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Titans Trolling Texans: Tennessee to Wear Oilers Throwbacks vs. Houston

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Personally, I’m fine with the Tennessee Titans wearing Houston Oilers throwbacks this season, just like I’m also fine with the Carolina Hurricanes wearing Hartford Whalers throwbacks, or the Colorado Avalanche wearing Quebec Nordiques throwbacks, or the Washington Wizards wearing Chicago Zephyrs throwbacks, and so on. I enjoy seeing the history of a franchise’s lineage brought to light.

That said, however, a team shouldn’t go out of its way to rub salt in the wound, and that’s what the Titans appear to be doing by wearing their Oilers throwback uniforms for this Sunday’s home game against the Texans. With Houston competing for a playoff berth, the team’s fans will tune in for the game and experience the cognitive dissonance of cheering for their favorite team as it plays against … their old favorite team.

Was it really necessary to wear this uniform against the Texans? Seems like a shitty thing to do.


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Comments (76)

    The Colts play in Baltimore wearing pretty much the exact same uniform they Mayflowered off to Indy, but I have never heard any righteous indignation over it from fans with fond memories of Super Bowl V. The Texans are fast approaching being “Houston’s Team” for longer than the Oilers were, so I don’t know how worked up the fan base is or should be.
    Aesthetically, though, it is definitely a dick move.

    I recall the first time the Ravens hosted the Mayflower franchise, they wouldn’t put “Colts” on the scoreboard, just “Indy”

    The difference is that the Tennessee team has moved on to a new, Tennessee-based identity. The Titans belong to Tennessee and their fans just like the Oilers belonged to Houston and their fans. The Colts (for better or worse) never changed their identity, so both Baltimore and Indianapolis have a legitimate right to claim the name and the identity.

    This kind of shittiness on the part of the Tennessee owners, reopening old wounds that they themselves caused in the first place, is on of many reasons that people want to eat the rich.

    “The Texans are fast approaching being “Houston’s Team”…”
    Let’s face it, if you haven’t done so after 2 decades – you’ve clearly done some things wrong.

    The Oilers and the Titans have sucked for most of their existence. The highest point they ever reached was to lose the Super Bowl in the most painful way possible. It’s not like Houston lost a good team. It just lost a perennial loser and heartbreak machine. The city is better off with the Texans. The problem is they suck too. So its taken a while for them to get their footing. If anything, stunts like this will help that process move forward.

    Kind of hope the Texans wax them this weekend for this little stunt. Like beat them so bad we never see the throwbacks again. It’d be a shame to miss out on these in the future, but like they say “Karma’s a bitch.”

    Paul, any idea what prevents the Texans from doing an Oilers themed fauxback. For example, baby blue helmet with the state of Texas in white on the sides. Given the Oilers’ white uniforms their first year are pretty plain, just red block numbers with baby blue outlines, simple red and baby blue stripes on the pants and socks, not sure how that gets trademarked or whatever by the Titans.
    Since there is nothing special to the design it is hard for the Titans to make a claim to it, and to my knowledge teams cannot control specific colors. And even so, the Texans could just make it a slightly different shade of light blue.

    So the Oilers/Titans IP includes the use of the light blue and red combo? Essentially the league would just nix any attempt by the Texans to do an alternate that had those colors, not because only the Titans can use that color combo, but because the Texans using it would be an obvious attempt to duplicate the Titans IP?
    IMO it is fine that the Titans wearing Oilers throwbacks, as well as the other examples you gave (though wearing them against Houston is petty), but I also think attempts to share history with teams that replace you in your previous city make sense and are reasonable.

    You’re trying to create a “letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law” scenario. And I’m saying that the league would say, “Forget the law — we’re just not gonna go down that road.”

    Where do the Minnesota Wild, The North Stars and Dallas fit into this discussion? Because that is exactly what Minnesota is doing, and I’m all for it. Different league, same idea.

    Gotcha. That is a shame, and somewhat surprising, since there is money to be made in merch, you’d think the NFL would get on board. They could have their cake and eat it too, Titans could sell Oilers throwback merch, Texans could sell fauxback merch.

    Actually, everyone agrees that sports should be fun. But different people have different ideas about what does or doesn’t constitute fun. One person’s “When you get to the end zone, act like you’ve been there before” is another’s “No Fun League”; one person’s “dignified” or “classy” is another person’s “boring”; and so on.

    We advocate for our own positions on these issues without insulting each other or falsely putting words in each other’s mouths.

    I’m fine with celebrations, but one thing I’ve seen too much of lately that makes me cringe is when ballcarriers with nobody around leaping/diving into the endzone, specifically launching themselves before breaking the plane. It just seems like an unnecessary risk to me, because what if the player lands wrong and ends up hurting himself? What if, in making the maneuver, he manages to mishandle the ball and it pops out before it’s broken the plane?

    Adding to Rob S’s comment; Adrian Peterson blew out his shoulder unnecessarily diving into the end zone while at Oklahoma. If I was a coach, I would forbid all of those grandiose and risky end zone entries.

    I do think there is a difference, acknowledging everyone’s mileage varies. If anyone recalls the old Washington RS’ “fun bunch”, when a receiver scored, they all ran to the end zone and did a little dance. So, “FUN”. What we see (IMHO) way to much of now, is overly orchestrated grandstanding specifically in front of and facing the end zone cameras for show. I think that does beyond just good fun.

    Speaking of “elaborate endzone celebrations”…
    Billy “White Shoes” Johnson is being inducted into the Titans Ring of Honor on Sunday!:
    I am surprised that the Titans haven’t announced adding a memorial patch/decal for Frank Wycheck yet.

    if they’re gonna wear them that game, then there should be some stakes involved. let’s do what j.j. watt said to do, put the unis on the line. winner of the game gets them. that’s it.

    I like this idea a lot. Call the game the “Oilers Bowl” or the “Luv Ya Blue Bowl” and let the winner get to wear the throwbacks the next season.

    Then what do you do about the retail side or the throwbacks? Split the revenue every year, winner gets it, remains with the Titans? Then same question about the expenses pertaining to marketing them and/or non retail locations (video games, local ads with the uni’s present, etc).

    I also really like the idea of an annual ‘Oilers’ Bowl, but there are a lot of off the field logistics that would also need to be worked out.

    I saw/read that proposal online a lot when the Titans wore these a few weeks back. It’s a terrible idea though because it could only benefit the Texans. Titans already own it so why would they agree to potentially lose what they have? If they DID go through with it and the Titans win, there’s nothing they get out of it. Most everybody in Houston would still be complaining or outraged that they can’t use the uniforms just like they already do now. It’ll never go away

    one other thing, why bother changing the team name to the titans if you are going to keep the color scheme of the old team AND wear their throwbacks? just should have stayed the oilers then.

    This has always been what bothered me about the Titans. If they actually used their old identity like the Colts or Dodgers do, it would be one thing. But to change the name, logo, and uniform and then prevent the new team from using it is a dick move. What the Cleveland Browns, Charlotte Hornets and Winnipeg Jets did makes a lot more sense.

    Your anger is misplaced. (As sports anger tends to be.)

    The NFL retired the Oilers name on Nov. 14, 1998. Not the team. The league.

    I’m not sure I follow this logic since the TN Oilers were a real team that wore nearly these exact unis for a couple years. I think it can be a TN throwback, even without the (in my opinion too big and not so great) patch. Is the Jets alternate uni not a throwback because they are wearing a modern helmet? Or would fauxback be a better term for both these cases because theyte not exactly what was worn?

    Either way we don’t know their intentions unless they’ve stated them, and I find it plausible they are throwing back to their own unique history and made a design decision with respect to the patch.

    Now doing it against Houston is another story and I’m with you there.

    I don’t think they are trolling the Texans franchise per se, as much as the Adams family is trolling Houston and their former Oiler fans.

    It is a shitty thing to do. But I think there’s a difference when this happens in a situation like this because Houston HAS a football team now. In fact the new football team is more successful (at least AS successful) as the old team. That’s in contrast to Whalers and Nordiques fans who are left without a team, only to watch those who stole it get to wear the old threads. Now THAT’s shitty.

    I kinda love it. The Oilers left Houston because the Astrodome was a dump and their owner couldn’t get help from the city to build a new stadium. The ‘dome was in such disrepair that a preseason Oilers game had to be cancelled to due to unsafe field conditions.
    And, for their first two seasons in Tennessee they were the Tennessee Oilers and wore these same uniforms.
    Much ado about nothing, Paul.

    And as soon as Bud Adams was gone, the voters of Houston approved $$$ for a new stadium for any team not owned by Bud Adams. They essentially fired him and his franchise, not because of the stadium but because they believed he was a buffoon who would fire any winning head coach because he couldn’t stand to be overshadowed. The hatred is mutual.

    But for his daughter to continue that feud against the people of Houston is pathetic.

    Scumbag move (of course the original scumbag move was leaving and taking the Oilers name, colors and history with them).

    Any team that relocates and doesn’t immediately change their name/identity is not only disrespecting the place they’re leaving, but also their new home which deserves an identity of its own. Yes, this includes the Lakers, Dodgers, A’s, and every other team that’s done it – even though it’s much too late to do anything about it in many cases now.

    You get that no one even considered this prior to the city of Cleveland suing the NFL over the Browns moving to Baltimore, right? Before 1996, most teams that moved kept everything or had a good reason not to. (Orioles being a meaningful name in Baltimore, for one, Senators not only making no sense in Minneapolis, but also being immediately turned over to an expansion team for another.)

    Your concern for the fine people of Minneapolis is, I am sure, appreciated by the 11 people still alive who saw Mikan play and lament the day the Lakers moved to LA.

    “Deserves an identity of their own?” What does that even mean? You get a team. Go see the team. Or don’t. But who cares if some other group of people you don’t know supported an identity before you do? Haysoos, of all the things to demand out of sports.

    Let’s be honest here. This is, at worst, microtrolling.

    Anyone in Houston who still pines for the Oilers, who last played there in – hello – 1996, and who would be triggered by seeing a group of 53 men they’ll never meet from another city wear the old look when playing against 53 men from their own city they’ll never meet needs to toughen up.

    “Luv Ya Blue” died in NINETEEN EIGHTY.

    The Oilers won exactly eff-all since 1961.

    Houston has a team, and has for 22 seasons now. Bob McNair paid a bunch for it and forged a new identity. It’s fine. Really, it’s fine.

    I haven’t heard that for years!

    Both franchises epitomize NJ…they play in a swamp, the stadium sucks (it’s boring and is legit one of the worst “fan experiences” anyone can have), traffic on 17 is horrible, parking is expensive, and yet, every week people who have paid for plastic seats small as their back yards show up.

    That would be the nomenclature used by Gregg Easterbrook. He brought back TMQ this year as an Substack subscription if anyone is interested and hadn’t seen it.

    At least they’re not wearing the Oilers throwbacks *in* Houston, so there’s that.

    And it’s not as if they were wearing the far superior blue-helmeted unis. Let Tennessee have the white lids.

    If Houston does tweak their colors, I’d rather they go with blue or silver helmets.

    Nailed it. The people of Houston are upset that they have a bland team, with a bland name and bland uniforms. They had a chance to keep the Oilers and blew it, then paid for a new stadium for an expansion franchise once the Oilers called their bluff and skipped town.

    I have said it before: I wish the team’s identity stays with the community when/if a franchise relocates. Seeing North Stars in Texas and MLPS jerseys in L.A. is always a bummer. Cleveland Browns lucked out.

    Cleveland didn;t “luck out” Modell agreed to leave the team name, uniforms and all the history behind when he absconded to Baltimore.

    I agree. Teams and their identities and nicknames and records should belong to their cities and not the corporations that move them around in pursuit of more money. You abandon your city, you start from a 0-0 all-time record and zero championships, and you start with new uniforms, a new nickname, new everything.

    Recently it feels like the “corporate continuity” view is getting stronger. People are saying things like “the Minnesota Twins won a World Series in the ’20s when Walter Johnson pitched for them”. Nobody would have said that when the Senators left Washington.

    What if the NFL started dropping the localization of the team names?

    As they continue to move forward w/global branding, it takes away from the eventually trivial City / Region part of the name.

    How many people from London / Europe flock to see “Jacksonville”? To be fair, more than those in Jacksonville. But if the name was changes to “The” Jaguars or Jags AFC (American Football Club) 95 or whatever, wouldn’ that broaden the appeal while eliminating “identity” cities?

    I’m from St. Louis.
    If the Rams or Cardinals donned St. Louis uniforms whilst playing against a new franchise in my humble city, I wouldn’t give two shites. I would just be delighted to have a team again. Preferably an expansion franchise for once.
    Sadly, I’m pretty sure the NFL has written us off.

    I don’t like the name, but I would take it. I might even take a name that doesn’t end in an S, but I really wouldn’t like that.
    In my fantasy world, we would take the old MISL team name.
    St. Louis Steamers!

    This is a close cousin to the time the Brewers wore Braves uniforms against the Braves, making for a Braves vs Braves intrasquad game. The Brewers/Braves (Brewves?) unis were just dumb, though, as this one is definitely a douche move by the Titans.

    This is the type of shitty move that should be great for the league. The titans née oilers are throwing down a gauntlet. This is also a game that means a lot to both teams playoff chances right now. Houston needs to win to stay in the race, and Tennessee needs to win to stay above water (they technically still have a shot at a wild card spot). This adds a little extra edge to the competition. If the Texans come out pouting and lose, the titans win more than the single game, they hurt the Texans playoff chances and they win the battle of egos. If the Texans resod the field with the titans, the titans go home basically done for the season, and demoralized because their little antics got shoved back down their throats and Houston can feel a little better about “that stupid franchise” and their beautiful throwbacks.

    This should absolutely be an annual rivalry gimmick as mentioned above and it’s the kind of trolling I can totally get behind.

    A shitty move, or a brilliant one? By donning a set of beloved laundry, Tennessee injected spice into a game that had no appeal outside the TV audience of the two cities. I like the Oilers’ uniforms way more than the ENTIRE TEAM of Houston or Tennessee. And speaking of dick moves, isn’t that about the ONLY way bitter college rivals interact?

    Honestly this didn’t strike me as a dick move at all. Just seemed kind of fun “hey Houston’s in town, lets wear the oilers colors”. Then again I’m not an H-town guy.

    Texans incorporating the oiler blue into their new uniforms coming soon. This is a nothing burger.

    I think people are forgetting (or never knew) how badly the city of Houston and Houston football fans & media crapped on the Oilers in the years _leading up to_ the move announcement.

    Anyone can understand getting mad at the team after they announce a move, but to bury the Oilers and Bud Adams for several years just because the team is unhappy with their stadium situation is really bad. Hopefully the Titans wear these throwbacks every time they play the Texans, to remind the city, media and fans of Houston what they threw away.

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