When do historical figures become immortal? Arguably, that happens when they creep into our day-to-day lives. For instance, consider the Titans. In Greek mythology, the Titans included the twelve children of the gods Ge (Earth), and Uranus (Heaven). The Titans were huge and powerful. Thus, the Titanic ship was named as such. Today we say that “Jane is a business Titan,” or that “Shakespeare was a titan of Renaissance literature.” Here are some interesting facts about some other titans, the Tennessee Titans:
1. The origins of the “Titans” are Greece and Memphis
The Tennessee Titans were formerly the Houston Oilers, where they played from 1960-1996. After relocating to Nashville, Tennessee in 1997, the team played two NFL seasons as the Tennessee Oilers. The team’s owner, Bud Adams, then decided to change the team’s nickname. It is common knowledge that the Titans were powerful gods from Greek mythology. However, did you know that people often refer to Nashville as the “Athens of the South”?
2. The Titans have earned playoff spots in nearly half of their seasons
Since moving to Tennessee, the Titans played 11 seasons from 1997-2007. Within that timeframe, the Titans have qualified for the playoffs during five seasons (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007), or nearly half of their tenure in Tennessee. Additionally, they have been division champions twice (2000, 2002), have played in two AFC championship games (1999, 2002), and have made one Super Bowl appearance (1999). Indeed, the Titans have been titans in the NFL.
3. Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans players have earned NFL records
Throughout their history, various Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans players have ended the regular season as leaders in multiple categories, including:
o Interceptions: Mike Reinfeldt: 12 (1979)
o Kickoff Returns: Bobby Jancik (1962: 30.3; 1963: 29.3)
o Passer Rating: Steve McNair: 100.4 (2003)
o Passing Touchdowns: Warren Moon: 33 (1990)
o Punting: Craig Hentrich: 47.2 (1998)
o Punt Returns: Pacman Jones: 12.9 (2006)
o Rushing: Earl Campbell (1978, 1979, 1980)
o Touchdowns: Earl Bambell: 19 (19 rushing) (1979)
4. Since 1997, the Titans have played in three stadiums
After moving to Tennessee from Texas, the Titans’ temporary home was Memphis’ Liberty Bowl. The Oilers played their first game in Tennessee in the Liberty Bowl, defeating the Oakland Raiders in overtime, by 24-21.
After one season in Memphis, the Titans’ big brass decided that the team should move to Nashville. Thus, they signed a one-year contract to play at Vanderbilt University’s stadium.
By the year 1999, the Oilers became the Titans, and had a new stadium to play in: Adelphia Coliseum. Interestingly, the stadium itself also underwent two name changes. It was The Coliseum from 2002-2005; and since 2006, has been LP Field.
Since moving from Texas to Tennessee, that Titans have created a fascinating franchise history. That began with their new nickname. After finishing in second place in the entire league, the team hopes to take the next giant step: an NFL championship. Cheer on the Tennessee Titans to victory, using quality NFL merchandise!