Frank Wycheck's Legacy of Giving, Grace & Grit

Jan 19, 2024 at 03:40 pm by RMGadmin

By Mike Keith  |  Vice President of Broadcasting, Tennessee Titans

Photography Courtesy of Tennessee Titans

Frank Wycheck is one of the ten most important people in the first twenty-five years of the Tennessee Titans. And not just for the reasons that you might think.


Before the team had ever played a snap in this state in 1997, Frank became the organization’s #1 go-to guy in the Nashville community. He spoke at banquets, appeared at ticketing events, and did every single media appearance possible. It was too much to ask of one player, but Frank Wycheck did it, and he did it all. Frank’s efforts to give a face and a personality to the Tennessee Oilers were unmatched and vitally important.


That off-the-field work laid the foundation for the amazing response to Frank’s spectacular on-field play. Sixty-plus catches and 600-plus yards receiving in five straight seasons. Three Pro Bowls. Clutch play after clutch play. And of-course, that throw on the Music City Miracle. Frank’s remarkable athleticism allowed him to run right, leap into the air and accurately throw a pass to his left over thirty yards. Just crazy. That backwards pass made him forever famous in NFL lore and Frank liked that. It would always give him a chance to remind you he had a perfect 158.3 career passer rating!


Frank played the game with a chip on his shoulder. After being cut by Washington in 1995, he feared being cut every season. That fear always fueled him. So did his Philadelphia roots. And you heard those roots when he moved to a career in radio.


Because you never had to ask Frank Wycheck for his opinion. Ever. If something bothered Frank, he was happy to tell you.


And his takes were of the “shoot first, ask questions later” variety.


That’s why his morning show on 104.5 the Zone in Nashville was so much fun to listen to. This was “Frankie.” This was also the guy that you got for twelve years on Titans Radio. As his late broadcast partner Mark Howard used to say, “If I said what Frankie said, I’d be fired. But because it’s Frankie, no one cares.” And Mark was right because Frank was so much fun.


Frank Wycheck’s very best quality can only be described as a very special sweetness. He loved very deeply -— his daughters, his family and a close circle of friends that came from many places in his life. But that sweetness also came out when he would encounter, to borrow images from the Gospel of Matthew, “the least, the last, and the lost.” Frank Wycheck gave of himself fully in these moments and created lasting memories for people who needed them the most. If you had the pleasure to witness one, you were blessed to see Frank Wycheck’s sweetness.


When we lost Frank Wycheck on December 9th, the first thoughts went to his family, especially the ones that we came to know best, his daughters and his brother Teddy. And in this heartbreaking moment, we hope that they will remember how many people loved Frank Wycheck. For whatever role that he played in their lives — even if they didn’t know him personally- — think about the hundreds of thousands of people that loved him.


I hope that Frank Wycheck knew that, too. I am certain that he knows that now.