NGSC Sports

Tennessee Titans Owner K.S. “Bud” Adams Has Passed Away

It’s a sad day in Houston, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee as it was announced today that former Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans owner Kenneth Stanley “Bud” Adams has passed on at the grand age of 90. Amidst numerous internet reports and tweets, the Houston Chronicle initially reported the news. Adams is survived by two daughters, Susie Smith and Amy Strunk. His grandson, Kenneth Stanley IV currently works for the Titans organization. The cause of death has not been released but it is rumored to be of natural causes. Adams lost his wife Nancy in 2009. Adams is a former World War II veteran who was a long time supporter of the military.

Adams is still very much a divisive figure in Houston, Texas. A longtime sports icon, Adams brought the city a professional football team in 1960 when he paired up with Lamar Hunt to create the American Football League to compete with the National Football League. Adams and the other owners were called “The Foolish Club” but ultimately they had the last laugh. The AFL merged with the NFL in 1966.

Adams style often clashed with local Houston leaders and he earned the wrath of Oilers fans in 1980 when he fired long time head coach Bum Phillips, a fan favorite and architect of the “Luv Ya Blue” era. Ironically, Bum Phillips passed away on Friday likewise at the age of 90. Perhaps it’s fitting the two passed on so close together as it’s hard to find two names more closely associated with Houston and the Oilers.

Adams tenuous relationship with the City and it’s fans continued after he fired Bum Phillips. Adams greatly disliked how the City treated the Astrodome and not without good reason. The City chaffed at his style and responded poorly by ripping out the Dome’s signature scoreboard. The parties retreated into a not so quiet truce that ended when Adams began threatening to move the team. He made his threats good in 1996 when he negotiated a sweet deal with former Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen to relocate the team to Tennessee.

The Houston Oilers quickly became the Tennessee Oilers where they spent one year playing at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, and one year playing at Vanderbilt Stadium. The team was good not great quarterbacked by former Alcorn State standout Steve “Air” McNair. The Tennessee Oilers endured two transitional years in Tennessee before inaugurating their new stadium Aldelphia Coliseum in 1999. The Tennessee Oilers became the Tennessee Titans and the team went on a tear that ended up with a trip to the Superbowl in February of 2000. On the way, it produced one of the most talked away plays in NFL history in the “Music City Miracle.”

The Tennessee Titans continue to be a sports staple in Nashville, Tennessee and despite some up and down years are still a large draw in the city. Shortly after the Chronicle article, the Titans issued a formal statement confirming the death of Adams. Despite the City’s differences with Adams, many long time Oilers fans have expressed sadness on his passing. Funeral arrangements have not yet been released. The Titans succession plan has long been held under wraps but it is expected that his grandson will figure to be a key player in things.

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