The first team we are going talk about in the NFL is a team that is closest to my heart (and I’m going to be biased about this one), my favorite team, the Tennessee Titans.
The Tennessee Titans are located in Nashville, TN., and play at a stadium called Nissan Stadium. They were founded in 1999, but actually, the team itself was founded in 1960 when Bud Adams, and other men, began the “Foolish Club.”
The “Foolish Club” was the nickname given to the owners of the AFL clubs who decided to compete against the NFL owners.
At that time, the Titans were known as the Houston Oilers.
This article is also a podcast over at the Football Is Family if you are interested in listening, you can do so below. You can also read the full article if this is your preference.
FOOTBALL IS FAMILY
Every Thursday, host Jeremy McFarlin shares the history of one NFL team. He also brings on a guest (or more) each week to share why their NFL team feels like a part of their family.
Space City Team
The Oilers were very successful in the first few years of the AFL, winning the first two AFL Championships. If you were to look back at the Oilers’ second #1 draft pick was a man named Mike Ditka. Obviously, he didn’t play for them, but it is interesting to see that they picked Mike Ditka to play for them in 1961.
From 1996-1999, after the Houston Oilers left Houston, they actually played in Memphis, TN., then they played at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, TN. At that time, they were known as the Tennessee Oilers, which is funny- we don’t have oil in Tennessee.
If we want oil, we go to the store and buy Mobil One. We were thinking, “That can’t be the name that they would pick.” Bud Adams, to his credit, decided to call his team the Tennessee Titans, because Nashville is considered the “Athens of the South,” and “Titans” represents the epitome of what men would want to be.
The Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers boast 19 different people who have either played for them or coached for them in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Total team stats- 440 wins, 470 losses, and 6 ties.
They are 17-21 in the postseason.
They have two AFL Championships and one AFC Championship.
One of the things about the Titans that you, as fans, should understand is that we don’t have a very long tradition here in Nashville, but we do have some impressive moments. In 1999-2000, in fact, it was Jan. 8, 2000, the Music City Miracle took place.
Our Buffalo Bills friends may not like that moment, but it was a legal play.
The Houston Oilers do have a great history to talk about. The “Luy Ya Blue” era in the 1970s with coach Bum Philips and great running back Earl Campbell. We see so many people come through Houston, including Ken Stabler and Archie Manning.
Music City Team
When the Oilers came to Nashville, we see that they brought along with them their coach, Jeff Fisher, and he has won the most games as a coach in Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers history.
In 2018, just to unveil new uniforms, over 10,000 fans crowded into 2nd Avenue in Nashville. Needless to say, Nashville is fully on board with their Titans.
During the 50th anniversary of the AFL, the Tennessee Titans traveled to play against the New York Jets. This game was weird for one reason: the names of the teams would change. In that game, the Tennessee Titans became the Houston Oilers, and the New York Jets became the New York Titans (the previous name of the New York Jets).
You had to pay attention to the names- if the Titans scored, it was the Jets scoring; if the Oilers scored, it was the Titans scoring).
The Titans played in one of the best Super Bowls of all time, Super Bowl 34. They came up one yard short in tying the game against the Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf.
In Jim Wyatt’s book, Tales from the Titans Sideline, he writes about a Titans/Oilers great, Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. “If Cal Ripken’s known as baseball’s ‘Iron Man,’ then Bruce Matthews has to qualify as the NFL’s version. During his 19-year career, Matthews played in more games than any full-team positional player in league history (296). He started every game from Nov. 29, 1987, until he retired at the end of the 2001 season.
He was blessed with good health and a body that was able to withstand the grind of the NFL year after year after year. Matthews, who played every position on the offensive line during his career, was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 1983 draft. He was named to 14 Pro Bowls. Over the years he blocked for 15 different quarterbacks and 28 different running backs.”
The Titans also boast a 2,000-yard rusher, Chris Johnson (2006 yards in 2009).