Sean Pendergast

Tennessee Titans Plan to Wear Houston Oiler Uniforms in 2023

The Tennessee Titans may be dusting off the old Columbia blue Oiler uniforms.
The Tennessee Titans may be dusting off the old Columbia blue Oiler uniforms. Screen grab from YouTube
Since moving to Tennessee in 1996, the Houston Oilers franchise, known as the Tennessee Titans since 1999, have had access to and ownership of any morsel of Oilers history, despite the words Houston" and "Oilers" no longer appearing anywhere close to the franchise. The company is still owned by Bud Adams' offspring, and as such, they can do what they wish (within league rules, of course) with anything Oiler-related.

For literally decades now, especially with the rise of alternate uniforms and throwback uniforms, people have wondered exactly when Amy Adams Strunk, the late Bud Adams' daughter, would dust off the ultimate sartorial nuclear weapon — when would the Tennessee Titans dress up as the Houston Oilers and play an NFL football game?

The rumor mill has been churning more and more in recent months, and Jim Wyatt, who writes for the Titans' team website, had this to say in response to a fan question in a mailbag column he recently posted:
As for the Oilers throwbacks, nothing has changed from what I've said previously. The plan is to wear them for a home game in 2023. The exact game is still TBD, but I've already said I suspect it will be for the game vs the Texans. Wouldn't that make the most sense?
So it appears the mothballs are about to get brushed aside, and out will come the old Columbia Blue uniforms worn by Houston legends like Earl Campbell, Dan Pastorini, and Warren Moon. As perhaps it is intended, especially if the Titans decide to fulfill Wyatt's suspicions and don the outfit against the Texans, this decision by Strunk is more likely to move Houstonians emotionally than Tennesseans.

Long time residents in our city still harbor feelings of anger and resentment toward the Adams family, and they will view this decision as trolling the city of Houston. In actuality, it's probably more Struck celebrating her family's franchise's history than it is an intentional shot to the heart of Houstonians.

That said, if there is any animosity behind the decision, perhaps it has to do with the Texans' pending uniform changes they are entertaining for 2024, which could include a shade of blue that is strikingly similar to the Oilers' Columbia Blue. Maybe this is Struck getting territorial over the light blue color scheme, and reminding the McNair family who owned it first.

Either way, fans in Houston appear prepared to get very angry, if and when the Titans decide to come running out of the tunnel dressed like the Luv Ya Blue Oilers:
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast