The late Bum Phillips, a Texas coaching legend who wore a cowboy hat, is honored by the team he led to two AFC championship games.
In Tennessee, a quarter of a century after the franchise left Texas for Music City.
The franchise now known as the Tennessee Titans will induct Phillips into the Ring of Honor in Texas in 1960 from the late Bud Adams on Sunday, 41 years after he last trained for the then Houston Oilers.
Warren Moon, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, Robert Brazile, Elvin Bethea, Charlie Joiner, Ken Houston, Kenny Burrough, Ray Childress and Dan Pastorini are among the 80 or so former Oilers expected for a weekend full of activity. Moon, Joiner, Brazile, Bethea, and Houston are Pro Football Hall of Famers.
The former Oilers have dinner with Amy Adams Strunk, the owner of the Titans, watch the current team practice and have breakfast before the Titans take on Indianapolis on Sunday. The former Oilers will also serve as Honorary Twelfth Titan before kick-off and will be recognized during the game.
Phillips, who died in October 2013 at the age of 90, was accepted into the ring of honor as 15th at halftime. He coached the Oilers for six years between 1975 and 1980 using AFC championship courses in 1978 and 1979 at the height of the Luv Ya Blue era. Phillips still has the best win rate (.608) for any coach with at least two full seasons with this team, 59-38 total with a franchise that hasn’t had a track record in eight seasons.
The Titans preserving the Oilers’ history remains a very sensitive issue in Houston, even though the NFL added the Texans as an expansion franchise in 2002. Adams moved the franchise to Nashville in 1997, where they played as the Tennessee Oilers before being renamed the Titans in 1999.
Texas-born Ryan Tannehill remembers the Oilers Games in Houston even though he was a young kid at the time.
“My dad was a Warren Moon fan, so I remember that,” said the Titans quarterback. “Then of course just before they came here, the game against the Rams. These are pretty early in my life, but definitely good memories. “
YOUR STORICAL CATCH
Mepham High School’s 49:21 win over Roslyn last Saturday saw many touchdowns.
None bigger than Sofia LaSpina’s.
The 15-year-old wide receiver’s 4-yard catch made her the first woman in Long Island, New York college football history to score a touchdown. She finished with three catches for 45 yards and the historic score.
The New York Jets recognized LaSpina’s accomplishments by naming her High School Player of the Week. Together with Gatorade, the Jets donate $ 1,000 each week on behalf of the selected player to support their football program. LaSpina also met Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath at a Wednesday night charity event on Long Island, and the former Jets quarterback had a quick catch with the high school recipient.
Jets coach Robert Saleh recognized LaSpina by wearing a Mepham High School football t-shirt during his Friday press conference.
“Cool right?” said Saleh. “I thought that was pretty cool.”
The Jets also invite LaSpina to their next home game (next Sunday against Tennessee) at MetLife Stadium.
“I hope she’s there screaming,” Saleh said.
LaSpina, a junior who also plays soccer at Bellmore, New York High School, scored her touchdown when she was widely split and ran into the front end zone where Peter Mayo took the ball in her hands. Her excited teammates rushed to see LaSpina, who received multiple high fives and patted the helmet to celebrate the result.
“I barely passed history class,” LaSpina wrote on her Instagram page, “but it’s pretty fun creating it.”
Zach Banner, a 6-foot-8, 344-pound right tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, nicknamed the “Hulk” since childhood, spent time Tuesday at the pop-up dinner for a not-for-profit restaurant in Pittsburgh came.
Dallas-based Café Momentum offers a 12 month post-release internship program for young men and women emerging from youth institutions. You will rotate through all aspects of the restaurant, focusing on life and social skills, coaching and development.
“You can’t just play football. You can’t just make money, ”Banner said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “You can’t just do these kinds of things and you can’t take care of the next generation and help and guide them. A large portion of the players in the NFL come from places like this that need help downtown and in the community across the country. They came from such communities. So it’s very, very relatable. So use this empathy to create greatness off the pitch. ”
Banner tore his right ACL on his first NFL start in Week 1 of the 2020 season. He is nearing his return to the Steelers.
“The process gives me more self-confidence the further we go, because the stronger it gets and the less inflammation, it just feels really good. It’s getting better every day, ”he said.
FEEDING THE Rivalry
Rookie Philadelphia coach Nick Sirianni took the unusual move of wearing an opposing team’s logo when meeting reporters on Thursday. On his t-shirt was “Beat Dallas” with the words above and below the helmets of the Eagles and Cowboys. The teams play for both of them in the first NFC East game of the season on Monday night.
Sirianni believes he is simply reflecting the fan base’s feelings for the team’s greatest rival.
“Yes, you can definitely feel that,” he said. “I can’t tell you the number of times since I’ve been here to interact with a fan it’s been like, ‘Hey, hit Dallas.’ I think that’s awesome. I love the fact that I can participate in this rivalry and it means a lot to the city, to our team, it means a lot to this building. “
Sirianni, who says the rest of his family has the jerseys too, knows what image could appear in the opponent’s building this week.
“And that’s fine,” he said. “This is about a good rivalry. I don’t know if anyone – our side, their side – needs more bulletin board material or if it will even help because we know how big the rivalry is and how much it means to both sides. “
Cowboys running back to Ezekiel Elliott didn’t seem to need motivation.
“They are definitely our biggest rival since I’ve been here, probably the team I don’t like the most,” said the two-time rushing champion. “Philly Week is always fun.”
But Elliott doesn’t expect coach Mike McCarthy to show up in a Beat Philly shirt.
“We’ll stay on our track,” he said.
AP Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker, Rob Maaddi, Schuyler Dixon, Dennis Waszak Jr. and Barry Wilner contributed.
More AP-NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL