Two Legendary Football Icons Die Days Apart

Houston fans have lost two of the city's football pioneers in just a matter of days. Former Oiler's Coach Bum Phillips Friday died at the age of 90. Today, former Oilers owner Bud Adams died at his home here in Houston, also at 90 years old.

Jim Carola was the Oilers public address announcer at the Astrodome in the “Luv Ya Blue”  hay-day, a period that both Phillips and Adams played big parts in. 

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“A great time in Houston. It was a great time for all the people in this city who were involved with the team emotionally, mentally, whatever. It was just a terrific, terrific ride”  

Adams founded the Houston Oilers in the upstart American Football League. He moved the team to Tennessee after the 1996 season when he couldn’t get the new stadium he wanted in Houston.

M.K. Bower is a sports writer for Culture Map.

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“You know, it’s interesting to see the responses of people, that people had to his death this morning on Twitter, because a lot of people view him through the prism of ‘he took the Oilers away from Houston,’ without realizing he brought the Oilers to Houston in the first place. There would have been no professional football in the city without Bud Adams and his dedication to the sport here while it was in town is beyond approach.”

The Titans in 2000 reached the Super Bowl Adams had spent more than three decades pursuing. His 409 wins were the most of any current NFL owner. There is no word yet on services for Bud Adams.

Bum Phillips died at his ranch in Golaid last Friday, and a memorial service is set for Tuesday evening, October 29th at Lakewood Church.


Houston Matters remembers Bum Phillips and Bud Adams. Plus, Case Keenum got the start for the Houston Texans in their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday.