Bum Phillips, who was 90 when he died Friday at his ranch in Goliad, was one of the city’s most popular sports figures ever. He guided the Oilers and fans through the “Luv Ya Blue” era, a high point for pro football in Houston. Meanwhile, Bud Adams, who was also 90 when he was found dead at his Houston home Monday, will be known for moving the Oilers to Tennessee after the 1996 season.
Dale Robertson covered both men as a sports reporter for the Houston Chronicle.
“Bum Phillips is the consummate icon, without question. He’s in a class by himself followed closely by the likes of Earl Campbell and Hakeem Olajuwon. Bum was Bum and there’s not much else to be said about that. Again, most people in Houston, Texas will remember Bud Adams for two things; firing Bum Phillips and then of course moving the Oilers.”
Robertson says despite moving the Oilers to Tennessee, Adams was a pretty good NFL owner and stayed in Houston after the move. He was also instrumental behind the scenes in making sure Houston got another team a few years later.
“Bud Adams, late in life, was a man of quiet dignity and kept to himself did all the things that an owner is supposed to do, but a few too many bridges burned in Houston for him to ever be remembered fondly here.”
There’s no word yet on services for Adams. A memorial service for Bum Phillips is planned for Tuesday, October 29th at 7:30 p.m. at Lakewood Church. The public is invited to attend.