How will Bud Adams be remembered?

How will Bud Adams be remembered?
October 23, 2013, 11:30 am
Share This Post
(Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports Images)

It’s not a referendum on literal or figurative good vs. evil, but over the next week the hearts and minds of Houston area football fans will clearly be on display as two of the city’s icons of the sport are laid to rest.

Bum Phillips, the head coach of the Luv ya Blue era Oilers died Friday, and while he’ll have a private burial on his ranch in Goliad there will be a public memorial at Lakewood Church next week.

Monday, the man that hired and fired Phillips, Oilers founder and Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams, also died. A vilified personality in Houston for years before he moved the Oilers to Tennessee, it goes without mentioning that any public service will not require a space as large as Lakewood to handle the crowd.

The list of things Bud did for Houston football is a long one, but no matter what he did for the city it will be what he did to the city and its fans that will earn Adams scorn during a time that people are more willing to look past the bad and focus on the good.

Adams fired Bum, traded Earl, ripped out the soul of the Astrodome by threatening to leave Houston if the scoreboard wasn’t torn down and additional seats (and suites) put in its place, then left city anyway when he was refused a new stadium to replace the Astrodome less than a decade after he let Harris County gave in to his original demand, footing the bill for renovating it. A bill that the county is still paying more than 15 years after he left for Tennessee.

When Bud left for Tennessee he insisted on taking the Oilers legacy with him. The Titans’ ring of honor reads like a history lesson in Houston football. George Blanda, Kenny Houston, Earl Campbell, Elvin Bethea? Utterly meaningless in Nashville but treasured here in Houston.  

At least when Art Modell took the Browns from Cleveland he left the history with the city instead of bringing it to Baltimore.

The Texans, for their part, have embraced the great players from the Oilers days in Houston but it’s not the same. Minute Maid Park has banners of Jose Cruz, Jimmy Wynn and Cesar Cedeno on the concourse retired numbers on the wall above the giant scoreboard. Bud took from Houston fans that same tie to the past. An unforgivable sin.

When Bud flirted with Jacksonville in the 1980s in order to renovate the Astrodome, which required the removal of the iconic exploding scoreboard, he promised to bring a Super Bowl to the city. To his credit he tried to deliver, but was never able to make that promise a reality.

When the Super Bowl bid failed he demanded a new stadium, and again promised a Super Bowl to the city if it complied. But if the county and city refused, there were always cities that would say yes. Less than a decade removed from his last threat, the city and county said no and Bud finally made good on a promise, and moved the Oilers to Tennessee.

Bud Adams will likely be remembered more fondly in Tennessee than in Houston, which is just as well.

Texans - Team News
Brian Cushing - LB
Texans ILB Brian Cushing will miss at least one week with a knee injury. It's a blow to an already vulnerable Houston run defense, and a nice upgrade to Bishop Sankey's Week 8 matchup. Justin Tuggle and Mike Mohamed figure to start at inside...
Oct 22 8:32PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps coming off Monday night's loss. He'll remain a WR2 for Week 8 against the Titans.
Oct 22 5:22PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans listed Foster as "not injury related," but he missed practice time last week with a groin issue. Foster has a matchup with the Titans' No. 22 ranked run...
Oct 22 5:15PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
According to, there's a "decent chance" Jadeveon Clowney (knee)... "He feels good," coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Well see how it goes this week in practice. We'll be able to make a determination pretty soon about whether...
Oct 21 3:58PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught two passes for 24 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers. Graham was targeted three times, but dropped the other. It can be considered one of Graham's better statistical games of the season, which obviously means he's nowhere near...
Oct 20 11:31PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins each saw a team-high nine targets. There was nothing special about Johnson's night. His biggest play was a 24-yard grab on a deep in route in...
Oct 20 11:25PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 108 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Hopkins and Andre Johnson each saw a team-high nine targets. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw it to whichever receiver was working against embattled Steelers CB Cortez Allen. ...
Oct 20 11:16PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 14 yards on five carries and caught an 11-yard touchdown in the Texans'... Blue was the vulture on the opening-drive 11-yard score after Arian Foster managed 59 rushing yards to get the Texans near the goal line. Foster is an every-down back,...
Oct 20 11:09PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-32 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception... Fitzpatrick played well for much of the first half, leading the Texans on three consecutive scoring drives to open the game. It was a train wreck thereafter. One play...
Oct 20 10:56PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-23, Week 7 loss to the... Foster got off to a blazing start, rushing for 59 yards on the Texans' 94-yard opening touchdown drive, but was vultured by Alfred Blue for the 11-yard touchdown catch to...
Oct 20 10:47PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is inactive for Monday night's Week 7 game against the Steelers. Clowney's lateral agility wasn't where the Texans wanted it to be in pre-game warmups. He's been out since undergoing knee surgery after Week 1. Whitney Mercilus is...
Oct 20 6:09PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins (hand) is probable for Week 7. The Texans listed Hopkins on the injury report, but his status was never in doubt. He'll be a WR3 for Monday night against the Steelers.
Oct 18 2:54PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (groin) is probable for Monday night's game against the Steelers. Foster was limited on Thursday, but practiced in full the last two days. He should have another heavy workload against a Steelers defense that's allowing 4.4 yards per carry...
Oct 18 2:48PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was upgraded to full in Saturday's practice and is listed as probable for... Johnson is good to go for Monday night's matchup with the Steelers. He's Rotoworld's No. 15 receiver this week.
Oct 18 2:39PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against... Clowney got in two limited practices this week, but said he still "can't run laterally." He could be held out in an attempt to get fully healthy for Week 8. If...
Oct 18 2:20PM Read More