Titans love for the 101st
The 101st Airborne Division was featured years ago in a popular miniseries named Band of Brothers. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks adapted a wonderful World War II book by Stephen Ambrose into a fantastic ten-part miniseries. Led by Captain Richard Winters, the soldiers would go from the beaches of Normandy to Hitler’s Eagles Nest. The stories, the battles, the losses, and the camaraderie amongst the men were something special. The 2001 miniseries “touched” so many that it is still watched by many to this day.
Winters’ 101st trained near Currahee. Currahee was an infamous mountain that the soldiers had to run up to the top of. While training nearby, they knew someday they’d have to accomplish the arduous task of running up the mountain within a set time limit, altogether, as a unit. They were aware, of course, that they would head off to war eventually, but the task at hand was Currahee.
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At the beginning of the miniseries, Winters isn’t the commanding officer. David Schwimmer (of Friends fame) played the role of Captain Herbert Sobel. In somewhat classic drill sergeant style, Sobel ran these soldiers “into the ground” and trained them so hard that they became one of the finest units. The strenuous training also built a tight-knit group. They grew together. They bonded. They became strong both mentally and physically. Winters partakes in much of the training but is also a cook. He didn’t approve of Sobel’s style of leadership but he wasn’t in a position to question it either. In time, Winters would get his chance to lead the men and ultimately become someone the men respected and admired.
Coach Mike Mularkey took the Tennessee Titans to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. There they met the 101st and participated in obstacle course both with them and against them. The Titans are loaded with special athletes that can “run like the wind” or “stop on a dime,” but on this day, the 101st shined. They dominated the obstacle course even after giving the Titans a headstart. All of the Titans were quoted as having a wonderful experience.
Coach Mularkey or someone amongst “the Titans brass” had a wonderful idea to partake in this team-building exercise. The Titans won’t be heading off to war anytime soon, but they’ll be involved in their own style of trench battles soon enough. To become a close-knit unit…to become a Band of Brothers, is a wonderful aspiration to have.
Jim Wyatt wrote the great story here, check it out. There are pictures and fun quotes from the players too.