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The Not-So-Great Debate – Part 1: “Return” the Legacy to Houston

Return The Legacy?

Return? This word implies that the Oiler legacy belonged to Houston at some point. A majority of the Oiler legacy may have transpired in Houston (Memphis in 1997 & Nashville in 1998), but the city never owned the team…The team just played (ran their business) there. Does that not matter? If not, how should the legacy be divided? By city, state or team name? Does Houston receive the Oiler legacy from 1960 to 1996, Memphis for 1997 and Nashville for 1998? Does Tennessee receive the last two “Oiler” years OR does Houston receive the first two “Tennessee” years? If dividing by state (Texas), should the Dallas Cowboy’s be allowed the opportunity to receive the Oiler legacy?

What about the Raiders as an example? Should Oakland receive the 1960-1981 & 1995-2019(?) years, Los Angeles 1982-1994 and Las Vegas from 2020 & beyond? Both the Rams and Raiders were in Los Angeles during 1982-1994, so which teams’ legacy wins out? In 1984 was the Los Angeles “legacy” leading rusher Eric Dickerson (Rams) with *2,105 or Marcus Allen (Raiders) with 1,168? Who received the Rams legacy when they moved to St. Louis? Do they get it back now or does that honor go to the Los Angeles Chargers? Let’s not forget the Cleveland Rams. Obviously, their legacy belongs to the…Rams, Browns, Ravens…

My belief is that the legacy belongs to the franchise that owns the team, not the city where the business once operated. Nor do I believe that the employees (players) or customers (us fans) have any rights regarding the matter. We do however have the right of choice. No Oilers in Houston – Follow the Titans or a different team like the Texans. Guess how I chose?

Sure, the Titan organization with no affiliation to Houston, Texas or the Oiler name is similar to the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens situation, but Baltimore was legally required to form a “new” franchise – The Tennessee Titans were not, therefore, the Oiler “legacy” is just the team (Titans) legacy.

Who knows, maybe the Raiders move to Las Vegas will shed some light on this “return the legacy” theory. If such a theory exists, the next Oakland franchise will at minimum receive the rights to the 1960-1981 & 1995-2019(?) Raider legacy years while the Las Vegas version of the Raiders start from scratch. Unless they become the Las Vegas Outlaws – Obviously, they would then receive the 2001 XFL Las Vegas Outlaws & 2015 AFL Las Vegas Outlaws legacies, correct? Maybe they will instead become the Las Vegas Gamblers and receive the USFL Houston Gamblers legacy. That link to the city of Houston would then most likely allow them access to the Houston Oiler legacy. Maybe the headline of this article have read “Should the Titans Return the Oilers Legacy to the Las Vegas Gamblers? Makes perfect sense to me.

The more important Raider question – Who gets “Just Win, Baby”? A perfect slogan for Vegas is it not? 

This post is part one of a multi part article that will appear over the next week or so. It’s meant to be part passion, part fun & part rant. It’s being released in segments to avoid alienating every Titan & Oiler fans at once – Actually, it’s just an insanely huge tirade…

*Was in attendance on December 9, 1984 in Anaheim when Dickerson thrashed the Oilers for 215 yards (2,007) and surpassed OJ Simpson’s 2,003-yard rushing record on his way to a 2,105-yard season.
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