Titans use 'Luv Ya Blue' ahead of Bum Phillips induction and it didn't go over well with Houstonians

The Titans are holding Oilers Tribute Week ahead of posthumously inducting Bum Phillips into their Ring of Honor

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Thursday, September 23, 2021
Tennessee Titans 'Luv Ya Blue' tweets draw ire of Houston Oilers fans
The Titans are set to induct legenderary Oilers coach Bum Phillips into their Ring of Honor, but the way they are celebrating the Oilers isn't sitting well with Houston fans.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The audacity. The blasphemy. Delete this. Stolen history.

Those are just some of the words, the ones clean enough to write anyway, from Houston Oilers fans who weren't happy with the Tennessee Titans' latest move on social media.

All week long, the Titans are hosting Oilers Tribute Week, which will culminate Sunday, when the organization posthumously inducts legendary Oilers coach Bum Phillips into its Ring of Honor.

The ceremony will happen during halftime at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, where the Titans will face the Colts.

Phillips led the Oilers for six seasons, from 1975-1980, and reached the AFC Championship Game in 1978 and 1979.

He joined the team as defensive coordinator in 1974 before nabbing the head coaching gig a year later.

In his first season, he led the Oilers to a 10-4 record, their first 10-win season in 13 years.

Phillips was the Oilers coach during the iconic "Luv Ya Blue" era, which originated with fans in the late 1970s and embodied the connection between the city of Houston and the team.

In 1979, the Oilers played a highly anticipated Monday night game against the Steelers. The team's marketing department passed out cards inspired by a sign a fan had hung on the fence at the team's practice field. The signs said, "Luv Ya Blue!"

The phrase became the nickname that captured the city's enthusiasm for the Bum/Earl era, jump-started by the victory over the Miami Dolphins in 1978.

READ: 'Luv Ya Blue,' Bum and Earl too: When Houston and the Oilers were the NFL's perfect match

Some Former Oilers expected to attend Sunday's induction festivities are Dan Pastorini, Warren Moon, Robert Brazile, Kenny Houston and Elvin Bethea.

As many as 80 former Oilers are expected to be in Nashville for a reunion weekend.

Now in Phillips' honor, the Titans have transformed their social media accounts into an Oilers tribute page. Literally. That's what it says in their bio.

SEE ALSO: 'That's a hard no' Titans owner responds to Watt, Hopkins wanting Oilers uniforms back

On top of that, on Twitter, the Titans are now the "Tennessee Titans/Oilers" and changed their avatar to the Oilers' oil derrick logo.

But what's really grinding gears is a 10-second video that opens with the phrase "Luv Ya Blue" and transitions to "Luv Ya Two-Tone Blue," for the Titans.

"The colors and name should have stayed in Houston. The Oil Derek (sic) is a symbol of Houston being the energy capital of the world," one person wrote.

"Y'all barely have 60,000 in the stands to watch a game. Luv Ya Blue had 75,000 to welcome them back home after a playoff loss. We are not the same," someone named Vincent said.

"They have no idea what Luv Ya Blue was all about. They never will. It was a moment of time that involved a connection between a city & its football team with local heroes. They may have the name but they will never own the heart & soul of those teams. That's all Houston," said one user.

Still, not everyone was upset.

"Maybe Harris County and City of Houston should have acted like they wanted to keep their team," one person pointed out.

"True that," agreed Astros beat reporter Brian McTaggart. "But the Titans promoting Luv Ya Blue is really dumb. Does anyone in Nashville care about Luv Ya Blue? Don't they cherish their Nashville memories more?"

After the Oilers fell short of another championship game appearance in 1980 in losing to the Oakland Raiders 27-7, Owner Bud Adams fired Phillips, less than 24 hours after the loss. It essentially ended the "Luv Ya Blue" era.

Adams, who could never get support for a new stadium to replace the Astrodome, moved the team from Houston to Nashville after the 1996 season.

Phillips died in 2013.

ESPN contributed to this report.

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