Titans Owner Bud Adams and The Game That Wasn't Played - 10/22/13
The passing of Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams Monday has me thinking back to when he first announced plans to move the then Houston Oilers to Nashville. It was major news in both cities. Within days of the announcement here, I was on a plane bound for Houston to get reaction from fans there. It was August of 1996, the next game was a preseason affair between the Oilers and the San Diego Chargers. It was the first time I'd been to Houston and to the mammoth Astrodome where the Oilers played their home games.
Bud Adams' push to get the city of Houston to build him a new stadium is really what drove the team into Nashville's arms. That night in Houston, I was geared up to see the game and whether fans would take their anger with Mr. Adams out on his team. I never really got to gauge that because the game was never played.
The Oilers, who had practiced in the Astrodome the day before the game, were now refusing to play because of the condition of the artificial turf. They said it was a matter of player safety and the NFL observer on hand agreed. It was the beginning of the end for the Oilers in Houston.
The Oilers moved to Tennessee after that 1996 season and the rest is history. It's been a great partnership for Nashville. The team hasn't always been a big winner on the field but the Titans have certainly filled the stands. It will be interesting to see what impact Mr. Adams passing has on the front office and in turn the product on the field.
One thing is certain, Houston's loss was Nashville's gain. And although he never lived here, this this city should always have a soft spot for Bud Adams, the man who pulled the trigger on a move that made Nashville a major league city in the eyes of the nation.