It’s February 14th and love is in the air. In stead of talking about candy, flowers, cards and “50 Shades of Gray” let’s sit back and think about what we love most about sports in the Music City.
Right now,Nashville’s biggest love affair may be with 1st year Predators coach Peter Laviolette. Laviolette has the Preds sitting nicely with 80 points so far this season, good for the top mark in the NHL. The biggest reason Nashville loves their new coach may be his influx of offensive firepower. The Preds are averaging 2.9 goals per game this season after years of struggling to score. As top how long the infatuation with Laviolette lasts, lets see how the post season goes before making any major proclamations, but at the time being Smashville seems to have its man.
But the love affair with the Predators isn’t just with the coach. Three players in particular have set themselves above the rest for a lot of the Nashville faithful. Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne are the Nashville sports fan’s equivalent of the girl/guy who you can always count on to be there for you. Weber looks poised to be a Noriss Trophy finalist again and Rinne still looks to be in consideration for both the Vezina and Roger Crozier awards as well as the Hart Trophy. The newcomer to the party is rookie phenom Filip Forsberg. Forsberg leads the Preds with 50 points and is one of the favorites to win the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.
Moving across the river to LP Field, there hasn’t been much to love with the Titans recently. But that seems poised to change come July with the NFL draft. The love has started off as a mystery as to who the Titans might take. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seemingly set on Jameis Winston, Titans fans are left to fantasize about the other top quarterback in the electric Marcus Mariota or possibly a pass rusher that that could bring back fond memories of Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch. Either way, the Titans are in position to add a great player to their roster.
There are many things to love about Nashville sports. The Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team is the defending National Champions and are poised to make another deep run. The Belmont basketball team may be struggling a bit this season but they have been the model for consistency in recent memory. And the Nashville Sounds have a new stadium on the way. So while you are expressing your feelings to your loved ones today, don’t forget to save a little bit of it for your hometown teams.