At a downtown event for season-ticket holders during which they handed out awards for the 2016 season, the Tennessee Titans named ALS-stricken Tim Shaw the Most Inspirational Titan on Wednesday night.
“To be called inspirational is actually the most humbling thing that’s ever happened to me,” Shaw said in an unsteady voice. “To me, it’s inspirational when you face something that is not cool, something that scares you, something that can potentially bring you down, and you go right at it. To me that’s inspirational.
“So if that’s what I am doing, you can call me inspirational.”
Moments earlier, Shaw was introduced to thunderous applause and walked to the podium with center Ben Jones. The two then opened the envelope for the award.
“There must be some problem with this,” Shaw said when Jones handed him the opened envelope. “It says Tim Shaw.”
Coach Mike Mularkey, general manager Jon Robinson, controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk and Titans players Brian Orakpo, Delanie Walker, Jurrell Casey, DeMarco Murray, Ryan Succop, Brett Kern and Beau Brinkley joined him on stage and joined the applause from over 5,000 fans.
“You had a large part in what happened in 2016 for this Titans football team,” Mularkey told Shaw. “He came in training camp and had such an impactful message to this football team that he changed a lot of lives.”
A special-teamer and linebacker for the team from 2010 to 2012, Shaw was diagnosed with ALS in 2014. Last summer when the team had a spot on its roster, it re-signed him and kept him on the roster a bit before putting him on the retired list.
Shaw was regularly around the team, speaking to the group a few times and preparing part of a special-teams plan at least once.
Shaw has a book out titled “Blitz Your Life: Stories from an NFL and ALS Warrior.”