'I couldn't believe what I was seeing!': Titans gift Super Bowl tickets to teen previously in foster care

Titans surprise
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-23 21:14:41-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — One teen can name so many reasons he truly appreciates everything he has. He's called a recent surprise part of the best day of his life. It's a story about good days, hard days, and being grateful.

Getting to hang out at the Titans Practice Facility, high school senior Max Roman understands — more than most — the ups and downs life can bring.

"It's just crazy to think everything that's happened has happened," said Max.

At 14, Max was placed into foster care, while workers with Youth Villages looked to put him in a new home.

"I didn't know what my hope was in foster care," Max said. "I was lost. I didn't know where I wanted to go."

A year ago, Max ended up at the home of the Richardsons in Hohenwald. The family had fostered about ten children over the last six years. It was here Max found he had something in common with the dad of the family, Kevin.

"Been a big Titans fan for a long time," Kevin smiled. "If we're not at the game, we try to watch."

"Sometimes I get super into it," Max laughed. "Sometimes I get too into it. Lemme tell you. Kevin, he gets serious too, man."

The Richardsons made the decision to take full guardianship of Max.

"It just felt like home again," Max said. "It felt like everything was relieved. Everything was going to be okay."

Then, Youth Villages and the Titans made a plan together.

Max thought he was just at the practice facility for a tour.

"I didn't know anything, basically," Max remembered. "We get down to the locker room. I was just like, 'oh, dang. This is awesome.' I just see my name on the back of a jersey, and I just freak out. No way. They're like, 'we've got one more surprise for you.' I'm like, 'oh, it can't be better than this. I just got this jersey.' They're like, 'we've got Austin Hooper.' I'm like 'Austin Hooper?!' I couldn't believe what I was seeing!"

"I've got some Super Bowl tickets for ya, man," Hooper told Max. "You and your dad. They're yours, man."

"Dude. Are you for real?" Max said.

"Enjoy, brother," Hooper told him.

"It's probably gotta be the greatest day of my life and all," said Max.

After a day this grand, another hard day was soon to follow.

"Everybody made it out safe, I'm thankful for that," said Kevin. "When you lose everything you had, everything you worked for all your life in 30 minutes, it's tough."

The Richardsons' house burned after a fire ignited from a heat lamp on the back porch.

"Just to see the heartbreak of my family, I'm just helpless because there was nothing I could do," Kevin continued.

"I lost everything I had," said Max.

"All the stuff the Titans had gave him was gone," Kevin added.

The team is getting new stuff for Max. The family is rebuilding at the same spot. With these ups and downs, Kevin and Max are about to go up for the very best reason. Going to the Super Bowl in just a few weeks will mean they'll both be on their very first flight.

"I think both him and me are a bit nervous about that," Kevin laughed.

"It's good to know that even after your lowest lows, there's still a chance for whatever you have a dream for," said Max.

For more on Youth Villages, visit here.

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