Titans find time for shopping despite demands

Friday, December 21, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 51

We interrupt this football season for Christmas. Or maybe it is the other way around.

No matter which way you view it, the Christmas season makes for adjusting schedules, trying to get the shopping done and spend a little extra time with family – even if you’re an NFL football player.

So, with the Tennessee Titans focused their attention strictly on winning out in the month of December and earning a playoff berth for the second consecutive year, exactly how and when do the players find time to cross off those on Santa’s list that they have to buy for?

Many players who are married have the luxury of handing much of their Christmas shopping list to their wives.

“Honestly, my wife handles most of that, so we should be in pretty good shape,” kicker Ryan Succop points out.

Still, there is some shopping – such as for the wife or significant other – that has to be taken care of by the players themselves. To handle that task, most of the players are savvy enough now that they do the bulk of their own Christmas shopping online.

It makes the challenge of shopping easier, especially when the players’ main focus is on winning their remaining games and trying to reach the playoffs.

“When my wife sends me ideas and stuff, I usually go online, but honestly, the stocking stuffers, I like to get in person,” left tackle Taylor Lewan says.

Receiver Corey Davis says he handles a lot of his shopping online, but he also has the convenience of living near CoolSprings Galleria.

“I’m buying for a lot of people this year, and I’m probably with about half the people I’m going to buy for,” Davis says. “I do it mainly online. But I also live right by the mall, so I go there when I get a little time off and do a little shopping. But mostly on line.”

There is always the chance professional athletes are going to be recognized when they go out in public. But most Titans players say it is not an issue.

Succop, who says he does his shopping in the stores because he prefers to shop the “old-fashioned way,” says the people who recognize him in public are usually very kind.

“I think when your last name is Succop, that’s a little unusual anyway,” he says. “But when people see it, they will say hello, and a lot of times people say some pretty nice stuff. So that’s cool.”

In Nashville, Lewan says, there are plenty of big stars out and about. So people don’t make a big deal of it when they see him in public.

“I think it really depends on the place I’m at,” he says. “To be honest, it could be a problem (some places), but this town has a lot bigger stars than some left tackle for a team.”

Safety Kevin Byard says being recognized in public is just part of the gig – Christmas time or not.

“That’s just regular,” he says. “That’s not like me going Christmas shopping. The Target up the street or Publix, maybe the kid at the cash register recognizes me or something like that, so I’m kind of used to it now.”

One Titan had his shopping options severely curtailed this week. Logan Ryan broke a leg against the Giants on Sunday, ending his season.

So it’s a good thing he’s not a mall shopper.

“I do online, now that Amazon gets things here in like a day,” he says.

Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com