After A Lifetime Of Spunk, Drive (And A Flair For The Dramatic), TN Titans Owner Bud Adams Laid To Rest

Adams shakes player Billy Cannon's hand after the Houston Oilers win the first AFL Championship. Image Source: TN Titans

Adams shakes player Billy Cannon’s hand after the Houston Oilers win the first AFL Championship. Image Source: TN Titans

Mourners in Houston remembered Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams Monday as a man who beat out the NFL in a competition for fans, money and players.

He started the team as the Houston Oilers, in an upstart league called the AFL. For his inaugural team, Adams managed to snag the 1960 Heisman winner Billy Cannon, as NFL executive Joe Browne remembered.

“Bud, in his typical understated style in those days had the player, Cannon, sign the contract on the field, under the goalpost, at the conclusion of the 1960 Sugar Bowl.”

The AFL and NFL eventually merged. Adams moved his team to Nashville in 1997, but continued to call Houston home until his death last week. And according to Forbes, the team Adams started for $25,000 is now worth more than a billion dollars.

In addition to the Titans, Adams had his hand in the oil business, automobile sales, cattle ranching, Southwestern art, and fruit farming. He was also a member of the Cherokee Nation. Adams died at home last week of natural causes. He was 90 years old.

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