NASHVILLE – Titans fan Brandon Galloway walked into Nissan Stadium late last month, and what followed seemed surreal.
On this day, there was no football game.
Instead, Galloway got his own private tour of the stadium before watching a video of several prominent Titans congratulating him for being among the finalists for the NFL ‘Fan of the Year’ award.
Then came the bombshell: Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk letting Galloway know he’d won the whole thing.
“When they told me, I was at a loss for words,” Galloway said. “It is just an amazing honor, and it puts a positive spotlight on our city and on our fan base, despite everything Nashville has been through, with tornadoes, a bomb downtown, Covid. This is something positive hopefully we can all embrace. I am really grateful to represent the Titans and our fan base.”
Galloway, 33, was officially announced as the winner as part of the NFL Honors show on Saturday night.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) February 7, 2021
This inaugural program was designed to “spotlight fans who have a special affinity for their local team, provide inspiration to others and showcase how football unites their family, friends and local communities.” Earlier, Galloway found out he’d been chosen among three finalists.
He’d kept his secret quiet until Saturday night, despite being blown away by the way he found out.
“Watching that video, just to have those people know my name, it is crazy in itself,” Galloway said. “The kind words from everybody, from Jon Robinson to Mike Vrabel to Amy, and Taylor Lewan spoke, too. It meant everything to me. What I do, I don’t look for any recognition or anything like that, but just to know that people do appreciate it, and are willing to publicly voice their appreciation, it is very humbling to hear.”
Galloway, you see, is more than just a ‘Super Fan.”
He’s a difference-maker in the community, and in the lives of young men.
A supervisor in the Tennessee Department of Children’s services, Galloway has been mentoring kids in his spare time since he was just a kid himself. In reality, it’s been a blessing for him.
Born in Memphis, it started when Galloway became a t-ball coach around the age of 13. And it hasn’t stopped since, even after he made the move to Middle Tennessee in 2014. Galloway, who resides in Clarksville today, is a Titans season ticket holder who regularly takes some of his mentees to Titans games.
Over the years he’s also taken them to the movies, to church, bible study, bowling alleys, amusement parks, and more.
Tanario Razor first met Galloway when he was seven years old, and Galloway was around 13 or 14 years of age.
Congratulations 🏆 » https://t.co/ukImYow1ZW
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) February 7, 2021
“The area I grew up in was a bad neighborhood in Memphis,” Razor said, “and Brandon would always get me and take me out and show me there’s other things in life. He’d take me to the movies, we’d go out to eat, go to games.”
Now 26 and with a wife and child of his own, Razor said Galloway “he has been in my life ever since.”
“I know for a fact my life would be different if I hadn’t met Brandon,” Razor said. “Things that would be small to somebody else, it meant the world to me because I wouldn’t have been able to do any of that without him. … He’s awesome.”
Galloway said he grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Memphis himself, without many luxuries. He never knew his biological father, and his mom did her best to help the family get by.
When he’d visit one of his uncles, Frank Galloway Jr., he took him to places like Washington, D.C., and New York City. It opened his eyes up to a bigger world, and it made him decide he wanted to do the same for others.
In his job in the child welfare field, Galloway works with kids in foster care, trying to get them back home to a family.
But for 20 years, he’s been reaching out to young men to provide guidance, and support. He’s known some of them for decades now, back when they grew up with gang activity in their neighborhoods.
— Nissan Stadium (@NissanStadium) February 7, 2021
“I guess I was always willing to do whatever I could,” Galloway said. “I’d rather them be with me on hanging out in the streets.”
Taking them to Titans games has been a big treat for many of them.
Galloway, who became a Titans fan during the Super Bowl season in 1999, said he went to his first Titans game in 2009, and “I had the time of my life.”
“They love it,” Galloway said. “Their eyes light up like a Christmas tree when they walk into those games.”
It’s all part of a rewarding experience.
“It may not manifest until later,” Galloway said, “but to be able to see them grow and become men, and have families of their own, and finding their way through life, it is an amazing feeling. It is very rewarding.”
Galloway found something else during his visit to Nissan Stadium that day.
As a prize from the team, the Titans informed him they’re comping his season tickets next season and giving him two extra season tickets so he can bring more of his mentees to games.
On Sunday, Galloway will be at Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl LV with his wife, Celeste.
The NFL awarded the three ‘Fans of the Year’ finalists with a trip to the Super Bowl, inclusive of two tickets plus a VIP experience. The NFL accepted 35,000 admissions as part of the “Fan of the Year” program, before Galloway was ultimately selected.
“Nothing would be better than the Titans being in it,” Galloway said. “But Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, I can roll with that as well.
“This whole experience has been amazing. It’s almost hard to believe it’s really happening.”
Memphis made. Tennessee tough. Titan 4 life. To God be the glory. Thank you so much to the #Titans Organization for sharing my story to the World. This means everything. #TitansNation, best fans in the World, this is for you! #NFL #FanOfTheYear ⚔️⚔️ #SuperBowl https://t.co/WBWtPZVPg3
— Brandon Galloway (@bg901) February 7, 2021