It’s Time For The Titans To Give Houston Back The Oilers

On Dec. 15, 1996 the Oilers played their final game in Houston. The game was played at the Astrodome in front of 15,000 fans with the majority of former Oilers fans logo ago giving up on the team they loved. Bud Adams packed up his team and broke up one of the more instense love affairs a city ever had with its sports team.

How It Happened

By the late 80s, the once cutting edge and iconic Astrodome was falling apart and really not for professional football. Bud Adams, decided it was time for a upgrade to the formally Eighth Wonder of The World. He went to the city of a Houston with an Ultimatum that he would take his team to Jacksonville unless the City of Houston paid for the necessary renovations tot he Astrodome. The city would eventually oblige and fork over the cash to pay for the $67 million in renovations that included luxury suites and the addition of 10,000 seats. A few years later in 1994 the Rams would move to St, Louis with a sweetheart of a stadium deal. Bud, seeing this, once again knew the Oilers home would need another upgrade. This time he proposed a multi-use stadium in downtown Houston that would be the home for not only the Oilers, but also the Rockets and any potential NHL team that may move to Houston in the future. This would not be. Houston and Bud Adams relationship had already soured and following the 1995 season the Oilers announced their move to Nashville in 1998 and actually leaving following the 1996 season after the City and their fans stopped coming to games.

The Move

After fans stopped coming to the games the Oilers had no choice, but to move sooner than planned. Playing their last two seasons as the Tennessee Oilers in Memphis in 1997 and Nashville in 1998, before finally becoming the Titans and moving into their new stadium in 1999. With them in this move was the entire Houston Oilers History. Their records, their logos and uniforms, their players. Houston and their AFL/NFL legacy was no more. The Titans had the records and the Oilers name was officially retired. Even retiring Warren moon’s number at a Titans Game in 2006. A team he never played for.

Time To Give Them Back

The Titans have clearly moved on from their Oilers history. They have not really acknowledged their Oilers history in at least ten years when they wore Oilers Throwbacks for the AFL 50th Anniversary season. The Titans should have never taken them in the first place. The Browns, through legal settlement were able to keep their trademarks and records when the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996. Eventually seeing the field again as an expansion franchise in 1999. This would not be the case for the Oilers. After the transition to the the Oilers, the NFL agreed to retire the brand. When I bring this up a lot of people, mostly Titans fans, say “get over it’. well, for the sake of the original Oilers fans, no one should get over this. The Oilers entire legacy was stolen and then mothballed for no real reason. With Bud Adams gone, Amy Adams strunk should do what is right and award the Oilers history, logos and uniforms back to the City. Many will say that will never happen, but there is precedent with the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA.

The Hornets Return To Charlotte

In 2002 the Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans, where they became the New Orleans Hornets. Charlotte would be back in the NBA two years later with the Bobcats expansion franchise. In 2013, as new Owner, Tom Benson decided he wanted to change the name of his New Orleans Franchise to something more local. They would eventually change to the New Orleans Pelicans and with the Hornets name now free (and owned by the NBA), Charlotte Team Owner Michael Jordan got anonymous approval to return as the Charlotte Hornets with all of their records and history.

The Oilers Return To Houston

Using the Hornets precedent, the Titans could agree to return all of the records and Oilers team name and logos back to Houston. The Texans then would have the option to either completely re-brand or at least have the option to wear the Oilers uniforms as Throwbacks and sell Oilers merchandise. It is a perfect scenario for all sides. Annoyed Titans fans won’t have to hear about how they stole the Oilers. Houston Gets the Oilers back and the Texans have the possibility of a new revenue stream and hopefully a switch to a way better color scheme and logo. Everyone wins.