Look out for the name Tennessee Titans in the various American football sportsbooks. The Titans play in the NFL as part of the AFC South Division and are now based in Nashville although the team originated in Houston, Texas.
The Houston Oilers were founded and owned by Bud Adams who moved the franchise to Tennessee and renamed it the Titans. The franchise is now owned by his daughter, Amy Adams Strunk. The Titans’ official colours are navy, Titans blue, red, silver and white.
History of the Tennessee Titans
The history of this franchise can be broken up into three periods: the Houston Oilers (1960-1996), the Tennessee Oilers (1997-1998) and the Tennessee Titans (1999 onwards).
When the Houston Oilers left Texas to come to Tennessee in 1997, they became the Tennessee Oilers and initially played at Memphis’s Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
In 1998 they moved to Nashville for the first time and played temporarily at the Vanderbilt Stadium. They were renamed the Titans the following year and moved into their permanent home in Nashville, now known as the Nissan Stadium. Since then the team has done well, reaching seven NFL playoffs and winning the AFC Central division.
After arriving in Nashville, the Titans developed some healthy but vociferous rivalries. The atmosphere in the stadium can be particularly enthusiastic when the Titans play the Jacksonville Tigers, Indianapolis Colts or the Houston Texans.
The Titans’ Home Field
Altogether this Oilers/Titans side has played at six different venues:
- Jeppesen Stadium
- Rice Stadium
- Houston Astrodome
- Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
- Vanderbilt Stadium
Since 1999, the Nissan Stadium has been their home field.
The Nissan Stadium is multi-purpose – an MLS soccer team plays there and it can be used for various gigs. It sits just across the Cumberland River from the downtown area and the Tennessee State Capitol on the east bank.
The stadium is owned by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, mainly for the purposes of football. It is also host to the State University’s college team and the Tennessee State Tigers.
Constriction for the stadium began May 1997 and the venue opened in August 1999 in time for the football season. It cost a total of $290 million to build, roughly $450 million in today’s money.
Some of the cost of the build and the upkeep of the stadium has been recovered by issuing sponsorship deals and naming rights, and this has resulted in the stadium being renamed several times over the years.
From 1999-2002 it was known as the Adelphia Coliseum, 2006-2006 it was simply The Coliseum and between 2006 and 2015 it was known as LP Field. It was renamed the Nissan Stadium in 2015 on a 20-year sponsorship.
Now with a football game capacity of 69,143 (up from the 67,000 on opening in 1999), this can be a highly intimidating venue.
Titans’ Hall of Famers
The Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans have had a rather impressive 16 players inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame.
They are; Elvin Bethea, George Blanda, Robert Brazile, Earl Campbell, Dave Casper, Curley Culp, Ken Houston, Steve Hutchinson, John Henry Johnson, Charlie Joiner, Bruce Matthews, Kevin Mawae, Warren Moon, Randy Moss, Mike Munchak and Ken Stabler.
Two of their coaches have also been inducted, namely Sammy Baugh and Sid Gillman.
In addition, eight squad numbers have been retired by the club including those of the aforementioned:
- Moon (1), Campbell (34), Munchak (63), Bethea (65) and Matthews (74) as well as the ones belonging to Steve McNair (9), Eddie George (27) and Jim Norton (43).
Titans’ Main Achievements
The Titans are one of only 12 NFL teams never to have won a Super Bowl. The team has played in just one final.
As a franchise incorporating their records as both the Houston Oilers in Texas and the Tennessee Titans in Memphis and Nashville. The team has, however, earned the following accolades:
- Championship Winners (pre-merger) x 2 – 1960, 1961
- Conference Champions x 1 – 1999
- Eastern Division Champions x 4 – 1960, 1961, 1962, 1967
- Central Division Champions x 3 – 1991, 1993, 2000
- South Division Champions x 2 – 2002, 2008
In addition, the franchise has reached the AFL playoffs five times, and the NFL playoffs a further 18 times between 1978 and 2019.
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