According to Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle, the owner of the Tennessee Titans, Bud Adams has died in Houston. The owner of the Titans and formerly the Houston Oilers, was one of the charter members of the American Football League and has owned the team since its inception in 1960. While many younger fans will remember Adams for flipping off the fans in Buffalo, he was an institution in football for over 50 years.
Adams wanted to buy an NFL team in 1959, initially attempting to buy the Chicago Cardinals with the intent to move them to Houston. After that did not work out, he then attempted to make an expansion franchise, but was rejected by the NFL. He then received a phone call from Lamar Hunt about founding an entire new football league. It was that conversation and further discussion that led to the founding of the AFL with Hunt the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs and Adams the owner of what was then the Houston Oilers. The Oilers won the first two AFL Championships with George Blanda at quarterback.
Adams was unable to duplicate the success he had in the AFL since coming to the NFL which ended up with the Oilers moving to the Nashville in 1997. The ‘Save the Oilers’ campaign was attended by dozens of fans and there was simply nothing there for the Oilers when they moved. After moving to Tennessee, the Titans were able to make the Super Bowl in 1999 but were lost on the final play of the game. Houston has since gotten another franchise in the Houston Texans.
In an effort to make one last big push for the Super Bowl, Adams tried to lure Peyton Manning to the team with the promise of an ownership stake in the team and a lifetime position with the team, but he ultimately decided to sign with the Denver Broncos. Adams was was 90 years old at the time of his death.