Fisher softball game over: Ex-Titans’ boss to stick around
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 5:24 pm
By: By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — The softball game was billed as Jeff Fisher’s “Final Farewell,” but the former Tennessee Titans’ coach isn’t set to leave Nashville anytime soon.
“Regardless of what happens in the future, I’m going to continue with my role in the community. I’m gong to keep a home here. I just wanted to continue with it,” Fisher said of the game. “It’s a great opportunity for No. 1 to see current players and No. 2 the former players and then of course just to benefit all the charities.”
Fisher left his job with the Titans in late January after 16 full seasons as head coach in a stunning move at the time. The Titans replaced Fisher by promoting his offensive line coach, Mike Munchak.
But plans already had been in the works for his annual celebrity softball game, and the 11th game served a dual purpose Saturday night. Fisher helped to raise more money for local charities, while giving fans the chance at a proper send-off for the man who had been the face of the local NFL franchise for so many years.
“You have to do things in advance so we committed to it,” Fisher said. “When things went the way they did in January, it was obvious to me I wanted to continue with it. We’re really looking forward to this. It’s a great event. What’s important here is the charities.”
The softball game at Greer Stadium benefitted the Wounded Warrior’s Project, the Nashville Children’s Alliance and Mercy Ministries among others. Fisher said three of the four men from the Wounded Warrior’s Project that he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with in May attended, while 500 tickets were provided to families from Fort Campbell.
Former players taking part included Eddie George, Frank Wycheck, Brad Hopkins and Kevin Dyson along with current players including Derrick Mason, Kerry Collins, Pro Bowl returner Marc Mariani, Dave Ball, Cortland Finnegan and Michael Roos.
Fisher knew the night would be emotional.
“What you miss is the players, and that’s what’s important because it’s the players, it’s the personalities, it’s their hearts,” Fisher said. “This is a chance for fans to come out and see them in a really relaxed environment and just kind of enjoy the moment. We’re hoping people come out to see it, and we’re hoping we can raise a lot of money for all these charities.”
Fisher is expected to have his pick of jobs when he wants to return to coaching. He remains a nonvoting adviser to the NFL’s competition committee but said he isn’t thinking of his next job now.
“That’s going to be a January thing. That’s next year. I don’t think much about it. I don’t pay much attention to it,” Fisher said of the NFL.
For now he’s enjoying being able to rest and do whatever he wants after either playing or coaching football the past 25 years. Hunting and fishing and watching his youngest son play for Auburn this fall are in his plans.
“First time I’ve had a spring, a summer, a fall. I’ve not seen Montana in the fall, so I’m going to do a lot of that stuff,” Fisher said.