Weekly Obsession: Take my stairs. Please.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 10:05pm


A recent study utilized Google search terms to provide a look at how each state is perceived.

For Tennessee, those adjectives were “fat,” “stupid” and “humid.”

That’s a little harsh — OK, not the humid part, but the other two.

In fairness to the terse Googlers, it is a fact that Tennessee is one of the nation’s most obese states: With a 31.7 percent obesity rate, the Volunteer State comes in fourth in that ignominious ranking.

But obesity is a problem nationwide, and fighting the epidemic has become a serious public health push.

First lady Michelle Obama encourages healthy eating and reminds us in TV spots to exercise every day. Mayor Karl Dean is probably conducting a walk in the city right now.

Kids are a target demographic in the anti-obesity initiative, and kids have heroes.

The NFL does their part: using their stars and their hours of airtime to promote the Play 60 program, encouraging kids to get an hour’s worth of physical activity daily.

The Titans are, of course, part of this. No doubt the new Jumbotrons — the largest outdoor screens in the league — will use interstitial time to tout the program.

Those Jumbotrons are the centerpiece of the $25 million renovation project at LP Field. That’s what folks will talk about.

But in addition to big, fancy TVs — designed to get people out of their houses and into the stadium and, once there, stuck to their seats — the team also added a dozen elevators — six on each side of the stadium, capable of moving 11,000 fans hourly from the ground to the upper deck.

In other words: For 10 Sundays a year, the Titans are encouraging fans to eschew the stairs. Don’t Play 60, kids. Wait five and enjoy the ride.

The Titans commitment to encouraging physical activity was trumped by too many TV shots of empty seats last season — telltale indicators folks wanted more convenience and more entertainment at the stadium (and maybe, a few more wins). The pocketbook won, as it does so frequently, over the principle.

The walk up the concrete spirals from the box office to Row FF in Section 314 isn’t a lot of fun. It’s taxing; it’s repetitive. In the heat of August and the cold of December, the elements make it that much more exhausting.

In other words: It’s exercise, exactly what the NFL — the Titans included — claim they want their fans to get more of.


5 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 8/29/12 at 6:28

There is still plenty of food available in the United States. If you do not have enough money to enjoy the fruits of life then all that is left is to watch Jerry Springer and eat.

By: Kosh III on 8/29/12 at 10:07

Bread and circuses, what the 1% has always done so well.

By: realitycheck58 on 8/29/12 at 11:28

Really?? Last I checked, nobody is at the games blocking the ramps or holding a gun to fatty fan's head and forcing them to take the elevators. People have a choice. Are you really saying that the Titans are responible for their fan's obesity? What ever happened to personal responsibility? You want to take all choices out of the hands of the people? I suppose "for their own good"? Who decides that? Looks like that red flag you're waiving has a hammer and sickle on it. (Reference to Communism for all you Gen Xers +)

By: i.am.a.taxpayer on 8/30/12 at 7:29

This is such a non-story. Does anyone actually believe that taking some stairs a few times a year will end obesity? There may be ways to do it, but that is not one of them.

By: rufflanding1 on 8/31/12 at 5:46

We walk from downtown parking garage to stadium, .90 mile
We walk back to our car after the game .90 mile
It was 90 degrees yesterday, so after walking almost a mile to get there, you betcha I am going to take the elevator. Besides the fact that I can get to myseat quicker... I imagine that this will increase sales at the stadium, The quicker i can get up to my seat the quicker I can eat and drink and buy anything slapped with a Titan logo!

As for the rest of the year, I will see you on the first treadmill on the right at the Y!