Houston lost another iconic member of its football community on Monday.
Tennessee Titans owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. has passed away at the age of 90, according to the team. Adams was the longest tenured owner in the league.
Here is a statement released by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Adams:
Bud Adams played a pivotal role in the growth of pro football as a pioneer and innovator. As a founding owner of the American Football League that began play in 1960, Bud saw the potential of pro football and brought the game to new cities and new heights of popularity, first in Houston and then in Nashville. He was an brilliant entrepreneur with a terrific sense of humor that helped lighten many a tense meeting. His commitment to the best interests of the game and league was unwavering, and his personal along with the team's impact in community relations and philanthropy set a standard for the NFL. Bud was truly a gift to the NFL. We extend our deepest sympathy to his daughters Susan and Amy, and the entire family.
Adams, who made his money in the oil business, tried to buy an NFL team millionaire Lamar Hunt, but was his acquisition of the Chicago Cardinals was denied. That is when both men decided to start the American Football League.
Hunt and Adams were part of “The Foolish Club," which was the label given to AFL owners who wanted to win a battle against the NFL. Adams' Houston Oilers won the first two AFL titles in 1960 and 1961 before losing the 1962 title to Hunt's Dallas Texans team.
Despite the initial mockery, Adams eventually won that battle when the AFL and NFL ultimately merged in 1970.
However, when Adams did not get a stadium deal to replace the Astrodome, he moved the team to Tennessee in 1997, which left a bitter aftertaste in the mouths of football fans in Houston. The Titans advanced to Super Bowl XXXIV in January 2000, accomplishing in their third season in Tennessee what they never achieved in Houston. The team also had six playoff appearances, including an AFC Championship (1999), AFC Central title (2000), two AFC South titles (2002 and 2008), AFC Championship appearance (2002) and Wild Card teams in 2003 and 2007.
That explains this tweet by Brent Zwerneman, who works for the San Antonio Express-News:
Was just asked by a radio guy if I 'felt good' about Bud Adams' death. I know what he meant but ...
— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) October 21, 2013
In addition, Adams was fined $250,000 by the NFL for flipping a double bird at Bills fans during Tennessee's 41-17 victory at home on November 15, 2009. He immediately issued an apology after receiving the fine.
Prior to Adams’ death, former Oilers coach Bum Phillips died this past Friday at 90.
- - - - - - -