, either. I’m just wondering what it will take to really get this area off the ground. What do you MetBloggers think 8South needs to really take hold? What do you like and dislike about it? And has anyone eaten at Flyte that might want to post a review?

MTA speed demons

speed.jpg
I am just gonna throw this out there: Nashville’s MTA buses drive way too fast, and way too poorly. Hell, Newton got hit by a bus this week. Sure, accidents happen. But I’ve seen the buses flying down 1st avenue between Broadway and Demonbreun, and there’s no way they’re going the speed limit. I shudder to think what would happen if a car or a person got in their way. This is especially relevant, now, given the increased level of pedestrian traffic around the new train station.

Thoughts? Am I crazy? Is it just that one stretch of road I’m biased by?

Wow: The Titans Are Back–Almost

As a harsh critic of the Tennessee Titans in the early part of this year, I am more than happy to eat my words right now.

Wins over Philadelphia, New York, and now the Indianapolis Colts have made me a true believer once again.

For two straight Sundays, I have yelled, cheered, and literally jumped up and down with sheer joy at the reemergence of MY team. This is the team I had been missing. This was the team that had disappeared over the last 2 1/2 seasons. These Titans have finally come together.

They may get behind an opponent but, they just keep fighting. They don’t quit or panic. They hold together and, perhaps most importantly, they believe in themselves.

Other NFL fans would probably say, “Why are you so behind a 5-7 team?” The answer is simple: Titans fans have long enjoyed a team that might lose a game, but never quit until the last second was gone. This team is showing us that raw, tough, gritty mindset that we have all been longing for to return.

This season may end up still being a losing one with a 7-9 or 6-10 record, but I believe we have seen the beginnings of something truly special. And for that, I am content.

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