Time to Start Considering Mike Fisher Among Nashville’s Greatest Sports Figures
Nashville is still a relatively young professional sports market. The Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans came to town in 1998 (The Titans after a season played in Memphis). The Vanderbilt Commodores represent the SEC in Nashville. Brandt Snedeker is the hometown hero in the golf world.
Sure, we have the Iroquois Steeplechase and the Music City Bowl. We have the AAA Nashville Sounds, and there’s been rumblings of a professional soccer team coming to town, too. If you’re old enough, you remember the institutions that were the Nashville Dixie Flyers or the Nashville Knights. And, of course, we can’t forget the Nashville Kats.
Jackie Fargo and Tojo Yamamoto spilled blood all over town, and the foundation of Nashville pro wrestling that these two laid was expanded upon by Jeff Jarrett, and the birth of Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA).
But, even with such an active, surprisingly rich, sports landscape, there aren’t many figures in Nashville sports history that stand out as true legends. When the question arises, people usually default to either Eddie George or Steve McNair. Jeff Fisher still pops up in this discussion on occasion, too.
Pekka Rinne’s play on this magical playoff run has put him ahead of Shea Weber in Nashville sports mythos, but the two are arguably the two most beloved Preds in the franchise’s history.
There’s Commodores Jay Cutler and David Price, Snedeker, and how could we not mention “The Bulgarian Brute” Rusev of the WWE? But, for the most part, it’s an undertow of Titans: Frank Wycheck, Keith Bulluck, Jevon Kearse, Samari Rolle, Chris Johnson, Cortland Finnegan, etc.. And, Predators: Barry Trotz, Jordin Tootoo, David Legwand, (the now jilted) Ryan Suter, etc…
Today, I’d like to propose the addition of Mike Fisher to the upper echelon of Nashville sports figures.
Fisher joined the Predators in February of 2011 by way of the Ottawa Senators. He’s played over 1,000 games in the NHL, with 543 points (258 goals) to show for it. The NHL awarded him with the NHL Foundation Player Award – given to the individual who “applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community.”
But, it’s not necessarily his stats and impact on the game of hockey that bonds him so tightly to the city of Nashville.
The man has an uncanny work ethic and silent dedication to his craft and winning hockey. Look at what he’s doing in this series as an example. Everyone’s talking about Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg scoring and Rinne stopping shots, but Fisher’s contributions have been quietly immense. He’s winning faceoffs, he’s hitting, he’s agitating, he’s defending – the guy is doing the grunt work.
That’s relatable to a lot of Tennesseans. It’s that blue collar, “roll up your sleeves and go to work” attitude that a lot of our city has.
But, Fisher has also demonstrated a strong sense of community.Fisher donates a lot of time and money to making Nashville better. The work he’s done for the city’s homeless and youth is immeasurable. Plus, some of the stories you hear about the guy are utterly amazing considering the landscape of the modern pro athlete. He sticks around shaking hands and eating lunch with the guys at celebrity golf tournaments. I’ve heard from friends who have run into him out and about town that he’s a genuinely nice and caring guy.
His teammates love him – he earned the captainship this season for good reason. The young guys look to him as an example of how to live on and off the ice.
All of this…man, that’s Nashville – work hard, play hard, take of the people around you. And, no matter how you slice it, Fisher is one of our own now. I’d say he’s earned his keep among Nashville’s greats.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. A strong advocate of GSD (get shit done) and #BeBetter, he’s down to talk Tennessee Titans and Alabama Crimson Tide football over a beer any day. Check him out covering the WWE for WrestlingNews.co. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley, @WrestlingNewsCo