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Old 12-12-2013   #81
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Default Re: NFL Network: '93 Oilers - A Football Life' airs Tues. 8pm

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
I agree with you in general about being two separate franchises.

However, it's the same fan base (with the exception of the young fans who do not remember the Oilers).

As far as fan perspectives, 'cak and I had an interesting revelation during a conversation about growing up an Oilers fan versus growing up a Cowboys fan.

Cowboys fans (talking my generation and older) grew up with a team that was clutch. Roger Staubach was consistently able to pull victories from the jaws of defeat. And they won championships that way. So Cowboys fans were conditioned to never give up, to never doubt their team, because more often than not, the Cowboys of the '70's did some great things. Then they had the '90's Cowboys dynasty with three championships in four seasons. It just cemented the solid belief of Cowboys fans.

Contrast that to the Oilers. I grew up during Luv Ya Blue. My teams always fell short. They never went to a Super Bowl, much less won a championship (AFL doesn't count, before my time). Then fast forward to the most talented team in Oilers history with Warren Moon and Jack Pardee. They never got past the second round of the playoffs, and the obvious extreme disappointment of 35-3 just continued to condition Houston football fans to chokes and failures.

So many of today's Texans fans (my generation and older) still have a bit of that cynicism to our mentalities. Yeah, obviously different franchise with the Texans, but they have not done anything to erase the conditioning we received as Oilers fans. However, folks like 'cak, who grew up Cowboys fans, always expect the Texans to have the potential to pull out wins at the end of games.

This is just my perspective and something that 'cak and I talked about, so it's not really an argument but rather just a perception of why a big percentage of the Texans fanbase still has a bit of that leftover psyche from the Oilers. Just general observations, fwiw.
Repped

Great point, I never thought of the 2 orgs fans that way.
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Old 12-12-2013   #82
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

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Originally Posted by atomictelephone View Post
And while Favre did the best old man impression, Brady and Peyton Manning getting up there now, what a stud Moon was that at age 37 that season he was still one of the top 5 QB's in the league at the time and would go on to have a few more good seasons left.

Hard to believe what he would have done given a full NFL career. Even with the fumbles and lack of playoff success, I'm glad he made the HOF. He definitely earned it.
Warren Moon and the 91-93 playoff chokes hardened me to the point that I really didn't care when Bud moved his Oilers to Tackville.
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Old 12-12-2013   #83
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

Few things stuck out for me after watching it again.

It re-cements how I felt about Pardee. A better coach doesn't let that train wreck happen and takes control of the locker room. Dignified? Whatever. The sport isn't played, by and large, by dignified people.

I forgot the scrutiny Moon faced as a black man playing starting QB in Houston. It was intense and I think I underestimated how much work he had to do PR wise.

Ryan was a clown. A real turd. Happy to shove blame in someone's face, but when it was his unit letting the team down, never stood up and said, that's on me. It was all on the chuck and duck.

Most important, Bud Adams. Hiring his own DC over his HCs head. The man had no shame and as bad as he wanted to win, had no clue and was anything but a winner.

Holovak. Man was he a deer in the headlights.

Oh yeah, if NFL Films ever needs another Associate Producer, I want in!!!!!
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Old 12-12-2013   #84
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

Rice did the same crap to UH when Rice Stadium was built. The city built the stadium for both UH and Rice to play in but Rice came up with all the crackpot rules about how UH couldn't play a home game on the same weekend as Rice and they had to wait for Rice to finalize their schedule before UH could set their schedule, and finally UH got tired of the bull**** and moved into the Astrodome for their home games in 1965.

That was just the beginning of the bull**** Rice pulled with UH. UH was trying to get sponsorship to join the SWC and Neely claimed he would do it, but at every conference meeting with the issue came up he wouldn't say a word and UH would be out in the cold year after year.

Bud screwed up he could have controlled the lease on the dome but he screwed up and they let the Astros control it and he was forever the Astros tenant.
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Old 12-13-2013   #85
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

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Originally Posted by Showtime100 View Post
This thread got me to pull out an old book I've had and cherished for some time. It's called 'from Cannon to Campbell: An Illustrated History Of The Houston Oilers' Edited by Mickey Herskowitz (published in 1979 by Gulf Coast Graphics, no ISBN # given for those interested in Googling)

I think I read this something like 20 years ago and have found re-reading it has been like reading it all over again for the first time.

Pages 58-60 caught my eye........



So Rice was winning, making their money. They made the decision not to abet a threatening team into their backyard. I can understand that, business is business. Then just a few short years later, when Rice was floundering and seeing it's revenue hit the skids, it (Neely) opted to reconsider. Again, an understandable business decision.

The fact of the matter is Rice essentially force the NFL out and handed us Bud and the new league. Then later by reversing it's decision on letting the Oilers play in Rice Stadium, it essentially gave us all the years that would be Bud Adams and the Houston Oilers.

Our NFL franchise were the Minnesota Vikings, who played in a Super Bowl in none other than Rice Stadium while the Oilers were golfing.

Lol, I'm not suggesting the history would have been the same. It most assuredly would not. But it makes you wonder what would have happened if Roy Hofheinz and the HSA would have gotten their grubby little hands on an NFL franchise (of which Bud Adams would have no doubt been a part of).

I can see Hofheinz going straight for a nickname such as the .....Astros. What an unexpected gift it would have been for Roy's Astro"world". Making the teams a matching set ala the St. Louis Cardinals or New York Giants. Maybe 'Rockets' to compliment the Astros name even though the NBA Houston Rockets were eons away?

Who knows what would have happened in that other timeline. Maybe a freaking Super Bowl appearance or two. I can only wonder.
Very interesting, man. I'd love to have a copy of that book. I will give the name to my wife who is constantly going to used book stores.

Another you might want to check out that adds to it is Oiler Blues: The Story of Pro Football's Most Frustrating Team.

This book picks up where you left off. The NFL planned to put another expansion team in Houston after the AFL was created. But Bud pulled strings and kept Rice Stadium from being used. So the NFL ended up putting the expansion team in Dallas, which forced Lamar Hunt to relocate his Dallas Texans to Kansas City.

That expansion team became the Dallas Cowboys. Go figure.

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Few things stuck out for me after watching it again.

It re-cements how I felt about Pardee. A better coach doesn't let that train wreck happen and takes control of the locker room. Dignified? Whatever. The sport isn't played, by and large, by dignified people.

I forgot the scrutiny Moon faced as a black man playing starting QB in Houston. It was intense and I think I underestimated how much work he had to do PR wise.

Ryan was a clown. A real turd. Happy to shove blame in someone's face, but when it was his unit letting the team down, never stood up and said, that's on me. It was all on the chuck and duck.

Most important, Bud Adams. Hiring his own DC over his HCs head. The man had no shame and as bad as he wanted to win, had no clue and was anything but a winner.

Holovak. Man was he a deer in the headlights.

Oh yeah, if NFL Films ever needs another Associate Producer, I want in!!!!!
I agree on Pardee. His hands off approach was bad leadership. His inability to have full authority, clearly undermined by Bud Adams with Buddy Ryan, ultimately caused a rift in the team that kept them from achieving greatness.

A couple of things that stuck out regarding Houston fans. They booed Warren Moon during the 1-4 start when he took the field. Sounds familiar, 'eh? This city can be as passionate as any fan base...when the teams win. But they can be as bitter and resentful as any fan base when the team loses. And that season saw both extremes in fans. Blackouts and empty stadium at the beginning of 1993, but packed house by the end.

I did not know that Houston set all time lowest attendance records in 1994. Heartbreak, disappointment, and bad revenue set the stage for Bud's exit. Then the good old boy network that always excluded Bud for decades played him with uncle Drayton as their tool.

And Warren Moon suffered some really bad criticism and personal attacks. People were yelling n-bombs at the man's family. Classless people that tarnished this city.
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Old 12-13-2013   #86
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

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I agree on Pardee. His hands off approach was bad leadership. His inability to have full authority, clearly undermined by Bud Adams with Buddy Ryan, ultimately caused a rift in the team that kept them from achieving greatness.

A couple of things that stuck out regarding Houston fans. They booed Warren Moon during the 1-4 start when he took the field. Sounds familiar, 'eh? This city can be as passionate as any fan base...when the teams win. But they can be as bitter and resentful as any fan base when the team loses. And that season saw both extremes in fans. Blackouts and empty stadium at the beginning of 1993, but packed house by the end.

I did not know that Houston set all time lowest attendance records in 1994. Heartbreak, disappointment, and bad revenue set the stage for Bud's exit. Then the good old boy network that always excluded Bud for decades played him with uncle Drayton as their tool.

And Warren Moon suffered some really bad criticism and personal attacks. People were yelling n-bombs at the man's family. Classless people that tarnished this city.
what I remember was the bitterness over not only trading Moon, but how little they got for him. With the team, as we now know, so utterly unprepared for the cap, basically dumping him for nothing, then add in all the playoff chokes, and it was impossible to want to go to any game where you were putting dollars in Buds pocket. And it wasn't just Moon. The optics of your QBs being Bucky Richardson, Carlson and Tolliver wreaked of we suck. The optics of a dead man walking in Pardee wreaked. The fact that Adams was already publicly flying out to discuss moving a ****ty team wreaked. After opening week when they were destroyed by the Colts and a stud rookie named Marshall Faulk, it was obvious. Nothing like being down 35-0 at the half in your season opener to set the tone.

Fans weren't that stupid and knew the team was toast, so why go to see a crappy team, with a crappy owner, and a roster all waiting for pink slips?

I don't love Fisher, but he did an admirable job during that stretch through the move to Memphis.
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Old 12-14-2013   #87
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

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I did not know that Houston set all time lowest attendance records in 1994. Heartbreak, disappointment, and bad revenue set the stage for Bud's exit.
Everyone knew the Oilers were gone, and nobody wanted to see them. I came down to Houston from Austin to go to Hudson & Harrigan's Christmas party, and the next day we decided to go see the Oilers play the Jets. It was the last game of the season, and everyone thought it was the Oilers last game in Houston. Turned out they came back in '95 for another lame duck season. Only Bud could botch that.
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Old 12-14-2013   #88
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

You know, growing up in Tokyo as Tokyo Giants fan, win was easy (Giants went to Japan series 9 years straight). Tokyo Giants is like Japan's team back then. They got money, biggest fan base in Japan(Back then) and since located in Tokyo, biggest exposure. When I moved to Houston (I was teen then), everything was different. I thought Baseball was the biggest sports in U.S. and found out it wasn't. It was Football. So, I got curious about the sports and study and learn rules and started to watch football and immediately fell in love with it. Soon after, I became Houston Oilers' fan.(back in 70's) But, this team don't win many games and I wasn't used to not winning much games. However, somehow I kept watching this team every week and brought Houston Chronicle and Post(no longer) just to read sports section about Oilers. I was really hooked. When I was in Tokyo, I didn't read newspaper just find out about Giants because, it is natural for them to win and I didn't even watch much of the game since they are more than likely to win.(I watched about 60% of the game at most) So I couldn't figure out why I was so hooked on Oilers. When I think back now, I think it was togetherness between team and its fans got me hooked on Oilers. Whenever the Oilers beat Steelers, I was so happy and seems like the whole city was happy. Back then, I hoped someday we have the Texan bowl and beat Cowboys which obviously didn't happen. But this show bring me back a lots of memory.
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Old 12-14-2013   #89
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
A couple of things that stuck out regarding Houston fans. They booed Warren Moon during the 1-4 start when he took the field. Sounds familiar, 'eh? This city can be as passionate as any fan base...when the teams win. But they can be as bitter and resentful as any fan base when the team loses. And that season saw both extremes in fans. Blackouts and empty stadium at the beginning of 1993, but packed house by the end.

I did not know that Houston set all time lowest attendance records in 1994. Heartbreak, disappointment, and bad revenue set the stage for Bud's exit. Then the good old boy network that always excluded Bud for decades played him with uncle Drayton as their tool.

And Warren Moon suffered some really bad criticism and personal attacks. People were yelling n-bombs at the man's family. Classless people that tarnished this city.
Sounds like we're pretty passionate when they lose as well. Passionate fans aren't always sunshine and rainbows.
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Old 12-14-2013   #90
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

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Everyone knew the Oilers were gone, and nobody wanted to see them. I came down to Houston from Austin to go to Hudson & Harrigan's Christmas party, and the next day we decided to go see the Oilers play the Jets. It was the last game of the season, and everyone thought it was the Oilers last game in Houston. Turned out they came back in '95 for another lame duck season. Only Bud could botch that.
Bud had the worst timing ever to try to leverage a new stadium.

He was already on a lot of fans' shit-list from decades of middle-finger attitude about running his team with his business cronies. I remember people hating Bud during the run & shoot days, bitterness still leftover from how he dealt with Bum (even though Bum had made peace and was working radio games for the Oilers by that point).

The the Astrodome had recently received a $60 million renovation for the Oilers (which we are still paying today, iirc).

Mix that in with three years of epic playoff disappointments, gutting the team in '94 by being unprepared for a salary cap, uncle Drayton and the Houston power structure undermining his every public statement, and the championship runs of the Cowboys and Rockets during that period...and there was the perfect storm for Bud's bad timing.

Houston's reaction was "don't let the door hit you on the way out, a'hole".

My last Oilers game was the '96 Steelers game that everyone descended on the 'dome at the last moment. We did not get in until the end of the 1st quarter, and the place was probably 2/3rds Steelers fans. Terrible towels everywhere, and the Oilers were losing so Steelers fans were all high and mighty. Fun game when the Oilers staged a comeback to win it. We knew it was a lame duck season, but some of us wanted to see them one last time.

Found this about the game:

Quote:
One of the first things Oilers receiver Willie Davis did after catching the 34-yard touchdown pass from Chris Chandler to beat the Steelers Sunday was tear down a Steeler banner from the Astrodome wall.

"That's ridiculous. We're supposed to be at home," Davis said. "Their fans putting up banners doesn't make sense. We have a good team."

For one bright and maybe final moment, the Oilers also had fans to celebrate the 23-13 win that hoisted their team into a tie with the Steelers atop the AFC Central at 5-2. The crowd of 50,337 was the biggest in two years and by far the biggest since owner Bud Adams announced he's moving the team move to Nashville in 1998.


Source
And this explains the lines, something I did not remember until today!:

Quote:
Adams was already upset that fans had to stand in ticket lines Sunday until halftime trying to get in because Astrodome USA, owned by baseball's Astros, scheduled a Low Riders Convention, a Kick Boxing Tournament and a Gem and Jewelry Show next door at Astrohall and Astroarena at the same time as the Oiler game, congesting the area.

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Sounds like we're pretty passionate when they lose as well. Passionate fans aren't always sunshine and rainbows.
Yep. People like to throw labels at fans, but it is what it is. This city has been consistent with regards to extreme passion at both ends of the spectrum.
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Old 12-14-2013   #91
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

Actually in 94 the attendance wasn't bad until they started to suck I remember they actually had a campaign to sell out the Giants game because it was on Monday Night Football.

Bud started negotiating with the Nashville mayor during the 95 pre season and he signed a 3 month agreement where no other city including Houston could talk to him, and by the that point it was pretty much a done deal that the team was leaving.

This is when the fans really checked out and said to hell with them, and it was no different in 96 and thats when in the best interest of everyone they bought out the last year of the lease and moved to Memphis for the 97 season.
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Old 12-14-2013   #92
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Default Re: NFL Network: '93 Oilers - A Football Life' airs Tues. 8pm

Saturday Dec 13th just finished watching, many memories, sadness, excitement and what ifs. About 20-25 minutes in, they show fans who were disappointed. A huge guy (6'5" 315 lbs) is showing his disgust. That was my neighbor Richard Stewart aka "the banner man". He had a guy in Kemah paint these huge banners he hung throughout the Astrodome. He had season tickets & I went a couple times helped him hang them. He dressed up in a top hat, vest and tuxedo with long tails. He had huge sunglasses that were baby blue as was his pickup truck that was one of the few that had the Oiler motif. We also went to San Antonio training camp and man it was hot. Richard was highlighted in several tv spots on sports shows and one was him "fighting" with the Dallas fan who dressed up as a cowboy. Richard loved to yell at the opposing players and more than one threatened him. Glory days.
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Old 12-14-2013   #93
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

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Good memories and Warren Moon will still always be my favorite QB.

Also, nothing against Vandermeer, but '93 was the first season I remember really getting into football and watching the Oilers on a regular basis, but re-listening to bits of play by play Tom Franklin and color from Russ Small (think Bum was there too), brought back great memories. Tom Franklin easily has to be one of the most underrated play by play guys there ever was. Great voice, wish he was involved with the Texans somehow.

At one point right after Houston got the expansion team, I remember Russ was going to be named the main play by play guy for radio and then a few months later he got dumped and Vandermeer was brought in. Don't think I ever heard what that was all about.

Man I hope Gilbride ended up replacing that white Mazda pickup. That thing looked rough.
The Bannerman and I took two commercial buses of fans to New Orleans Superdome and Small took a news station van in the convoy. He gave away lots of tee shirts, key chains with station logo and we had a Budweiser truck also giving out beer. Russ Small got trashed and I heard later made an ass out of himself on Bourbon Street.
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Old 12-14-2013   #94
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

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I thought it was an excellent documentary, and I expected nothing less from NFL Films.

I remember everything that happened that season, so very little was a revelation to me with the exception of individual experience with each player. I remember when Bud hired Buddy and the sniping immediately started in the press. I used to read every article in the Chronicle and Post about the Oilers (obviously pre-internet), as well as listened to the sports talk shows on news radio and coach shows on radio/tv, so anyone paying attention knew in advance of the season that there was division within the team.

I understand some thinking that they did a hit piece on Buddy Ryan, but dude was an a-hole. They could not do a piece like that if Buddy did not fulfill the requirements. He had no respect for Jack Pardee, left footprints on Pardee's head by reporting directly to Bud Adams, and immediately disrespected half the team with his constant criticism of the offense. And c'mon, taking a swipe at another coach during a game?? Can you really argue that Buddy was not an a-hole?

The history of the Houston Oilers can pretty much be encapsulated by three NFL Films productions:

Full Color Football: The History of the American Football League

While this is a documentary about the AFL as a whole, it does an excellent job of showing Bud Adams' role at the beginning and the early success the Oilers experienced. This early insight reveals a lot about both the direction of the Oilers in later decades with regards to Bud's actions, as well as the general course of the NFL after the merger to a pass-friendly league (which is on display with the run & shoot offense decades later).

NFL Films Lost Treasures: Bum Phillips

A fantastic documentary about the most beloved coach in Oilers history and encompasses everything about the '70's Oilers, Earl, and Luv Ya Blue. This is a magic time for me, as I was a kid and that atmosphere permeated everything in Houston. This is when I fell in love with the NFL as a fan.

A Football Life: '93 Oilers

Obvious subject of this thread, it did a great job of presenting the many facets of a franchise in turmoil and and the failure of a very talented team that could never find true success.

These are the three successful periods in Oilers history. I'd like to have a DVD/Blu Ray of each documentary. Sort of a trilogy for Oilers fans.

Last night was sort of strange watching the '93 Oilers. Like Showtime mentioned, so long ago but the memories are still so fresh to me. I'm glad they continued with the results of that season. The gutting of the team in '94 and the subsequent announcement to move to Tennessee in '95.

While I have never felt that I needed any closure as a fan, I did experience a weird vibe by the end and a sort of peace with all the history. Sometimes I feel nostalgia, but last night gave me a feeling that everything that happened needed to happen. Houston and Bud Adams needed to be separated, like a long dysfunctional marriage that had just been emptied of love.

I have given Bud some respect for admitting that his biggest regret was not allowing the Astros to move first. He knew he'd been played by uncle Drayton. But honestly, reliving those memories, I'm not even sure if losing our baseball team would have convinced Houston fans to give Bud everything he demanded. The love was gone. The heartbreak and disappointment of the team, and the deep seated disgust toward Bud Adams, was not something that could easily be overcome. He had no goodwill with the city. No championship history that bonds teams and fans. He was done with the city and the city was done with him. It is what it is, so no use crying over spilt milk.
Excellent points. I remember having my dad mail articles to me while I was in boot camp San Diego 1970. Ryan was a punk and Pardee a wus even if talented. Most don't know or don't remember the role Drayton played in that fiasco. He egged Adams onto the move and for once stepped back and let Bud reap the whirlwind from fans. Later he benefited from the dome makeover but after Adams had relocated.
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Old 12-14-2013   #95
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

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The David Williams baby issue doesn't seem like something that causes quite the same amount of stir it did at the time. Was that really one of the first time's that had happened and a player chose to skip a game over a baby being born? Seems like most of the players, even Moon, Jeffries and Jones in the retrospective all thought doing that today was still like breaking an unwritten rule and would cause the same consternation.
It was huge with comment from national shows as well as local and cause for debated around office water coolers. I remember debating it both at work and home. The biggest point seemed to be Williams could have attended birth of child and themn made game next day but chose not to.
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Old 12-14-2013   #96
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

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What was with the curly head carpet & mustaches back then?

How can any man be as slow as Cody Carlson?

How cool is it to see those familiar names with older faces?

Forgot about Jeff Alm... how sad was that?

Why wasn't anyone in charge of doing anything about the rot inside the organization? (Bud)

21 4th quarter points.

"We had not prepared one iota for the salary cap."

Oh, and Kevin Gilbride finally got his...

Bud was a cranky old bastard used to fighting & the turmoil in oil industry. He loved a battle especially if others thought he was underdog. Remember this is the guy who with Hunt battled the NFL and won. Others have tried it since with no luck. I think Adams loved the conflict among the coaches and the orneryness that some like Glanville and Ryans brought. I think he craved attention like a three year old.
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Old 12-16-2013   #97
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

I was looking forward to this segment all season long. I'm a fan of those old Oilers teams and Warren Moon in particular. It was unfortunate that the franchise was torn apart by Bud Adams and the Oilers became the Titans. I can't say as a 49ers fan that I can relate to all the dejection and disappointment that has come with Houston's football history. At the same time I feel like that just as a fan of the NFL in general, I wouldn't wish what happened in Houston to any fan of a team. Looking at the Astrodome sitting there like a ghost town literally right next door to Reliant stadium was a little unsettling to watch, even through the detailed lens of carefully placed cameras. And with the demolition underway it's almost as if the franchise never was. I still don't get why Warren Moon was traded. Sure he was up there in age and he was due a roster bonus correct? But at the same time the following season seemed worth it. And later on Bud Adams made a money saving decision with Steve McNair, and I don't believe the Titans have really recovered since.

Anyways, just wanted to say that I hope Houston gets back on track soon. The team has a lot of talent. I'm a fan of Gary Kubiak and what he brings to the table as an offensive coordinator (he and Shanahan spent some time here in SF and helped Steve Young's game). Too bad it didn't work out for him as a head coach and he couldn't take the team farther. Even though you guys are in the AFC I try to keep an eye on the team as best I can from an outside perspective. Good luck in the future.
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Old 12-23-2013   #98
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

Vince Lombardi Part 1 tomorrow 12/24.
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Old 12-26-2013   #99
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

The Oilers '93 story just got weirder.

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NFL Network's Emmy-nominated series "A Football Life" recently profiled a talented 1993 Houston Oilers team that devolved over a season filled with turmoil, dysfunction and heartbreak.


As it turns out, that checkered season might have also featured the first pair of gay teammates in NFL history.


"Listen, those guys that we're talking about were unbelievable teammates," Pro Bowl linebacker Lamar Lathon said, via the Houston Chronicle. "And if you wanted to go to war with someone, you would get those guys first. Because I have never seen tougher guys than those guys.


"And everybody in the locker room, the consensus knew or had an idea that things were not exactly right," Lathon went on. "But guess what? When they strapped the pads on and got on the field, man, we were going to war with these guys because they were unbelievable."
Um, I have no idea who Lathon could be talking about.
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Old 12-26-2013   #100
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Default Re: Houston '93: A Football Life

Jeff Alm and ?
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