NASHVILLE — Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger was the victim of a sucker punch during an incident over the weekend at a popular Nashville nightspot, according to its owner.
Steve Ford, owner of Losers Most Wanted Bar & Grill, said Mettenberger did nothing to provoke another bar patron, but the 6-5, 224-pound quarterback ended up getting punched in the face. He did not require medical attention.
"Here's the truth: The guy said something about 'Roll Tide!' to Zach, and Zach turned around and said 'Good luck with that,' " Ford said on Monday. "And the guy's buddy then sucker-punched Zach.
"I promise you that Mettenberger did not throw a punch. He didn't do anything. The guy sucker-punched him in the eye, that's the bottom line, and the guy that punched him started running out the door. My door guys had to chase him down."
The Titans declined comment on Monday.
Mettenberger, a former LSU player, was a sixth-round pick in May. Alabama has beaten LSU three straight times in football, including the 2012 BCS National Championship Game. LSU defeated Alabama earlier that season.
Mettenberger played in five games with no starts in 2011 before taking over as the full-time starter in 2012.
On Sunday night, Mettenberger cleared up a fan message-board rumor that indicated he'd broken his hand in an incident at a local bar.
"Bogus rumor," Mettenberger said in a direct message via Twitter.
Ford, who owns eight bars in Nashville, said Mettenberger and Titans first-round pick Taylor Lewan have visited Losers and they have "never done anything wrong." Lewan posted on Twitter on Saturday that he was also at Loser's.
Don Aaron, spokesman for the Nashville Metro Police Department, said there were no incident reports for Losers over the weekend. Ford said the "door guys" at the bar chased down the alleged puncher, but neither the bar nor Mettenberger plans to press charges.
"It is what it is and it's over. No one is pressing charges," Ford said. "It shouldn't have happened to begin with. The guy said 'Roll Tide.' He tried to provoke him. But Zach did not throw one punch, period. I was standing right next to him.
"I know in 15 years being in the bar business, I know that everyone is trying to provoke someone who is a moving billboard. I don't care if they are country music, a rapper, football players or whatever. Everybody is trying to push somebody's buttons. It is a lawsuit jungle out there."
Mettenberger and the rest of his Titans teammates are scheduled to report for training camp on Friday.
Wyatt writes for The (Nashville) Tennessean