A few weeks ago my wife was at trivia with her friend and she sent me a text. “Which NFL team has a raccoon mascot?” I answered immediately with “The Titans, his name is T-Rac“, because I’m the kind of person with this kind of pointless information on neuron speed dial. She got mad at me for the speed and ease in which I recalled this information because it seemed like it would be common knowledge. But it shouldn’t be, and I understand why she didn’t know it. There is no NFL team named The Raccoons, and raccoons don’t have anything to do with Greek gods. Why would anyone outside of Nashville know this?

I’ll tell you why I remember it. It’s precisely because it didn’t make any sense when I first learned it. I wrote an article for KissingSuzyKolber probably a decade ago where I ranked all the NFL mascots by how creepy they are so at one point I had to learn all their names. Uproxx wiped KSK from the face of the internet but if you are curious who was number 1, it was Boltman. But I remembered coming across the Titans mascot and being confused. Why is he a raccoon?

Well, a quick google search will tell you the boring answer: Raccoons are the “state animal”. So if that’s all you were looking for, there you go. T-Rac debuted with the Titans name in 1999 (a reminder they were still the Oilers for two years before moving into Nashville). Using a raccoon is honestly kind of a disappointment. You named your team after legendary Greek gods. Having your mascot be a nasty rabid trash beast that you’ll mistake for a cat when going for a stroll at night near a dumpster is a step down. Feels like a mighty Greek warrior would have been a cool mascot. Like much about the Titans franchise, T-Rac feels like a missed opportunity and a safe choice.

So instead of that boring corporate answer I have invented my own headcanon. The Titans chose a raccoon because he looks like a cute little burglar to represent how they stole the team from Houston. The one thing that isn’t boring about the Titans franchise is how spiteful they like to be to their former host city. They stole the team, they act like cops when it comes to the light blue they use from the old Oilers team, and they wear the Oilers throwbacks AGAINST Houston (that’s absolute top-shelf little stinker behavior). Bud Adams was a messy bitch so this little piece of Draw Play fanfiction doesn’t even seem that out of character.

Side note, looking up the history of the Titans led me to this article that detailed the other options for the original name change. Titans is a meh name overall, not bad but not special either, but it looks far better when compared to the options it was up against:

Vipers – Eh, snakes are cool enough I guess.
Pioneers – Would have a synergy fit with the Tenessee Volunteers, I wouldn’t hate this choice but it’s not inspiring
Fury – This sounds like the name of a WNBA team
Wolves – Well, then T-Rac would have been a wolf, so that would have been neat.
Tradition – First off: lmao. Secondly: the nerve to call a team that had only existed in the state for 2 years “The Tennessee Tradition”.
Presidents – Why
Commanders – LMAO
Tornados – Honestly not bad. Weather names are cool. But Tennessee isn’t really known for Tornados, that’s Oklahoma’s brand. Oklahoma would be very upset about it. It’s all they have, outside the Oklahoma City bombing, the Tulsa race riots, and the stupid long panhandle shape. Let Oklahoma have this.

The Titans picked the best name out of that bunch. The alliteration with the letter T, the quality Greek imagery, Titans isn’t that bad in consideration. Although think of the jokes we could have made if they actually went with Tradition. Would have been monumental.

This has been your annual offseason comic about the existence of the Tennessee Titans.