Why the Titans are wearing Houston Oilers uniforms against the Falcons

The Tennessee Titans will wear different uniforms against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, honoring the team’s past as the Houston Oilers.

The Titans will wear the famous Oilers-inspired Columbia blue jerseys with red stripes while donning the former Oilers logo. Inside the neckline will be “Luv Ya Blue!,” a callback to the Bum Phillips-era Oilers teams of the 1970s in Houston.

Tennessee has made a point of honoring the Oilers’ heritage over the last few years, and the throwback jerseys are a part of honoring the Oilers-related past.

Why are the Titans wearing Houston Oilers uniforms?

Titans fans under the age of 25 have only been alive long enough to see the Tennessee Titans, Nashville’s NFL team that has played on the stadium on the other side of the river from the main part of downtown. The Titans uniforms have changed over the last 25 years and Nissan Stadium’s name has changed more than that over the same time period, but that’s been the case since the team moved to Nashville in 1999.


But the Titans were once the Houston Oilers, a member of the AFL and then the NFL from 1960 to 1996. Owned by Bud Adams, the unique Columbia blue uniforms and derrick logo stood out as a unique brand during their time in Houston. But Adams moved the team from Houston to Tennessee in 1997.

Amy Adams Strunk, the Titans’ controlling owner and Adams’ daughter, has made a point of reaching out to former Oilers players and honoring both those players and the Oilers’ heritage over the past couple years. The Oilers throwback uniforms are the next step.


“I’ve been talking to Amy about this for two years now and she’s been wanting to do this for a long time,” former Oilers quarterback Warren Moon told the Titans’ website in July, “and I am glad it is going to happen.”

Wait, the Tennessee Oilers were a thing?

Yes, they were. The Tennessee Oilers played in Memphis in 1997 and in Nashville in 1998, using the same logo and uniforms as they did in Houston for those two seasons. As Nissan Stadium completed construction in 1998, the Tennessee Oilers played their home games in Vanderbilt Stadium. Those teams included many of the names that would become household names after the Titans brand was introduced in 1999, like Steve McNair, Eddie George and Derrick Mason.

Tennessee Oilers quarterback Steve McNair sits alone on the bench as the closing seconds tick off the clock during their matchup with San Diego Chargers at Vanderbilt University’s Dudley Field on Sept. 13, 1998. The Oilers, playing their first regular season NFL game in Nashville, struggled in their 13-7 lost before a sellout crowd.

Why did the Oilers change their name to the Titans?

For one, the lack of oil rigs down Lower Broadway.

In reality, Adams announced the decision to change the Oilers’ name on July 29, 1998, despite some personal reservations, after fans pushed for the change. The next day, the front page of The Tennessean featured the headline “Bud bows to the demand of the fans.” Adams’ decision was made easier by then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue ensuring him that the Oilers’ franchise records and history would follow with the franchise through a rebranding.


Why are they only bringing back the Oilers uniforms now?

Tennessee has worn the original AFL uniforms before, a look straight out of 1960, but retro uniforms were largely exiled in the NFL when the league made a one-helmet policy in 2013. That policy was relaxed in 2022.

But since the brand change in 1999, the Titans have not worn a uniform inspired by the Oilers’ uniforms of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s until Sunday.

Why don’t the Houston Texans wear the Oilers throwback uniforms?

The only thing the Texans share with the Houston Oilers of yesteryear is the city of Houston. The Houston Texans are a new NFL expansion team created in 2002, initially owned by the late Bob McNair.

The Oilers’ franchise records and history continue to belong to the Titans, with Adams Strunk as the controlling owner. And dating back to that July 1998 decision to change the name, the league promised Bud Adams that no other team would be able to use the name.

What channel is Titans vs. Falcons today?

  • TV channel: CBS (NewsChannel 5 in Nashville)
  • Stream: NFL+, Paramount+, CBSSports.com and FUBO

Beth Mowins, Jay Feely and James Lofton will call the game from the booth at Nissan Stadium, with Amanda Guerra reporting from the sidelines.

Streaming options for the game include Paramount+, CBS’s subscription streaming service, and FUBO, which offers a free trial to potential subscribers.

Titans vs. Falcons start time

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 29
  • Time: Noon CT

The Titans face the Falcons in Week 8 of the NFL season with a kickoff time of noon CT Sunday.

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