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Tennessee Titans Set Date for Oilers Throwback Unveiling

We’ve known for a while now that the Titans will be wearing Oilers throwbacks this season, but we haven’t yet seen the retro threads or even known when they’d be revealed.

Now, however, we have an unveiling date: Sunday, July 23, 9pm Eastern (which is a really weird time for an unveiling). That’s according to a communiqué that went out today from the Titans’ team store:

The Oilers had a bunch of different looks during their time in Houston, so we’ll have to wait and see which era the new throwback is based on, although the late-1970s “Luv Ya Blue” look — the Earl Campbell era — seems probable.

No word yet on the date(s) of the throwback game(s), although that will presumably be announced as part of the unveiling. Word through the grapevine is that the throwbacks may be worn for the Titans’ Dec. 17 game against the Houston Texans, which would be either perfectly appropriate or adding salt to the wound, depending on your perspective.

The Titans previously wore 1960 Oilers throwbacks in 2009, when all of the original AFL franchises wore throwbacks to mark the 50th anniversary of the AFL’s founding:

I know some fans think a team that moves to a new city should lose any claim on its old identity and uniforms, and that the only team that should get to wear Oilers throwbacks is the NFL’s current Houston franchise, the Texans. I appreciate that point of view, but I’m also a bit conflicted about it. (For more of my thoughts on this topic, look here.)

By happy coincidence, my Uni Watch Premium article over on Substack this week will be a deep dive on the Oilers’ uniforms. Stay tuned for that on Thursday!

(Big thanks to Justin Hood and Corey Buck for letting me know about the Titans team store’s announcement.)

Comments (19)

    Just reread the article on appropriateness of teams wearing throwbacks — I think each case is pretty fact specific. Time and subsequent history play an important role. For instance, I don’t think many in Philadelphia still rue the loss of the Warriors. It’s fine for the Warriors to appropriate that history. Same for the Twins using Senators throwbacks. Conversely, the Thunder wearing Sonics throwbacks (which of course wouldn’t happen, as the Sonics history/branding was left in Seattle) is still way too raw. Same goes for the Whalers. Of course, the Sonics will be back in Seattle someday soon, while it’s unlikely the NHL is returning to Hartford. So I guess it’s nice to see the Whaler’s unis?

    Regarding the Oilers, they would have the advantage of throwing back to the Tennessee Oilers days? Are there any other instances of a team moving locations and temporarily keeping the same name before ultimately changing it?

    The New Orleans Pelicans technically, although they were the New Orleans Hornets for quite a while.

    WFL NY Stars became the Charlotte Stars (for a week) before changing name to Hornets

    I would be very disappointed in Minnesota using Washington Seantors throwbacks.

    I would love to see the Nats wear Griffith franchise throwbacks some day. The last home uniform is the best in DC baseball history.

    My understanding is the Nats required the expansion Senators intellectual property from the Rangers. I don’t know if that includes the proto-Twins. Given the logo they wear on their white panel home caps, I think they might.

    Tennessee wearing Oilers uniforms against Houston is trolling IMO.

    Concur on the Twins using Senators throwbacks. It’s especially distasteful when considering Clark Griffith’s stated rationale for departing DC.

    As a Baltimore sports fan (mentioned in your linked article) the only thing that really still bothers me about the Colts – or other franchises that have moved locations but kept the name – is when they say “Est. 1953” or “Since 1953”. It seems disingenuous to me like trying to equate a Tiger Slam to an actual Grand Slam or mislabeling an Nth anniversary with and Nth season. You can have your colors and you can have your name but have you really been the “Indianapolis” Colts “since” 1953?

    That’s exactly how the Calgary Flames do business. They lean into 1980 with their commemorative jersey patches and other big milestones. The 1972-80 Atlanta history? Calgary did a 50 year warmup jersey one time in 2022, relatively low key…I’d have to find a photo

    Oh I would have to laugh if this turned out to be a BFBS uni that they called the “oil drip” or some other such marketing nonsense that only uses the concept of oil to tie team history and a new black uniform together.

    That is the most evil thing I have heard in a long time. Also, “Oil Drip” is beyond brilliant.

    This is exactly what I’ve been thinking this whole time. They’ve shown nothing that indicates using the old Houston Oilers uniforms and colors. If you were to watch their uniform teases without any prior knowledge to the Oilers past, you would think a black uniform is coming.

    The pessimist in sees BFBS trends and the term “Drip”. That leads me to think blackout uniforms.

    The optimist in me is they are simply using all of the oil imagery because they are going with Oilers uniforms.

    As a Hartford Whalers fan, I’m firmly on the side of “salt in wound” when Carolina wears the green and the blue. Playing Brass Bonanza is like further pouring lemon juice on the wound. I think it’s even tougher for cities in which a new team has never come to replace the old team.

    A slap in the face of Houston Oilers fans, adding injury to insult. That is how it feels. But ofcourse it is all about making money with a jersey that looks 100 times better than any of the Titans jerseys present or past.

    I think every case is different, but since the Oilers didn’t keep their name when moving to Tennessee, the name should have been able to be used when the expansion team happened. Yes, I know they initially were the Tennessee Oilers, but that was short lived. If this name was so important to the owner Bud Adams, then he should have stayed in Houston. It would be like the Oklahoma City Thunder not letting a new expansion team in Seattle use the Sonics, or Supersonics, name.

    Its gross when teams move at all, especially in modern times when they can all make money hand over first with minimum compentency, but especially gross when carpetbag the name and colors to the new location – either permanently (Colts, Jazz, Grizzlies) or as throwbacks (Expos, Whalers, Oilers). It’s just cosplay, with owners users the colors and name to lean in on tradition and longevity that they haven’t earned in their new location while rubbing it in the face of the city they fled/fleeced (at this point most teams have received tons of taxpayer dollars from the municipality they play in).

    I’ve never had a team I cheer for leave (the White Sox came close), but as a Steelers fan, it’s comical to see a team as irrelevant as the Titans cling on to the logo and colors of a rival team they have little remaining connection to other than the former owner’s daughter still running them and spending money on occasion to trot out former Houston players to a city most never played in. Houston was the House of Pain, Warren Moon, Earl Campbell, etc. – the Titans may “own” that history now in a weird capitalist way, but it belongs to (and in) Houston, and always will.

    I thought this was going to have an obvious answer, but it took longer to figure out than I thought. Looking up the history of Titans wearing #7 gave me nothing; there was no #7 on the roster in 2009. A reverse image search turned up a larger version of the photo (link), and there I noticed the Steve McNair helmet memorial decal. That led me to an article (link) that mentioned the Hall of Fame Game, which I then remembered had the Titans and Bills wearing throwback uniforms that year. That’s a preseason game, so a search of photos from Titans preseason games that year brought up a #7–Patrick Ramsey (link).

    Well done! My quick search left me with no answers at first either, you’re a much better detective

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