I have been known to watch football upon occasion. (I know, rooting for laundry.) Like most sports fans, I root for my hometown team, in this case Houston, and my alma mater team, the Texas Longhorns. (Who are doing very well indeed behind Colt McCoy this year. Thanks for asking.)
Of course the team I used to root for, the Houston Oilers, doesn’t exist anymore. The Oilers were a hard-nose, blue-collar team whose misfortune it was to have their heyday (late 70s/early-80s) during the reign of another hard-nose, blue-collar team in their division, the Pittsburg Steelers, who would win four Superbowls while the Oilers won squat. And the reason the Oilers never won anything, or made it to the Superbowl is (at least we bitter ex-Oilers fans like to think) due to owner Bud Adams.
After firing the winningest coach in team history and trading football legend Earl Campbell to New Orleans for a sack of doorknobs, Bud wasn’t done tormenting Houston football fans. After getting Houston taxpayers to pony up $67 million for upgrades to the Astrodome, Adams turned around and said that wasn’t enough, and Houston had to build a new football stadium for him. Houston told him where he could stick it. So Adams took his team (and carpetbag) away to Tennessee, where they became the Titans. (Or, as we in Texas like to call them, the Tennessee Traitors). The Titans promptly got to the Superbowl…and lost. The old Bud Adams magic was still alive!
In fact, I wrote a little song to celebrate the occasion:
The Ballad of the Tennessee Titans
(to the tune of “The Beverly Hillbillies”)
Come listen to a story about a man named Bud
Orneriest football owner ever chewed a wad of cud
His Houston Oilers were as bad as they could be
So he loaded up the team and moved out to Tennessee
Nashville that is. Country music. Grand Ole Opry.
In their Houston days the Oilers were a disgrace
When they weren’t breakin’ hearts they just stunk up the place
To con the Nashville rubes, Bud had to change his game
So he sucked in his pride, and gave them a new name.
Titans, that is. Evil giants. Greek myth.
Well come Y2K, and they’re in the title game.
Reverting back to form, the Ex-Oilers come up lame.
Hey Bud, the Superbowl just ain’t where you oughta be!
Next season they’ll be back to mediocrity.
Don’t come back now, ya hear?
Not long after this, Houston gets an expansion franchise, the Houston Texans, who proceed to suck much of the decade. (They’re in the same division as the Indianapolis Colts, the Jacksonville jaguars and, yes, the Titans.) However, after ditching the inconsistent David Carr for Matt Schaub, and firing Dom Capers and putting Gary Kubiak in his place as coach, the Texans have been on the upswing. Meanwhile, the Titans went from having the best record in 2008 to starting the season with six straight losses in 2009.
Which brings up to the present, when the Texans will be playing the Titans on Monday Night Football. This is by no means a slam dunk (pardon the mixed-sport metaphors) for the Texans, since the Titans have won three straight after putting former Longhorn Vince Young in as quarterback. (“Hey, our team is winless and we have an inhumanly gifted quarterback sitting on the bench. Do you think we should play him?”)
It should be a great game…and another chance to humiliate Bud Adams. (Once he gets over the sting of that $250,000 fine for, ah, digital manipulation.)
And Nashville? Bud is YOUR problem now. No backsies…