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My Story: A Day as the Titans 12th Man

The Predators Defenseman Writes on His Experience as the Titans Pregame Hype Man

by P.K. Subban @PKSubban1 / Nashville Predators Defenseman

I'm a pretty big believer in seizing the moment.

No one remembers the guy who goes out and does an adequate job. It's not a conscious thing for me. But whenever I have the opportunity to bring it, I want to give more than the guy before me.

Hockey. Off-ice stuff. Just life in general.

You only have one shot at most things, so why not give it everything you've got, right?

Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but I think that does an OK job of explaining how I approach most things. That's why, when the Tennessee Titans asked me to pump up the crowd before their game on Sunday, I was going to give them everything I had.

But let me start from the beginning.

We get to the stadium - me and a few of my buddies - around 11 a.m. And I really don't know what to expect. I'm excited to see my boy DeMarco (the Titans running back), but outside of a brief overview of what the Titans' 12th man does, that I got from Walks (our team services guy), I'm wide open to what's coming.

We walk inside the media entrance and down a level to the field. It's an absolutely gorgeous day. Just perfect weather.

We're led through the tunnel and onto the sidelines. I've been on an NFL sideline once before in Chicago at a Cowboys and Bears game, but not onto the actual field like this. Now what I'm going to be doing becomes a little more clear. A Titans guy shows me what they call the "Sword of Honor." The thing's legit. Heavy. Sharp (well, sort of). It's the real deal.

There's going to be a video, an announcement, and then I'll do my thing.

We walk back over to the sidelines, and I'm really starting to feel the energy. This is really cool already. My friends and I are rocking to the music, and even my buddy who's an Indianapolis Colts fan has some Titans gear on and is enjoying himself.

I talk to some cameras from the local news station for a few minutes and meet a lot of people while the clock is ticking down to kickoff. Now that I've seen the setup, I know I'm going to have to go a little outside the box (you saw this coming, didn't you?) to really get the crowd amped.

Video: P.K. Subban pumps up Titans fans as 12th man

This is a huge game. With a win over the Colts, the Titans are in first place in their division.

Just twirling the sword around isn't going to cut it. I ask a Titans official for a Gatorade bottle, and I remove the microphone I'm wearing for a video feature. I have to be 100 percent ready for this.

I tell Walks what I'm going to do, and he just laughs.

Here comes the intro video for me. I can feel my blood pumping. I run out toward midfield and spray the water bottle over my head like a wrestler before a match. I drive the sword into the ground with a yell and then rip my shirt off and spin it around my head. Let's go. Like... let's go. I'm just yelling at this point and the crowd of 70,000 people is just jacked.

What a moment. I got to do the Winter Classic earlier this year at Gillette Stadium when the Canadiens played the Bruins, but that crowd was mostly against us. This one was all united together. DeMarco even comes over after the national anthem and tells me that I did a good job with the sword.

The rest of the day is just a blast. We stay on the sidelines for a few plays and there's a hit on the tight end right in front us. Those collisions are so powerful. Wow.

I guess the other thing that I take away from this day is what simple things can do to make a city closer. I got asked a lot about being a Preds player and helping the Titans out, stuff like that.

I think that's a huge thing to do. It's all about the fans that come out to support both teams and the passion and energy they bring. In return, we as players do our part to join the city together. If I have the opportunity to not only take in some football, but also show my support, then I'm always going to take it.

We're both working to bring a championship to Smashville, and I think we're both going to do it.

So as far as signing off, I'll say what I said yesterday: Titan Up and let's go!

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