Thursday, January 20, 2005

Oiler Blues

Anyone unfortunate enough to have invested a significant part of themselves in Houston sports teams should take a look at Oiler Blues by John Pirkle (Sportline Publishing, 2000). Half Price Books should still have a bunch of remaindered $5 copies for sale, so buy it there instead of Amazon.

The Houston Oilers no longer exist for a reason, and it's not just because there's no oil in Tennessee. After winning the first two AFL titles in 1960 and 1961, the Oilers were cursed for the rest of their 38-year history by poor management, dumb trades and just plain bad luck. Only when they became the Tennessee Titans did they finally make it to the Super Bowl (only to lose to the Rams in the final seconds).

Pirkle approaches the Oilers like a Columbia blue-hued homicide victim and meticulously retraces each and every bone-headed, nickel-and-dime move the team made both on and off the field. A lawyer by trade, Pirkle occasionally gets mired in turgid prose about free agency and contract restructuring, but he makes his case that the Oilers were indeed the most frustrating team in the history of modern professional football. Fun stuff for those of us who grew up in the heady days of Earl Campbell, Bum Phillips and "Luv Ya Blue."

1 comment:

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