Tag Archives: Houston Oilers

You go, Marcus and the Titans!

There once was a time when I despised the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League.

You see, they once were known as the Houston Oilers. Then the Oilers’ owner, Bud Adams, decided he wanted a nicer place to play his home football games. The Astrodome — the former Eighth Wonder of the World — wasn’t good enough for him, so he packed his team up and moved to Nashville.

I lived with my family for 11 years in Beaumont and I became a fairly diehard Oilers fan. I hated the Titans for quite some time.

Then they did something rather cool. The Titans drafted a young quarterback out of the University of Oregon. Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy playing QB for the Ducks, which happen to be my favorite college football team; I am a native of Oregon, which you might already know.

With that draft pick, the Titans elevated themselves from the hated to the revered. Just … like … that.

Last night, I watched Mariota perform some gridiron magic that made me proud to call this former Duck one of my homeys.

The Titans trailed the Kansas City Chiefs by 21-3 at halftime of their American Football Conference wild card playoff game. The teams took the field in the second half and Mariota then demonstrated why he is considered the Titans’ “franchise quarterback.”

From from the Chiefs’ 6-yard line, Mariota tossed a pass, which got deflected and caught the pass himself — and then he dived into the end zone for another touchdown. Mariota to Mariota! Then he fired a 22-yard touchdown pass.

Late in the game, Mariota handed the ball off to another Heisman winner, Derrick Henry, who scampered around the left end — and got a decisive block from none other than … Marcus Mariota. Quarterbacks don’t usually throw their bodies at defensive players, let alone brutish linebackers.

The Titans won the football game 22-21.

I am a happy Titans fan today.

Well done, Marcus. You made this native Oregonian might proud.

Ol’ Bum would love it here today


Today is the kind of day on the Texas High Plains that would make Bum Phillips proud.

The late, great Texas football coach said a lot of things about life in his home state. He once, for instance, might have told a TV reporter after coaching his Houston Oilers to a win in Buffalo — late in the NFL .season when the weather in upstate New York was at its worst, with wind chills in the minus double-digits, snow, wind and sleet — that the folks there ain’t seen cold.

“I used to coach football in Amarillo, Texas,” legend has it he said on national TV.

Well, coach, today is your kinda day.

It’s about 10 degrees. Wind chill puts the temp at something south of zero. It is, shall we say, a bracing kind of day.

I also am reminded of something one of my sons once told me. It was during his first winter in Amarillo. I’m trying to recall if he said it the day he moved from Huntsville, in the southeastern part of Texas, to Amarillo after graduating from Sam Houston State University.

Whatever. It got so cold that day in 1995 that my son moaned, “Dad, I can’t feel my face!”

Yep, this is his day, too.

Hey, and just think: The winter solstice is still five days away!

Man … it’s still cold out there!


I posted this blog item once — on Dec. 8, 2009 — but I feel compelled to share it again today.

It’s an anecdotal story about a legendary football coach and his experiences in the Texas Panhandle.

Here it is:


Today’s weather reminds me of a story I’ve been telling for years. It involves the legendary football coach O.A. “Bum” Phillips and it’s gotten great laughs from those who have heard it.

I have not verified its complete accuracy. But it sounds sufficiently true. Thus, I believe it to be so — and so do others who have heard it. The story goes like this:
Many years ago, when Bum was coaching the Houston Oilers, he took his team to Buffalo to play the Bills. It was late in the season. Winters in Buffalo can be, well, bracing. The Oilers and Bills played that day in one of those classic winter weather events on the shore of Lake Erie: heavy snow, wind, sleet, rain, temperature well below zero.
The Oilers won the nationally televised game. As the teams were leaving the field, a TV sideline reporter and cameraman approached Bum and asked him, “Well, Coach, how did you like coaching in this cold weather?”
Bum responded: “Cold? This ain’t cold! Why, shoot, I used to coach in Amarillo, Texas!”