HOUSTON – The man who first brought professional football to Houston, Bud Adams, owner of the Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers, was laid to rest Monday afternoon in Houston.
Adams was a trailblazer, an oil man, businessman, but mostly a football man.
“He wanted to win. That is what I always saw and a player and a coach and now head coach,” former Oilers offensive lineman and current Titans head coach Mike Munchak said. “He did everything to win and get the right players in the building and that should be his legacy.”
In the end it would be a building that would tear him away from the city he loved.
“Bud was, how do you say it, ‘bigger than life,’ he was a renaissance man. He had so many bases covered,” Pastor Ed Young recalled in the message.
The quiet simplicity of his memorial is a long way from the over the top madness of the NFL.
Adams may be known as the man who stole football from Houston, but his love for the city was well-known.
“While I am happy we were able to get him to relocate to Tennessee, I know how much he loved Texas and Houston and it was a very, very, painful thing for him to make that break in that way,” said Phil Bredesen, the former governor of Tennessee.
Adams may have moved the Oilers, but quietly, and behind the scenes, he also had a hand in football’s return to the city.
“He probably was responsible for me getting involved. I used to go to the games with him and sat in his suite,” said Houston Texans owner Bob McNair.
That was years before Adams would leave after that dispute over the need for a new stadium and take the Oilers and transform them into the Titans, making room for the Texans and his long time friend McNair.
“In a way it was bitter sweet for him because we had the stadium that he wanted,” McNair said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had plenty of dealings with Adams. “Bud was a special guy personally and also to pro football and his community he was a guy that contributed an awful lot,” Goodell said.
Even as he aged, Adams was deeply involved in his team in Tennessee, and his city; this city, one that will not forget.
Adams was laid to rest at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery. He was 90 years old.