Frank Wycheck caught a lot of passes in his career, but it is one throw that lingers in the memories of most.
Not that he ever would forget, but the tight end is reminded almost weekly of his role in the Music City Miracle, the play that powered the Tennessee Titans’ march to Super Bowl XXXIV.
“It comes a about once a week,” he said. “It’s been more since the [44-41 overtime] victory over the Lions when they dusted off the old home run throwback.”
The news that Wycheck will be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame next May guarantees that he won’t be remembered for just that one unforgettable moment in the 1999 wild card playoff victory over the Buffalo Bills.
He was named a part of the 2013 class while on-air during the pregame show Sept. 23, when the Titans defeated the Detroit Lions.
The rest of the class was announced Tuesday at the Hall’s annual fund-raising golf tournament and included: Belmont basketball coach Rick Byrd, Ermal G. Allen (posthumous), Bob Bell (posthumous), Leonard Hamilton, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Kelly Holcomb, Chris Jones, John Ed Miller (Lifetime Achievement), Larry Seiver and Trey Teague.
“As someone who has lived and coached in the state of Tennessee my whole life, and can’t begin to put into words how honored I am by this,” Byrd said in a statement from the university. “This is a simply reflection of what many Belmont players accomplished on the floor. I would like to thank everyone involved with the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and congratulate the Class of 2013.”
Byrd is the second Belmont athletics department staffer added to the hall. Former women’s basketball coach and current senior woman administrator Betty Wiseman was a part of the 2004 class.
Wycheck is the first Titans player to be added.
He retired in 2003 as the franchise’s third all-time leading receiver with 482 catches for 4,958 yards and 27 touchdowns. The bulk of those receptions came after the Houston Oilers relocated to Tennessee and helped make him one of the first stars of Middle Tennessee’s professional sports era. Additionally, he completed five of six pass attempts — not counting the Music City Miracle throw — for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
“I’m really honored by it, but I think there are some other guys who should go in ahead of me,” he said. “I’m proud of my career and of what we did as a team through the uncertainty of moving here from Houston and all the things we dealt with in that.”
In the time since his playing days he has become a co-host on a popular sports talk radio show and color analyst on Titans’ radio broadcasts.
The 40-year-old (he’ll turn 41 in October) says he already is enshrined in the halls of fame of his high school and Pee Wee football league in Philadelphia, where he was raised. He also has been on the ballot for Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration.
He was surprised with the news of this latest honor on air prior to the victory over the Lions, a game that included Darius Reynaud’s lateral to Tommie Campbell, which resulted in a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown.
“They started talking about the hall of fame, and I thought that was weird,” he said. “Then they said I was going in. I didn’t know what to say.”