Ferd's Words Fans in Nashville haven’t been this happy in years By Ferd Lewis May 2, 2015 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! ASSOCIATED PRESSMarcus Mariota Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. He is the franchise’s highest NFL Draft pick in 31 years, the bright new face of the downtrodden Tennessee Titans, and all that anyone expects of him is to start the first game and eventually "win some Super Bowls." Pressure? "Not at all," a suit and blue tie-clad Marcus Mariota resolutely told Titans fans at his inaugural press conference Friday in Nashville. Tennessee tighten? "I’m looking forward to this challenge," Mariota insisted. "Pressure, to me, is when you’re not prepared. And, for me, I prepared myself for this moment and I’m looking forward to it." Mariota, the much hoped-for Music City maestro, says he likes that Nashville is "a passionate city about football" and he is seen as the answer to the plaintive cries of its fans the past six months. Some of the same ones who, in early October with the Titans well on the way to what would become a 2-14 record, began the drumbeat for Mariota to be their savior. They called their Twitter campaign "@Suck4theDuck" in the hopes the team would finish so badly as to assure itself of the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and thereby be in a position to scoop up Mariota when he left the University of Oregon. It was a takeoff on the 2012 campaign "Suck for Luck," taken up by fans who wanted their teams to drop low enough to grab Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in the 2012 draft. Inspired by what Luck meant for Indianapolis, fans, some of them in "Suck4theDuck" jerseys at home games, began clamoring for the Titans to lose. "Sacrifice one bad year for 15 great years. Lose this year, pick Mariota and win some Super Bowls later," as "@Suck4theDuck." succinctly put it. The Titans didn’t get the No. 1 pick despite their travails, but they did get Mariota drafting No. 2 and "Mariota Mania" began, according to Nashville TV station WKRN. "It’s really exciting that Marcus is coming to Nashville. It is the first time in a long time we’ve had some star power on our team and the community is ready to rally around him," said Tom Morales. proprietor of Acme Feed & Seed, a popular bar and restaurant in downtown Nashville, who met the quarterback when he was in town earlier this month to work out for the Titans. "He’s a great guy and everyone is excited to welcome him to Nashville." Andrew Putman, who runs Bailey’s Pub & Grille, said, "Everybody’s pretty happy about it. I don’t think we could have done any better than Mariota." But the Titans being the Titans, "I’m surprised we even got the pick in on time. It was a relief we didn’t get (Jameis) Winston," Putman said. Tennessee hasn’t had a winning season in four years, hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2008 and has lost 22 of its past 28 games. In 2014 the Titans averaged a meager 15.8 points per game, ranking 30th among 32 NFL teams. The Titans’ last two first-round quarterback picks weren’t the answer. Vince Young out of Texas was the No. 3 overall pick in 2006 and Jake Locker from Washington was the No. 8 choice in 2011. They started less than half the games of their tenure and neither remains in the NFL. "We need a lot more than Mariota," Putman said. "But he’s a great start." Reach Ferd Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 529-4820. Previous Story Mariota: It is all still surreal. Each and every day that I wake up, I am grateful. Next Story Iosefa looks for spot in NFL as fullback -- 'a dying breed'