A game between two teams struggling to stay on the fringe of the playoff race rarely generates much interest outside the home markets.
That’s not quite the case in one football-crazed Pennsylvania city when the Tennessee Titans visit the Raiders today.
Titans coach Mike Munchak and Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin both hail from Scranton, Pa., a tough town both credit for their football success.
“That area is really big on following their players,” Munchak said. “People get to know athletes really well in all sports. … I’m sure there’s lot of Raiders fans and Titans fans in Scranton.”
Despite being a Hall of Fame player as an offensive lineman in the NFL and a college star at Penn State, Munchak has no illusions about who he believes will have more support in his hometown when the Raiders (4-6) host the Titans (4-6).
“I think he’s taken over,” Munchak said. “You always go with the player rather than the coach, I think.”
McGloin’s father, Paul, said a local trophy maker has made a special victory bell like the one given to the winner of the annual game between Scranton High School and West Scranton High to be presented to the winner Sunday. McGloin’s oldest brother, Paul Jr., is planning to bring the trophy to the game, while most of the rest of McGloin’s family will be watching back home.
“The support is great,” McGloin said. “Obviously back home in Scranton with coach Munchak being the head guy there and us playing them this week there will be a lot of eyes on the TV, a lot of calls and texts and a lot of support back home.”